Thursday, September 23, 2010


Some things will never change like the three cent stamp and nickel cup of coffee. There are eight newspapers in Gotham and that’s the way it will always be. In my previous incarnation I’d just been taken on as a cub reporter for the World Telegram, learning the ropes from Pops. I’d been around the block a few times; even pulled a few strings but that’s nothing like knowing the ropes. Some guys seem like they’ve always known them. Me, I just get tied up in knots.

My big break came when old Pops’ eye went jaundiced from too many idols under the pedestal. He knew he was washed up when he lost the pencil on his ear racing to the nearest phone booth.

They had me covering the trial of the century. When the surprise witness broke down under relentless cross-examining the case was blown open. I bolted from the courtroom for the bank of phones and got the cigarette out of my mouth in time to scoop my rivals. I knocked the Lindbergh kidnapping off the front page and hit the street before the News, Mirror, Post, Times, Herald , Sun and Journal American.

My coverage gave the cigar-smoking city editor a raise and made the pipe-smoking publisher a shoo-in for D.A. Next stop for him was a seat in the Governor’s mansion. What we needed most downtown was an honest public servant to drive away the corruption from uptown.

Trouble was my middle name and I had the nose for it. With some late-night research in the archives under a forty watt bulb I discovered that the governor's wife had been put away ever since he threw her down the stairs when she caught him in a compromising position. I found the poor woman in a rest home on the other side of town registered under Jane Doe Ramey. With a little sweet talk I got her to spill the beans even in her comatose state.

But I can explain everything, the governor said as they cuffed him and hauled him away.I knocked off 500 words and had my second scoop. This time with a by-line. That and two bits would get you a BLT down, coffee and keep the change.

1 comment:

  1. I remember each of the seven and the Brooklyn Eagle and Bronx Home News. The News and Mirror were two cents.
    I read those papers from back to front not because I'm Jewish but a Yankee fan.

    Well written piece my friend. Those days are gone forever. . . Alas.