The Feinstein Announcement

from Reporter’s Note Book by Duffy Jennings, to be published June 2019.


Dianne Feinstein’s Announcement

I duck back into the Chronicle bureau office just across the hall from the supervisors’ offices. I call the city desk to check in.

“Word is Moscone and a supervisor, maybe Harvey Milk, are both dead,” I blurt to Hemp in short breaths, heart thumping in my chest. “It’s not confirmed … no suspect yet … the shooter might still be here … we can’t get into the mayor’s or supes’ offices … it’s total chaos. We’re still waiting for some official word.”

Just as I hang up, Sandy Zane pokes his head in the press room door, shouting:

“Announcement in the hall in five minutes!”

I elbow my way into the crush of news people and others stampeding up the ornate marble stairs beneath the city hall rotunda. The enormity of it all is finally starting to sink in. A double assassination.

At that moment, Dianne Feinstein, forty-five years old and in her eighth year on the board, emerges from her office. She is smartly dressed in a royal blue jacket and skirt and a white blouse with a white scarf knotted around her neck. She is flanked closely by San Francisco Police Chief Charles Gain in a business suit on one side and by her aide, Peter Nardoza, on the other. The two men are practically holding her up. 

Feinstein stops at the top of the stairwell, ashen-faced, staring straight ahead. I can’t remember ever seeing a more horrified expression, on her or anyone else. Looking over the anxious group of reporters in front of her, it seems like Feinstein fixes her gaze directly on me, her eyes drilling into mine as if we’re having a private meeting. Months later I will learn that’s exactly what she’s doing.


© 2019 by Duffy Jennings. All Rights Reserved.

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"Word is Moscone and a supervisor, maybe Harvey Milk, are both dead. It’s not confirmed ... no suspect yet ... the shooter might still be here ... "