Contributor Spotlight: Gina Gallucci-White
What makes you a Gorilla?
When I traverse the roads of the county, I’m always reminded of a story I have covered. I’ve been in a swamp boat on the Potomac River, took a ride in a Maryland State Police helicopter, meandered through the woods around East Street before the bypass was there and stood in the freezing cold and unbearable heat on every major highway. These are some of my war stories and I tell them with pride.
What’s the best part about living in (or working in) Frederick County?
There is always something new and exciting to do. A person could fill up the calendar very easily and never have to repeat an activity. Plus, I enjoy that it’s not just Frederick that puts on events. Smaller towns like Brunswick, Thurmont and Walkersville have really wonderful events that the whole family can enjoy for little to no cost.
What or who inspired you to become a writer?
In high school, my passion was photography. I was the photo editor for the school’s yearbook for two years and really enjoyed taking pictures of sporting events. Wanting to stay close to home, I went to West Virginia University, but they didn’t have a photo major then. I wasn’t sure what to do until my English professor told me she thought I would be a good writer. I talked to some journalism professors and switched majors from visual art to journalism. For almost 10 years, I was a reporter for several news organizations covering a variety of different topics. My friend and mentor, the late Kate Leckie, encouraged me to become a freelance writer. She gave me the courage to try this line of work.
What’s your favorite story you’ve written for Frederick Gorilla and why?
I was a police reporter for almost five years, so I am really enjoying the profile I am writing for the June/July issue on Frederick Police Department Chief Tom Ledwell. He is very passionate about data-driven policing, which is using crime patterns to predict where criminals will strike next.
What one aspect of your craft do you like the most?
In order to write a story, you really have to know your subject matter. I get to cover such a wide variety of stories that I learn something new all the time. Someday this knowledge will pay off when I win on Jeopardy!
What’s the biggest misconception people have about writers?
Some people are so terrified of reporters. They don’t want to say anything, regardless of the critical or mundane subject matter. Most media representatives I have met are really wonderful people who just want to tell a truthful, well put together story. Are there some bad apples who don’t have a heart and/or have an agenda? Of course, but those are in the minority.
Share your thoughts about the state of journalistic publications like Frederick Gorilla. What value do they add to the community of readers that they serve?
So many times I will talk with friends and they will say, ‘I didn’t know X event was going on.’ Local media like Frederick Gorilla help to get the word out about so many interesting and wonderful local happenings. I didn’t know about the high wheel race until I read about it in Frederick Gorilla. I got to see the race and it was amazing.
Waving my magic wand, I would add a third northbound lane to I-270. Having only two lanes going into Frederick County still boggles my mind. I did a story for Frederick Gorilla on the prospect of adding a bus bypass lane [August/September 2012 issue]. Everyone I spoke to was in favor of the proposal.
What’s your favorite hidden treasure in Frederick County?
The C&O Canal Towpath in Point of Rocks is fun to walk or bike on — especially in the spring or fall. What I really enjoy is seeing the train tunnel along the path. The keystone reads 1902. I get excited seeing a 21st-century diesel train still using a tunnel dating back to Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency.
Where can we find you online?
Facebook: Gina Gallucci White
LinkedIn: Gina Gallucci White