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#48 Observing

I felt good walking into DIC Entertainment’s studio on my second day. It was nice to be a part of something. I was getting to know people, and one of those people was Sandy Fries.


As I walked past the cubicles, I remembered Lori saying, “Sandy will tell you what you do as an assistant story editor.” So far he hadn’t told me much. Instead he’d painted broad strokes about what he did as the story editor. That was okay because I also remembered Lori saying I should keep my “eyes open about what he does.”

I learned he’d earned a B.A. in Journalism, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, then added an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia. My father would be only too happy to tell him what he could do with those degrees in the real world. But I was impressed.

Sandy had penned a few Diff’rent Strikes and The Smurfs episodes so he had a little street cred. Still, being a story editor was different.


Around noon a writer came in. Sandy said the writer’s springboard was approved and he should start on a treatment. Excited, the writer stood with, “I’m on it!”


Sandy stopped him in his tracks with, “Is there something you forgot to say?” When the writer looked at him quizzically, Sandy intoned, “It’s customary to say ‘Thank you’.”


The writer glanced to me, then to Sandy and uncomfortably said, “Thanks”. Then he went on his way. I wasn’t sure why Sandy needed to hear the writer say thanks, but the interchange had made me uncomfortable too…along with some other things.

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