Pete Hamill courtesy Wikipedia

The one and only time I worked with an honest-to-god legend in my career as an ink-stained wretch was when, for a brief period in the 1990s, Pete Hamill was editor in chief of the New York Daily News, and I was an editor on the national desk. I didn’t interact with Pete much; he was, understandably, primarily focused on coverage of the city, the tabloid’s raison d’etre. I do recall coming in late to work one morning at the paper’s old West 33rd Street headquarters. Speed-walking down the corridor lined with famous Daily News front pages, I suddenly found Pete next to me, headedRead More →


I’ve slogged away in many newsrooms over the years but the very first one I ever worked in was at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where, in the early 1980s, students published a plucky little weekly paper punningly titled the Parkside Ranger. It was there that I met Rick Luehr. Rick was a gangly and bespectacled young man who would have been quite tall had he not had a perpetual stoop, this due to the fact that he had lost the use of his legs at a young age and was left to make his way through the world on crutches or, later, a wheelchair. TheRead More →

Stock photo

The other day, I went on a road trip. Not too far, just a couple of hours across a stretch of the vast east-west expanse we call Pennsylvania, a journey from the burbs north of Philly to Hershey, where my students, journalism majors at Bucks County Community College, would attend a luncheon to receive the awards they’d won, in a statewide competition, for their work on the college newspaper. On the drive, I got a chance to catch up with a student I hadn’t seen in a few months, one who had transferred recently to Temple University. James, I’ll call him, has one of thoseRead More →