A lifelong newsman looks back as he approaches 80
BY ALBERT AMATEAU | When did it start? Age 3 going on 4, stomping through half-empty house, shouting, “Where’s my printing set?” Gave explicit instructions to mother and father not to forget it in the move from Kings Highway, Brooklyn to Utopia Parkway, Queens. Don’t remember finding it.
Copy boy, World Telegram & Sun (125 Barclay St. 1952?). Made friends with fellow copy boy a few years older who lived on Avenue A, Allen Ginsberg. He carried around a library book about the Mayans and said he was going to Yucatan to see the ruins, then hang out with friends in San Francisco.
Ginsberg tells me about visiting Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeth’s asylum in Washington, D.C. Shows me a typescript of his own poems with a short blurb by William Carlos Williams. I show him a poem I had written with some not-very-good rhymes. His critique: “Forget that tired crap.”
Copy boy on New York Post (75 West St., 1956?), working midnight-to-8 a.m. shift: July 25, 1956, city room frantic. Andrea Doria bound for New York collides off Nantucket with outbound Swedish-American liner Stockholm.
“[Post publisher] Dorothy Schiff’s grandson and ex-daughter-in-law, [film actress] Ruth Roman are aboard. Look for them. Take a copy boy with you,” says night city editor to man on rewrite desk, who takes me.
We do not find Ruth Roman. She lands the next day, rescued by the Ile de France. Her son, Richard Hall, 3, arrives July 27 aboard the Stockholm, which came in under her own power.
Andrea Doria capsized and sank, 1,660 rescued, about 50 were lost, including fi