As the old saying goes, everybody makes mistakes.
Anyone who’s ever worked in a news service knows this all too well — the embarrassing zing when an error makes it to the public’s eye is more common than any of us would like.
But not all reporter gaffes show up in newsprint. And I had a doozy two weeks ago while working on a story about Columbia Falls girls AND boys basketball coach Cary Finberg. Luckily, Finny came to my rescue.
Two weeks ago I made the jaunt up to Ronan to catch a road doubleheader between the Wild(c/k)ats and the hosts, the closest Columbia Falls would come to Missoula since a trip to Frenchtown early in the season that I also mistakenly missed.
After a delightful conversation on the difficulties and rewards of coaching two teams at once that we filmed for a Prep Extra video, Coach Finberg called over his daughters Ciera and Cydney for me to interview.
Then he walked away.
Our respective jobs done for the day, we both packed up and headed our separate ways. He north and me south on nearby U.S. Highway 93.
What I didn’t realize until the next day was that neither Finberg nor I remembered to unclip the wireless mic from his jacket. He’d put the receiver in his pocket as we talked and the microphone must have remained attached to his lapel all the way to Columbia Falls!
After a few mild moments of panic and an attempted calm message left with his one of his hoops-playing daughters, Finberg confirmed to me that which I’d feared. My mic was 100-odd miles up the Flathead Valley.
Luckily — as I’d gathered from our brief chat in which he doled out jokes as quickly and as often as his players have done points this season — Cary Finberg is a pretty nice guy. He’d have it in the mail within a day or two, he assured.
What a relief. A quick Google search had suggested I’d be spending better than a day’s salary to replace the little bugger if I’d truly lost it.
So to Cary Finberg, I say thank you for giving this goof a good ending.
PS: I won’t forget I owe you postage for this little life preserver either. Hopefully we’ll meet in the middle again sometime soon because I’ve got $2.86 with your name on it.