Houston contingent at The Washington Post sent doughnuts to the Chronicle today
On Thursday, 40 or 50 journalists in the newsroom at the Houston Chronicle smiled at the same time.
After days of covering Hurricane Harvey and the flood waters that have inundated Houston, those smiles came, of course, from food.
"It was sort of a moment of elation," said Managing Editor Vernon Loeb. "I sent out a note saying 'The Washington Post doughnuts have arrived,' and there was just this moment. A smile erupted on everyone's faces simultaneously and everyone got up from their desks simultaneously and headed for the doughnuts."
Those Washington Post doughnuts came from a group of staffers there who call Houston home.
David Fahrenthold emailed Loeb on Wednesday afternoon.
Hey, Dave here from the Post. I just wanted you to be on the lookout: the Houstonians here at the Post (me, Doug Wong, Amy Wang, Krissah Thompson, Janell Ross, Gabe Hiatt and others) took up a collection to send your newsroom an order of 20 dozen doughnuts and 6 dozen kolaches from Shipley’s. They’re supposed to be delivered to 4747 Southwest Freeway at . I gave the Shipley’s people your name...
What your staff has done over the last week – during the most trying time in our hometown’s history -- has been nothing short of astounding. This is a small gesture of admiration, appreciation and awe. Keep it up!
The majority of the Chronicle's journalists are still out reporting the story of what's happening in that city. But on Thursday, those in the newsroom got to share in a tradition that often comes when tough news hits a city – a show of support, through food, from another newsroom that's been there.
— Vernon Loeb (@LoebVernon) August 31, 2017
— Rachael Gleason (@rachaelgleason) August 31, 2017
— Maggie Gordon (@MagEGordon) August 31, 2017
That moment of elation almost didn't happen though.
Late Wednesday night, as he worked on rewrite of a Harvey story, the Houston donut shop called Fahrenthold with some bad news. His credit card had been rejected.
His wife got an alert from AmEx saying a charge from 'Shipley Bissonnet' in Texas had been denied, he told Poynter in an email.
It may be too late, the catering manager said when Fahrenthold called, and the delivery would have to be rescheduled for Friday.
"I called Roz Helderman, another Post reporter, and frantically directed her to call this cellphone number in Texas and give her credit-card number to the man who answered," Fahrenthold said. "Thankfully, it worked."
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Fahrenthold's wife denied the donut charge. He tells us he got the story wrong. She got a text that the charge had been denied, She did not deny it herself. He regrets the error.