Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fact Checking

Today I got another call from Jordan, the fact checker from GQ, who wanted to get some final details cleared up for my story. He called after I had just left a real estate office of an agent who I am trying to do some business with (if you didn't already know, I am a mortgage banker) and was on my way to pick up my kids from their school.

As I have been going through the process of having a major story being written about my life, I am somewhat surprised at how thoroughly the fact checkers go through a story to make sure so many of the details are correct. Jordan talked with my father (the Nigerian one) three time while he was visiting the States, each time for an hour or so. He also has spoken to my mother (California), my parents (Omaha), my wife, my sister Uju in Lagos, my brother Nnadozie in Orlu, my brother Chibuzo in Abuja, and my Aunt in California.

He was making sure that names were spelled correctly, events were in the right order, and going through every detail of the story to make sure that everything was factual. In fact, I even learned a few things due to the process. For example, ever since high school, when I began telling other people that I was adopted, I always said that I was three years old when my parents brought me into their family.

However in talking to my parents, Jordan was told that I was adopted when I was four years old. Seems like a minor detail, but I now remember that I was already four. Now that I look back, I see where that is right. My fourth birthday was the same day that Martin Luther King got shot, and now I remember that I was still at the foster home in Dubuque when those reports were on the television. I didn't really understand the situation that well at the time but I knew that Dr. King was an important man and that many people were sad. I also know that my fifth birthday was at my new home in Omaha.

Anyway- back to the fact checking. I have spoken with Jordan about five different times- three times for about an hour to ninety minutes, and the last couple of times for ten to fifteen minutes or so. He says that the layout is almost complete (including the layout) which means that after over a year, and three postponements, IT IS REALLY GOING TO RUN!!! (O.K. It's going to be the June issue, not May. But- at least it is finally going to run!)

I can't wait to see what it is going to look like.

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