On September 20, 2007 I signed a contract to spend the next two years on air at WBMA Birmingham.
That date also happens to be my grandmother’s birthday.
I called her Frances.
Grandmother sounded much too old for her liking.
She’s the same ̶g̶r̶a̶n̶d̶m̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ Frances who told me point blank, “I want you to be a TV reporter. You’ll see the world and watch history as it happens.”
She would have turned 91 the same day I signed that contract.
The coincidence of date was enough for me to feel she knew I finally followed her advice.
And... she was right!
In the next few years I traveled on assignment from the coast of California to the Nile River. I saw history. As Barack Obama took the oath of office to becoming the nation’s first black president, I was standing on the National Mall with news camera in hand.
She was right. And I believe signing the paperwork on her birthday was more than a coincidence.
In 2010 I moved to the state of sunshine, space shuttles and some of the most memorable stories of my career as I joined WTVT Tampa.
My first day on that job? My mother’s birthday.
That’s twice with birthday-start days! (One more time, and some reporters would call it a trend!)
Imagine my expectations when a long awaited job offer from Atlanta came knocking at my inbox. The 11Alive contract was delivered the day before my birthday.
I still felt on track, and I had it all figured out.
I planned to actually sign that paperwork on my birthday... but it didn't work out. Agents consider contractual etiquette more pressing than a numerology based career climb.
So I signed it anyway (!), but I didn't date it. I also kept the contract to myself just for a week. I waited, as requested, to honor a clause in my previous contract. (But I sortof still technically signed it on my birthday!)
All of this may confirm we are on a path as cosmically aligned as our solar system...
Or it could be an example of my own very human ability to seek order in the chaos of life...
It doesn't really matter.
It all feels like more than a coincidence to me. And like a wink from my birthday-loving grandmother that I am on track.
Jeremy Campbell is an ATLien, storyteller, traveler... & often all three at once.