So we were a tad scatterbrained on Friday and forgot entirely to post the second weekly installment of Old School Odes, in which we (and you!) remember The Press The Way It Was. We apologize heartily for neglecting our elders. Last week our inbox was flooded with the smells, sights and sounds of journalism's Golden Age. We've never seen the word 'fedora' quite so many times. We also got a good serving of cranky Si Newhouse stories and heard some whacked-out altweekly shit from the 1970s for which we have zero proof, but it involved crack cocaine and who can resist a good crack-cocaine-in-the-newsroom story. After the jump, our favorites from your nostalgia. Thanks to all who wrote in-keep them coming!
- "The elderly S.I. Newhouse once tried to heave a manual typewriter at me in a fit of anger. Unable to move it very far, he followed up with a glass ashtry." -Truculent
- "I worked for a managing editor known for his drunken incomprehensible rages, which I had never seen. My second day at the newspaper I came in to find a young woman, a job applicant, waiting for this ME, who was as usual late. When he staggered in and found her, she smiled and introduced herself, and he said, "You cunts are all alike," and threw up on the floor. I didn't doubt the stories after that. This was the same ME who kept pictures of attractive women in his desk, and liked to show them off. One day my fellow reporter was in there talking and he pulled out a pretty blond and was clucking and kissing and making the usual comments about her, and my friend got out of there as fast as he could, because the blonde, of course, was his wife." -R.L.
- "My copy editor was a million year old WWII Navy vet with one leg and blurry arm tats. About my third week, I wrote that John Wayne was in a film, only, he wasn't. The editor called me up and said, at the top of his two-packs-of-Camels-a-day-seared lungs: 'If you fucking write Empire State Building, stick your fucking head out the window and MAKE SURE IT'S STILL THERE!'" -D.M.
- "Back in the somewhat-realish altweekly days (before New Times bought it all up) we did a piece on how easy it would be to buy crack in certain neighborhoods, timing each one (I think 12 minutes was the fastest for a nerdy-looking white kid). To prove that we had indeed secured real crack, we had to test it in the newsroom. This was also a newsroom where our editor, 6'3", 250-plus, would take us out and demand that we do multiple shots of Jim Beam with him, calling us "fucking pussies" if we started to slump after six or seven. We even had to figure out how to expense it. Accounting sent it back several times." -M.B.