It usually starts with an email from a reporter. “I am working on a story…..” The first question is “what is your deadline?” Then I begin the search for information, photographs, or anything else that can shape the story.
With this assignment, the reporter was looking for specific information about the JCPenney Pendleton, Oregon, store which was closing after 106 years.
I was lucky. There were store interiors and store exterior photos from 1917. There was a written store history–current as of 2002 (JCPenney’s Centennial). I even found a 1911 balance sheet from the Pendleton store. The reporter wanted materials from the 1960s or 1970s. I didn’t have anything specific to Pendleton, but he accepted some fun fashion advertising and JCPenney catalog covers.
I waited, hoping that he would make “us” look good. I hoped, too, that he would give credit to the JCPenney Archives at the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University.
John Rosman, of Oregon Public Broadcasting, put together a piece that just made me smile–despite the sadness of a store closing. He even managed to tie Jeff Bezos of Amazon into the video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.