A familiar face among the embeds

I was surprised to see a familiar face among the embedded journalists in Iraq: Jack Gruber, a USA Today photographer I met during the 1988 William Randolph Hearst journalism competition (he won; I didn't; still bitter).

Gruber, whose impressive career is documented on his personal Web site, is filing photos, audio, and stories from Baghdad such as today's report on saving a bridge.

He's also talking regularly with pals on this photographer message board. From one post:

Believe it or not, there are a lot of journalists over here who really are not prepared for all of this. Always think of the small things. Powerstrips, adapters, inverters, towels, handiwipes, packing light. ... After getting up at 4am and trying to get some sleep only to be awakened at 6am by some unnamed journalists who have just shown up yelling at editors back home that their equipment is not working outside our tent really does not make a lot of friends nearby. Sound travels far out here.

I wish I had some good dirt on Gruber, my roommate of three days. All I recall is that he was extremely talented and a little too excited about seeing his first live sex performer, who was marketing her privates at a theater one block from the downtown San Francisco hotel where the Hearsts put us.

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