sweeter still when one of the people is a son of a gun with no fear no pity and nothing but guns blazing from his poison pen.
mike royko, its been stated here before, is my newspaper hero. hes the reason i wanted to write for my college rag and who i drew inspiration from in the pursuit of blogging every day.
when i first learned of the windy city legend he was writing for the chicago sun-times, otherwise known as the paper White Sox fans got.
the chicago tribune, naturally, is what the educated read.
in our school library were racks of magazines and newspapers. i would go into the library every day and take the paper into the corner desk and read and smile, secretly, at the joyous writing royko threw down each and every day.
at some point he got mad at the sun times and moved across the street to the tribune where he wrote until he died.
while i college i was an ok opinion columnist but i aspired to write every day. i remember clearly being told that no one could write well every day. so i wrote for Sports one day, wrote for News the next, wrote for Arts the day after, then wrote a column for the opinion page the next, and made out with a hippy girl on the fifth day because i was told what i was told.
jk i wrote my ass off every day several times a day because i saw royko pull it off and i knew it was possible. great training for when i went to LAist and was asked to write 6-7 times a day and saw Jen Chung do more than that at Gothamist.
the closest thing LA has to Royko is Steve Lopez who got to meet the legend way back when, and in his piece about Royko’s new book of love letters to his wife he said pretty much what i heard way back when.
“His only advice was that I not write too many [columns a week], because although it’s a terrific job, it can wear you down,” Lopez recalled.
fortunately Lopez didnt take the advice. he writes several times a week and each one is solid and usually funny.
in his piece about the book of love letters (edited by the son of a gun’s son) it’s obvious that Royko didnt take his own advice neither. when the moment strikes, like being in love, or having a vibrant city to inspire you, the words flow.
Royko reached for his pen and went after Carol with a fever, displaying the same level of pursuit he would later employ in chasing bureaucrats and political hacks. He confessed his feelings in March 1954 — “I’ve been in love with you so long, I don’t know when it started” — and wrote like he was on fire for months.
“Sure it’s possible for two people to fall in love that fast,” he wrote in May of that year. “Three months? I fell in love with you in three minutes and I couldn’t have been more than 12.”
Even after he won over Carol, and she accepted his proposal in September 1954, Royko kept pursuing her as if she might have a change of heart. Distance made his heart beat faster, and it’s interesting, isn’t it, that a guy who would become known for such rugged self-assuredness was so tragically insecure?
The two things aren’t mutually exclusive, though, especially among journalists. The best ones are often brimming with both confidence and self-doubt, their edge rooted in that conflict.
see? bro can write. and when you can write you should write all the damn time.
you should do the same thing regarding kissing, laughing, and rocking.