I saw Lucky Guy last night, and it reminded me how much I loved newspapering. Every day was a new day. The quiet ones were the worst. But even then, you knew the phone could ring any second and change everything.
I got a 1 a.m. call that Billy had referred to Reggie and George with the immortal words, “One’s a born liar, the other’s convicted.” I was there when the managing editor, Vinnie Musetto, told the metropolitan editor, Marc Kalech, that the Challenger launch would get 12 inches or so on Page 13, “and let me know if it crashes.” I was there for Headless Body in Topless Bar.
I inhaled way too much second-hand smoke and saw way too many reporters perform miracles under the influence of way too much alcohol. But the competition between The Post and The Daily News was thrilling.
I was night sports editor at The Post when McAlary and Drury were reporters, and I did not know how much both wanted to cover the city. McAlary wanted to be Breslin. Drury wanted to be Hunter Thompson.
McAlary came much closer. So happy that he won the Pulitzer, so sad that he died so young.
They were great days, and they’re gone now. But I was there when they were great, and nobody can take that away from me.