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Blaine Martin- profile final

Posted by: Lindsay | December 6, 2012 | 2 Comments |

“I knew exactly what had happened when I got the call. Why did I go on this stupid band trip? I should have been there. I should have stayed by her side. She promised me everything was going to be okay, hell she convinced me to go. My life was crashing down around me, the plane ride was unbearable, and I found no words to speak.”

Blaine Martin’s mother, Mary Martin, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was a sophomore at Boone High School, and passed away when he was a senior. His life has forever changed since the tragic news.

Martin is short with a solid stature. He blames his silver hair and goatee on the stresses of living with three women for most of his life. His to-the-point answers reflect on his disciplinarian father. However, his short answers do not hide the hurt trapped behind his ocean blue eyes.

The death of his mother negatively affected his relationship with his father, Burdell Martin. His father dealt with the passing by turning to alcohol and engaging in a number of dead end marriages. The occasional phone call, and the once a year Christmas gathering is the only contact he has with his father. It is a shame something so tragic pulled a family apart.

“I can’t help but wonder what our relationship would be like if she was still here,” said Martin

Martin’s relationship with his father has affected his parenting approach. He wants to be there for his daughters in each aspect of life, because he knows what it’s like to not have a parental figure supporting him.

Martin’s daughter, Madison, says, “He never misses a chance to spend time with us, even if it means attending 100 dance competitions and recitals.”

The passing affected Martin’s life positively when he was forced to grow up faster than most high school students. He cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and even ironed his clothes. All of which, his wife appreciated when they got married.

Martin wishes his mother would have been there for his college graduation, his wedding day, and for the birth of his two children.

However, Martin mostly misses “the day to day contact and I think the thing I miss the most is my children not getting to know her.”

His wife Terri said, “I know he wishes his mom would have been around to watch our girls grow up, but I know she is very proud of him as a father, and what he has accomplished in life.”

Martin is currently 50, and it’s been nearly 31 years since his mother’s passing. Martin married his high school sweetheart, Terri Martin, who stuck by his side, through it all.  He now resides in LeMars, Iowa, and has two beautiful daughters, Lindsay and Madison.

Today, Martin takes full advantage of his free time by indulging in a number of hobbies; hunting, woodworking projects, and watching his daughters dance just to name a few. He occupies every minute of his day, and spends as much time as he can with his family.

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Responses -

Not “final” yet, Lindsay. The lead is fine, but you do a lot of “telling.” You don’t want to tell me what his biggest obstacle was. Show me and let me decide. The same with that last line; you shouldn’t have to tell me the moral of the story.

Get to grandpa sooner. If the effect of his mother had the greatest effect on his relationship with his father, then that probably should be the center of the story. That’s the obstacle he overcame to become a better person.

The “now” — your family — is the result, so maybe re-organize a bit so that you come after the cause.

On the final version:

I’m not convinced that writing about family members is a good idea. The closeness leads to problems with objectivity. You do tell a good story, Lindsay, though it’s a bit breezy and short. As a reader I wanted you to dig deeper and ask harder, more personal questions. That’s hard to do with someone so close.

You have the writing skills, Lindsay, but you’ll need to work on the interviewing and organization aspects of journalism. You’ll need to get out of the comfort zone. Keep challenging yourself, and I’ll see you next semester.