Talking to the People Behind the Story (because it happens….)

On my first day as an intern at Film@11, I transcribed an interview—a really long interview—with an IDF reservist named Ronen Hershkovitz. This was for a program that aired on PBS in July, and I remember thinking, “This is definitely one of those intimidating IDF soldiers.” I saw the pictures of him on the battlefield in uniform, yelling at high school students, getting irritated with my correspondent (and boss). I mentioned this one day to the correspondent, who told me that Hershkovitz used to be a camp counselor in the Poconos. I started laughing—this guy wasn’t like any camp counselor I’d ever seen. But then, I did go to music camp.

I pretty much laughed at the idea of “camp counselor” Hershkovitz for the last six weeks. And then, on my final day in the office, I got a phone call.

I thought it was the US Navy calling me back for a story (and hey, guys, I’m still waiting for that call). But then I realized whose voice it was.

That’s right. Ronen Hershkovitz. Finally I got to speak to the man I’d seen and heard all summer long—and luckily for me, he was calling to tell me I had done a good job.

Halfway through the call, I finally remembered to ask him a question: was he really a camp counselor?

Indeed, he was. In fact, he went on at great length about it.

"To see my favorite Clickable, go to 'Reporting for Duty' and check out 'Crazy Mr. Hershkovitz'!"

For the record, I still think I would’ve been scared to have him as my camp counselor, but it turned out the real guy behind the uniform wasn’t too scary after all.

Just kidding, Ronen—you actually scare the hell out of me. ---Connor Kiesel