To my dear friend, Dave Banks. Thank you for sharing your amazing life story with the world in Cue the Camels.
Dave and I met through WordPress blogging and he has been a mentor and friend for four years. He always supports my work and encourages me to “Never Give Up”
Thanks Dave, for this amazing book.
Below is the review and I hope it inspires you to read his book as well!
“Cue the Camels” By Dave Banks
Laughter is the key to sanity; I learned that a long time ago. In “Cue the Camels,” Dave Banks keeps the reader chuckling with the real stories of what it takes to get the “money shot” in a film documentary. From covering the L.A. Riots in the early 90s with a bodyguard to dodging landmines in Jordan, Banks puts a light-hearted spin on his brushes with death. Between years of shooting in less-than-perfect conditions, Banks takes a “cushy” job on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Ironically, he ends up on a stretcher after having an anxiety attack.
Not only does “Cue the Camels” make for a good laugh, it stimulates our sense of adventure and excitement. It inspires all of us to search for the unknown or take risks in life in search of something greater than our selves. My favorite quote from the book is below: “It may seem crazy to some that I chose to be freelance, or that I work within such dangerous perimeters. I’ve never lost my sense of humor or my optimism for our world. My goal has always been the same in spite of any risk: to extract the sublime out of the ordinary, to broach what appear to be cultural barriers, knowing I’ll always find some common thread. I regard my work and these journeys as ‘tourism for the soul.’”
I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara at a Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Press Awards banquet in 2011. I heard them speak about their story and the risks they took to get sources. They truly inspired me that night. I walked right up to Barbara and said “You are an inspiration to me.”
Barbara said thank you, and she also talked to me about my own work, I had won a Keystone that night, for a story I wrote. After hearing her speak, I felt silly to share my success. I hadn’t done nearly anything as dangerous as they had described.
The following year, 2012, I again chatted with Barbara during that year’s press awards. She commented on my enthusiasm for journalism, and that I should keep working to improve my craft.
It’s that, the fact that she remembered me, that after a whirlwind of success and press, not to mention the new book she was working on, she still had time to talk to me about my dreams.
This is the most honest book I’ve read.
These two women, Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, sacrifice their career, their families, and their lives, for this true story.
They take on police officers, drug dealers, pimps, and addicts, forcing themselves to find the story, get the interviews, and get the facts.
This story doesn’t have a happy ending, it is life, real life.
Every journalists’ dream, to win a Pulitzer, Barbara and Wendy succeed, but throughout the entire painful time of newspaper bankruptcy issues with their careers hanging in the balance, they somehow find a way to focus on what’s important – the story. The victims. The people.
The Daily News is named “The People’s Paper” – and for good reason.
Standing firm on Journalism ethics, Barbara and Wendy force the hand of police officials to make changes to protocol for undercover drug informants.
The story led to change, but not justice for the victims of these corrupt cops, the victims are still waiting for their justice, while these cops collect salaries at their desks.
The bodega owners, victims of raids gone bad, have lost all hope in their “American Dream”.
The unseen scars left on the women assaulted, will never disappear.
These cops who’ve done this, they have devastated not only the victims, but their own careers, and the belief that the police are to “Protect and Serve” trading that slogan for “Destroy, Steal, and Hurt” the people of Philadelphia.
Barbara and Wendy’s courageous acts of bravery to “stare down the barrel of guns” and go into the worst neighborhoods in the city in search for the truth is a true testament to what Journalism is, and how important it is.
Thank you both for all that you have done, and what you continue to do.
Stay safe and know that you are loved, and you have inspired us all to seek the truth, fight for justice, and stand up to those that bully us.