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April Feature - Bob Costantini `74

From the time, at age-5, when hanging out at our family friends’ Highlandtown Radio-TV shop, declaring, “I want to be a broadcaster,” to the career of making it happen, right in the middle was my time at Calvert Hall.
And the great influences on my career path were the social studies teachers who, to their credit, allowed me to debate not just with classmates but with them as well, in the tumultuous days of Richard Nixon and Watergate. Mr. Kropp was first among them, writing in my yearbook to “Be Objective.” I took that to heart, and still do.  There was Mr. Steiner and Mr. Heidrick, challenging all of us to think of the other side of an issue.
I was lucky enough to go to Syracuse and the Newhouse School of Communications. To radio and TV jobs on the Eastern Shore, including having the Somerset County sheriff threaten to arrest me (and my cameraman) for taking video outside the decrepit jail, where inmates’ conditions were the subject of lawsuits. At that time, I also met my lovely wife, now of 40 years, Vickie.
Onto Scranton/Wilkes-Barre TV, which provided the chance to cover the fascinating story of Centralia, a coal town where a mine fire underneath prompted a vote on whether to relocate everyone. It’s still a tourist attraction, if you will. Our first daughter Carrie came along then.
The chance to report in Washington was a dream come true. It is a privilege that I still get the chance (and a thrill) to get newsmakers to make news! Along the way, second daughter Katherine was born.
Decades in DC, for various TV and radio operations, allowed me to see Yasser Arafat on the South Lawn of the White House, try to make peace with Yitzhak Rabin of Israel; (luckily) be in the Roosevelt Room when Bill Clinton made his finger-wagging denial about Monica Lewinsky; march two-by-two with other journalists to get back to the White House for President Bush’s arrival on 9/11; and cover the Obama and Trump presidencies extensively, including flying on Air Force One.
There are three grandchildren now that provide wonderful balance, though I never really want to retire. Jump back to paragraph two as what I learned from those teachers sticks with me today, especially as a political reporter.