ticker memories


Last fall, as my wife and I motored from our home on Long Island to Florida for "the season" (the winter, not to do the social thing in Palm Beach), we arranged to see a colleague from my halcyon days at The Ticker. We had been in touch over the years, just as I have been in touch with several denizens of that tiny office on the ninth floor of the building at 23rd and Lex. It was Jerry Greenberg, who was already established as a columnist when I ventured into that den of dishabille. By that time, Jerry was writing a column for The Ticker after a stint as editor in chief. I can't for the life of me remember any of his columns, but I do recall the title, which I still believe is the best title for a column ("Stew's Views" anyone?) of any I have ever seen: "Local to 23d Street." For you subway denizens, doesn't that say it all?

Jerry greeted me with a picture taken during a horsing-around session with the late (and long-lamented) Larry Schiff and another eager-eyed freshman (that is one of the few pictures of me with hair—so I treasure it). It is but one vignette of an extracurricular activity that led to my lifetime career in journalism (45 years at the New York Times) and journalism education (16 years at City College, 15 years at New York University). The other friends I met in the Ticker office—Wally Nathan, Ruth Cohen Perelson, Dick Kwartler, Dick Rustin, Morty Horwitz, Steve Schatt, Sam Perelson, Bob Nadel, Rich Gurian, Arthur Haberman, Ed Sullivan, Thelma Rosenblum—are people I see regularly or hear about, directly and indirectly, after lo these many years. They helped shape my political thinking, my social and intellectual experiences, and my career choices. Steve Schatt and Dick Kwartler joined me in journalism school, Steve emerging as No. 1 in the class, Dick winning the award as best reporter. The others forged successful careers in business, law, and academic life.

If this is the year of The Ticker's 75th anniversary, let me put in a word for the 25th, when we prepared a special anniversary edition. We came up with what we thought was a brilliant slogan: "Twenty-five years of responsible freedom." That credo lasted for several years.

A life forged at The Ticker, ably abetted by my wife, Susan, who holds an honorary press card. What sweet memories!