Naseem Rakha Day… tell Hallmark to make a card

Back in the 1990s and 2000s, Oregon Public Broadcasting had a Friday evening show called “Seven Days.” It was like “Washington Week in Review,” but with Oregon journalists. Basically, four print or radio journalists would sit around a TV set with a host, Stephanie Fowler, and would talk about Oregon politics for an hour.

I know: For many of the tens of people who read this blog, that sounds like a trip to the podiatrist, but without the drama. It was “Dallas” for my people; that is, the nerdly, newsroom, wonky politicos.

(Producer Morgan Holm had a joke: Do you know how many phone calls it takes to find four journalists not doing anything on a Friday evening? On average: Four. It ain’t like we had to juggle our social calendars.)

I did the show about once per month. An independent journalist named Naseem Rakha was one of the rotating news analysts. We became friends. She’s as smart as the day is long and she was willing to throw elbows on the “Seven Days” set. If she disagreed with you, she said so. Sometimes with one sharp eyebrow raised the way a Marine in a dive bar pulls a straight razor. More than once, I was on the receiving end of that look, which could peel paint at 30 paces.

One disagreed with Naseem at one’s peril. On live TV? Didn’t mean it wasn’t a blast to try.

Smash-cut: New scene, one decade later and west of the OPB studio. We open our scene at a small, independent but decidedly cool bookstore, Annie Bloom’s, 7834 S.W. Capitol Highway, in Multnomah Village. It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Thursday, April 29. Our heroine will be presented with the book-of-the-year award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association for her novel, “The Crying Tree.”

Independent journalist one decade, best-selling novelist the next. Not a bad vertical leap, that.

I’m part of the presentation. I’ll be interviewing Naseem for a video that Annie Bloom’s is producing. Or handing out canapés. My role is still a little in flux. “Champagne with that, ma’am?”

Hey. For Naseem? Whatever.

We “Seven Days” nerds gotta stick together.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on April 23, 2010, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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