July 18th, 2008
01:02 PM ET

iReport Interrupted


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Jack Gray
AC360° Producer

It wasn’t the way I envisioned my trip to San Francisco concluding...

You see, I was scheduled to spend the evening with the Young Republicans of San Francisco (no, that’s not a typo) to discuss how a group of political conservatives exist in arguably the most liberal city in the country. It was to be the ying to the yang of my visit with the Young Democrats of Utah. But, a few hours before we were to get together, I fell. In broad daylight. Getting into a cab. Sober. It’s lame, I know.

The irony is that I had just moments earlier – according to the San Francisco Police Department – narrowly escaped getting my “ass kicked” by an encampment of drug addicts in Golden Gate Park. Apparently the park is a de facto sovereign nation and it was sheer luck that two bike patrolmen came along just as the unhappy crowd began to converge on me and my $3,000 CNN video camera. By the way, special thanks to the guy on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets who suggested the park would be a great place to get footage. Hilarious, pal. Anyway, after getting out of the park alive I realized I had pushed my luck enough for the day and it was time to go back to the hotel.

So I hailed a cab, told the driver where I was going and asked that he make a quick stop at City Hall as I needed to get a few quick exterior shots. Easy as pie, right? Not quite, as it turns out. I got the exterior shots alright but as I was getting back into the cab things fell apart – literally. It was one of those mini-van cabs. I had my left hand on the top of the door frame and my right hand (which was also holding the camera) on the right side of the door frame. Any idiot could handle it, right? Well, not me.

I remember the cab driver saying something to me, the door sliding and the next thing I knew I was on the ground, writhing in tremendous pain and freaking out that the camera was broken. Fast forward a few minutes – I’m back at the hotel, in denial that I have seriously injured my arm and busted the camera. One call to the hotel doctor and I’m over at the Saint Francis Hospital Emergency Room. X-rays….something about a fracture and the joint space of my elbow. I need surgery, they tell me. Meantime I’m getting frantic emails from the Young Republicans – “are you going to be able to make it tonight?”

I feel badly that they’re all standing around waiting for me but there’s nothing I can do. One gigantic arm splint and two Vicodins later and I’m back at the hotel packing my bags so I can catch the red eye home to New York. The story of the San Francisco Republicans will have to wait.

P.S. – The silver lining - it turned out I didn’t need surgery!

Filed under: iReport Film Festival • Jack Gray
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