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Olympic mysteries – Part 2

All right, this one is a bit nutty, but in British writer David Hughston’s first young adult mystery, “Gold Medal Saboteurs,” a race of talking bears is set to take over the London Olympics. Really, talking bears. But they look like humans. So says Hughston. Hairy humans, probably. Anyway, Scotland Yard has received a tip [...]

Olympic mysteries – Part 1

Sports writer John Feinstein’s brought out his latest young adult mystery, “Rush for the Gold,” in time for the summer Olympics. He again teams up his junior detectives, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol, only this time Carol is swimming for gold at the London Olympics. Thomas is there as a sports reporter, covering the games [...]

Lies, damn lies, and newspaper stories – Part 5

Small towns scramble to get something or build something or develop something that will make them distinctive, that will make people – tourists – want to come there and spend money. I pondered that when I was a columnist for the Douglas County News-Press, out there in Colorado, on the front range of the Rocky [...]

Lies, damn lies, and newspaper stories – Part 4

My first job with a real newspaper, the Douglas County News-Press in Castle Rock, Colorado, was as a general assignment reporter. Eventually, I picked up the education beat because I had been a school teacher in a previous life, and, truth be told, none of the other reporters wanted to sit in on those long [...]

Lies, damn lies, and newspaper stories – Part 3

John Blankenship had the desk next to mine in the bullpen at the Beckley, West Virginia, Register-Herald. He was a fine feature writer. Loved interviewing people who were a bit off-beat, slightly wacky and eccentric. Sometimes, John would invite them into the office and interview them at his desk, scribbling away at his notepad as [...]

Lies, damn lies, and newspaper stories – Part 2

I worked for the Beckley, West Virginia, Register-Herald, in the early 1980s. We had just gotten a new ski resort south of town, Winterplace, on what we called Flat Top Hill and the developers called Flat Top Mountain. We had lots of snow that winter, so I thought it would be good to do a [...]

Lies, damn lies, and newspaper stories – Part 1

James Thurber (1894-1961) – does anybody remember who he was? – was a newspaper reporter before he got a job with The New Yorker and won fame and fortune with his wildly funny cartoons and short stories. Thurber got his start with his hometown newspaper, the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, but for the story I want [...]

Colorado spawns great writers – Part 5

I wanted to write novels like James Michener (1907-1997) . . . big, sprawling sagas. He was such a fine storyteller, gifted to be able to shift through mountains of research to find the good stuff that would infuse his books with reality . . . people, places, and actions. By the time I wrote [...]

Colorado spawns great writers – Part 4

By golly, here we come with another Colorado writer who was not a Coloradan, Hunter Thompson (1937-2005), the father of Gonzo journalism. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937. He made Colorado his home in 1967, settling in Woody Creek, outside of Aspen. A couple years later, he ran for sheriff of Pitkin County [...]

Colorado spawns great writers – Part 3

I became familiar with T.R. Reid through his commentaries on NPR’s Morning Edition, light stuff first from London and Tokyo where he was the bureau chief for the Washington Post in those capitals, then from Washington, and later from Denver, his hometown, where he continues to live and now works as a film documentarian. As [...]