Sometimes a new KBOO volunteer arrives on the scene, and just hits the ground running. Frank Cobb, Sr. is one such volunteer. He arrived for Orientation back in January, and immediately got involved in the PM News Department. Within a month, after coming to every training that was offered in the News Department, he was going out to the street almost every day, tape recorder in hand, to interview the homeless in Portland.
A homeless veteran himself, Frank wanted to help other homeless people tell their own stories in their own words. He began work on a series he called 'Fallen through the Cracks', which focused on the stories of people who have been unable to get the help they need from the social services system. He interviewed homeless people, particularly focusing on those with handicaps, and also interviewed the close-to-homeless, handicapped people living with disabilities and unable to get the support they need from the system that is supposed to serve them.
But he didn't stop there. Frank took digital editing training, and began editing the interviews himself into fully-produced pieces to air on the Evening News. He wrote his own scripts and read his own copy. And he even began Engineering training to be the Board-operator for the Evening News.
He went out and interviewed peace protestors at the big Anti-War march on March 18th, talked to grannies getting arrested at the Army Recruiting Center, interviewed veterans of the Iraq War and even questioned Starbucks representatives on their 'greenwashing' events for World Water Day. Frank even interviewed a mama and baby cow who were promoting vaganism for the Great American Meat-Out.
Well, Frank will be gone in April, to a residential program that will help him get back on his feet. But we here at KBOO will sure miss his persevering spirit, his hard work, and his great down-to-earth interviewing style. We hope he'll be back soon to volunteer with us again!
Jenka Soderberg, PM News and Public Affairs director