The part that is the most disturbing is the people who used to be sane have now completely gone off the rails. I am speaking of the Democratic Party.
The Gentlemen Ranters site is a brilliant compendium of reminiscences of the great days of Fleet Street. Nelli died instantly, Brian the following day.
Sometimes, if he knew I had the day off, he would take me along. It was an eye-opener. He introduced me to crooks, thugs, gangsters, members of the Sweeny and to tarts the type we have heard about, with hearts of gold.
In the central glove box of the Alpine he kept a shiny commando dagger. He knew how to use it, he said; he had been in the Parachute Regiment.
Good God, I thought, more than once. This is what I joined for When he was working on Rachmanism the Mirror provided him with a minder called I think Freddie The White Eagle Of Poland, who had been banned as a wrestler for biting off the ear of an opponent.
Freddie just stroked his head and asked what he could possibly have done to upset her. He came back from the India-Pakistan War carrying his Olivetti Lettera 22 and showed me the candle stub still stuck to the casing.
A trickle of blood ran through the wax and into the typewriter keys. He explained that he had used it in the trenches, often at night, to type his accounts from the front line.
And in the half-century that has followed we have stayed in touch. I never met anybody who mentored and encouraged young reporters in the way that Hitch did. He only once expressed anger with me. I was gangly and probably stone, soaking wet. He had spent most of his career as a high-voltage by-line on the Daily Mirror, the tabloid bestseller among the nationals, putting in a stint in its New York bureau where he met [Brian] Vine, then the Express bureau chief there.
Hitchen had been a newspaperman since he was fifteen and at thirty-six could hardly be taken for anything else except, perhaps, because of his pink and white north-of-England skin and a tonsured semicircle of invincible hair, a recently defected, rather depraved friar.
But that would necessitate ignoring the broken nose from his time in the Parachute Regiment and the overspill at his belt that commemorates years of dedicated expense account encounters in the pursuit of professional wisdom.
He knew who to call, when and where to call them and how to get them to say what he wanted to hear. He could talk into a telephone without being overheard by someone sitting three feet away and hold a conversation at a bar without having his lips read.
He never forgot a name or a face and never threw away a telephone number.
His encounters with ordinary people had left them sometimes saddened, sometimes joyful or relieved, sometimes in terrible trouble. He had known long nights and cold doorsteps, and a lot of foul and makeshift food in his day. He was decent now and a good mentor to those he sent out to endure them in their turn When the Mirror sent him to New York, he needed to start an entirely new contacts book and it surprised none of his friends that most of the new surnames in it ended in vowels.
He came home to join the news desk before being enticed to the Express and stayed with the group long enough to add Mohammed Al-Fayed, Jimmy Goldsmith and Margaret Thatcher to his close contacts.The Mars Science Laboratory and its rover centerpiece, Curiosity, is the most ambitious Mars mission yet flown by NASA.
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Parachute journalism and rural America’s revenge AUTHOR’S NOTE: Below is an essay I first published for The Ochberg Society, a now-defunct grassroots group of journalists who cover trauma, upon the publication of FACTORY MAN in The Gentlemen Ranters site is a brilliant compendium of reminiscences of the great days of Fleet Street.
– The Times s HITCH Brian Hitchen and his wife Nelli were both killed after being hit by a car while walking along the pavement in Altea, Spain, on December 1.
A commercial spacecraft scheduled to ferry humans to the International Space Station underwent a successful parachute test in New Mexico last month, according to NASA. In journalism, a stringer is a freelance journalist, photographer, or videographer who contributes reports, photos, or videos to a news organization on an ongoing basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work..
As freelancers, stringers do not receive a regular salary and the amount and type of work is typically voluntary. However, stringers often have an ongoing.