09/25/13 10:23am
09/25/2013 10:23 AM

MAttituck Laurel Floyd Memorial Library

Voters approved both Floyd Memorial Library’s $991,772 budget and Mattituck-Laurel Free Library’s $1.3 million spending plan by wide margins Tuesday.

Floyd Memorial Library director Lisa Richland said the 2014 budget, which carries a projected 5 percent tax rate increase, passed by a vote of 185 to 37. Broken down by school district, she said Greenport School District voters approved the budget 138 to 24 and voters in the Oysterponds School District approved the budget 47 to 13.

Mattituck-Laurel Free Library officials said the 2014 spending plan, which carries a 2.2 percent tax rate increase for 2014, passed by a vote of 99 to 16.

Over in Greenport, Ms. Richland has said the library’s board of directors decided to override the state-mandated allowable rate of 1.6 percent in order to create a budget that supports services and staff.

In addition to personnel expenses, she said the part-time teen librarian who replaced a full-time staffer last year will work full-time in 2014.

In Greenport, East Marion and Orient, the total tax increase for a homeowner with property assessed at $6,000 would be about $10 next year, Ms. Richland said.

Ms. Richland said library taxes remained flat from 2009 to 2011 and the average tax rate over the past six years has been 2.7 percent. The library has also applied fund balance to offset the tax rate during that time. Last year, the library transferred its remaining $7,518 reserves into the budget.

She said the approved 2014 spending plan reflects a 3.8 percent increase over the current budget and will support current programing and digital services, such as Zinio Digital Magazines, a service that allows patrons to read digital copies of their favorite magazines on their tablet, computer or mobile device.

Ms. Richland said although digital use has increased, the library is committed to funding printed materials for the district’s older population, which prefers traditional copies over new digital reading devices, and will continue loaning materials at the Orient Country Store.

Mattituck-Laurel Free Library director Kay Zegel has said the library was able to secure additional savings recently through refinancing its debt, which reduced the interest rate for the library’s 1999 capital bond project from 6 percent to 3.5 percent over the remaining five years of the loan.

In both Mattituck and Laurel, she said, the total tax increase for a homeowner with property assessed at $6,000 will be about $9.36 next year.

Ms. Zegel said the 2014 spending plan reflects a 2.1 percent increase over the current budget and will support new programing launched this year, including a digital scan center and technology that converts VHS tapes into DVDs. The library also plans to offer Zinio, one-on-one appointments with a technology specialist and continuing education classes.

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07/21/13 12:00pm
07/21/2013 12:00 PM

CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | Southold Free Library employee David VanPopering with one of the fishing poles residents can check out.

In recent years, libraries have become much more than just places to borrow books. Patrons have also become accustomed to checking out music and movies and attending classes at their local library.

Still, there are a few things you might not even know your library offers. For example, all Suffolk County libraries accept cards from any library in the county, so feel free to visit the other book lenders if you’re interested. Keep in mind, though, that each library may have its own restrictions about lending items to non-residents.

Here are some unique possibilities available to you at libraries across the North Fork. Some of these features are available in multiple locations, so call ahead to your own local library to see if they offer a similar program or service.

Floyd Memorial Library, Greenport, 477-0660

If you want to exercise your mind, Floyd Memorial allows patrons to take out jigsaw puzzles. It also has a slide projector for rental and a large graphic novel collection in its book section.

Recently, the library established a digital magazine collection so cardholders can read a variety of magazines for free right on their computers. Also, for Orient residents who don’t want to travel to Greenport to check out books, the reference librarian sets up a “pop up” library at the Orient Country Store twice a month with a selection of books to choose from.

Southold Free Library, 765-2077

Patrons of Southold Free Library can use their library cards to borrow Kindles, iPads and Nooks and enjoy reading in a more modern way. Another option that’s uncommon among libraries is that Southold offers fishing poles to take out.

“It’s an idea I came up with last summer,” library director Caroline MacArthur said. “We live in a summer community so it’s perfect for out here.”

The tablets and fishing poles, however, are available only to Southold library cardholders.

The library’s computers are loaded with the Ancestry Plus program, which allows patrons to look up their family history and trace their genealogy for free.

Patrons can also purchase tickets to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead at a discounted $14. And for anyone in Southold or Peconic who is unable to make it to the library in person, there are volunteers who will deliver books to them.

Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library, 734-6360

The Cutchogue library also has a homebound program, but rather than deliver books in person it does so by mail to anyone who cannot visit the library. Through “live-brary,” the cooperative website of all Suffolk County libraries, Cutchogue also offers the Mango language-learning program. There is a wide variety of choices on the website, but if you’d rather not learn online, Cutchogue also holds an Italian conversation class every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. during July.

There is also a new service on the library’s website called Indieflix, which allows patrons to stream films from independent festivals. There are also iPads available for use within the library.

Mattituck-Laurel Library, 298-4134

The Mattituck library is a designated Family Place Library, offering many services for both children and adults. When school starts again, children going into preschool and kindergarten can borrow backpacks filled with DVDs, books and other materials to help them prepare for the new school experience. Educational toys are also available for children to check out and there are laptops and iPads that can be used in the library’s children’s room. New parents can pick up an Infant Kit filled with materials and information for parents of newborns.

Adult services include a library card smartphone app, which has the patron’s library barcode on it so there is no need to have a library card anymore. The library also offers free passes to nine different museums, including many in New York City.

Patrons can gain access to the program Freegal, which downloads songs, for no charge, and Zinio, which provides free online subscriptions to magazines.

Riverhead Free Library, 727-3228

There is a whole section of the Riverhead library’s website dedicated just to the services it offers. In the library building itself there is a book and magazine magnifier for the sight-impaired, a self-checkout machine for checking materials out quickly, and multiple rooms that can be reserved for no charge by any non-profit organization or group.

Riverhead also offers museum passes at their reference desk and has volunteers that deliver materials to those who need it.

North Shore Public Library, Wading River, 929-4488

North Shore Public Library offers tons of fun for kids — there are Nooks for checkout, iPads for library use and even video games that kids can borrow for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox.

For older audiences, the library offers discounted subscriptions to the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic, with transportation available to and from the library. Museum passes are also available for borrowing.

Patrons at each of these libraries can manage their library account online. After opening an account you can reserve and renew books, pay fines and view the history of books checked out.

Visit live-brary.com for access to all the information and services from libraries in Suffolk County, and check out each library’s own website for newsletters featuring the many programs for children, teens and adults that are hosted all summer long.

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06/15/13 11:55am
06/15/2013 11:55 AM

CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | Anne Arnold catalogs a newspaper at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport Monday.

If you’ve visited Greenport’s Floyd Memorial Library on a Monday afternoon in the past decade, you might recognize Anne Arnold.

Every Monday from noon to 3 p.m. the 88-year-old volunteer sits at her desk on the bottom floor of the library and catalogs materials to be preserved in its historical archives.

While that may seem a tedious task to some, Ms. Arnold says there’s never a typical Monday for her.

“That’s what makes it exciting,” she said. “It’s my favorite thing to do and there’s a lot to be done.”

Making the task even more challenging is that the lifelong librarian is legally blind and cannot read normal size text. In order to see the materials and documents, she uses the library’s “reader” — a machine that magnifies text up to 75 percent and displays it on a computer screen.

Ms. Arnold says that although the process can slow her down, the reader keeps her from being dependent on other people.

The historic collection at Floyd Memorial Library covers the hamlets of Greenport, East Marion and Orient and, due to space limitations, Ms. Arnold must save only information from the three areas the library serves.

“I look through local stuff, like newspapers, and find what is written about the villages,” she said. “Then I select the things that aren’t going to be found anywhere else 50 to 100 years from now.

“It’s a bit of a gamble. I have to figure out what people will want to know about and what they won’t be able to find anywhere else,” she said.

This past Monday, for example, Ms. Arnold filed a Suffolk Times article about a local synagogue. Other examples of what she’s chosen to file are articles about the history of Greenport Village and photos of Indian carvings that the library recently had on display. She says these things are integral to local history.

“50 years from now, no one will be able to find that anywhere,” she said. “We save the things that are going to be lost.”

Ms. Arnold insists that she isn’t a historian, nor is she competing with local historical societies. Unlike those people and organizations, the library isn’t as worried about saving a physical artifact or piece of artwork.

“We’re preserving the information, that’s what’s important to us,” she explained, “not the original piece itself.”

After Ms. Arnold decides on something to be saved, she places either the original document or a photocopy in an acid-free paper protector and then files the material in the appropriate subject’s folder. This way, the material will last for years to come.

Ms. Arnold has been a librarian since she graduated from Brown University in 1950 and got a job in the college library there.

Coming full circle, her first job at Brown was also as a cataloger, indexing the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays.

After a few other jobs as a librarian, Ms. Arnold married and moved to East Marion in 1957.

She first worked part-time at Mattituck High School and then got a full-time position at Greenport High School, where she remained for 22 years.

After retiring, Ms. Arnold began volunteering at Floyd Memorial Library, where her daughter, Kathleen Richter, also a librarian, was the director. Ms. Richter now holds her mother’s former job as librarian at Greenport High School.

“At my age it’s nice to have a place to go where you’re appreciated,” Ms. Arnold said. “It keeps me mentally alert and busy doing something. It’s nice to get up and have a place to go.

“Next month I turn 89,” she said. “Catalogers are a dying breed nowadays and I’m perfectly content just puttering along here for as long as I still can.”

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04/01/13 3:00pm
04/01/2013 3:00 PM

An architect’s rendering for a section of the proposed Clark’s Beach power park.

What do Greenport Village residents think about turning Clark’s Beach into a center for alternative energy? They’ll get their chance to speak later this month.

The Village Board will hold the first of its community forums on the idea at the Floyd Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Last week the board gave Mayor David Nyce permission to pursue the idea he first floated in the fall. The mayor has suggested building a combination of wind and solar energy systems on the 8.7-acre Soundfront beach, which he said could make the village energy independent and stabilize residents’ electric bills.

The cost and methods of financing the project are both unknown. The board gave its verbal approval for Mr. Nyce to build public support and seek grant funds.

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10/04/12 12:00pm
10/04/2012 12:00 PM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Filmmaker Paul Stoutenburgh (from left) with students Thomas Spackman, Alex Mautarelli, Eddie Ward, Ella Watts-Gorman and Claire O’Kane at Friday’s film festival at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport.

A group of teenage students from the North Fork spent this past summer on a quest to create documentaries showcasing the area’s natural places and the threats they face.

Filmmaker Paul Stoutenburgh, grandson of the longtime Suffolk Times environmental columnist of the same name, led the program in conjunction with North Fork Audubon.

The films, which covered topics from piping plovers to plastic bags in the environment to the beauty of nature preserves, premiered at a film festival at Floyd Memorial Library on Sept. 28.

Mr. Stoutenburgh said he was excited by the collaborative talents of young filmmakers Claire O’Kane and Ella Watts-Gorman of McGann-Mercy High School, Thomas Spackman of Greenport High School, Eddie Ward of Southold High School and Alex Mautarelli of Mattituck High School, who were all on hand at the festival to talk about their works.

The students shot with a variety of cameras, from small Handycam hand-held cameras to GoPro underwater cameras, using stop-motion and animations in addition to on-location shoots at beaches and nature preserves all over the North Fork. They also became familiar with several different types of video editing software.

“That is the painstaking part,” Eddie Ward said.

Producing the video “Protecting our Piping Plovers” was also a painstaking process. The students needed to remain still, sometimes for hours on end, waiting for the small shorebirds to overcome their fear and show themselves in their nesting areas.

“It literally took hours, just sitting and waiting,” said Eddie. “People sometimes step on their eggs, not on purpose, but because they’re just so small.”

Another film, “Protecting Our Water Quality,” included underwater camera work at Cedar Beach in Southold and at Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic and interviews with environmentalists about what can be done to ensure the North Fork’s access to clean water.

A third video, “The Plastic Baginators,” chronicled the students’ attempts to rid the beaches of plastic bags, and their starting a petition on change.org and working with environmental groups to ask Southold Town to consider banning plastic bags.

“From the little town of Southold to the United States of America, we can surely make a difference,” said Ella.

The proposal to ban plastic bags was first floated by members of North Fork Audubon earlier this year and the Audubon group will screen a film called “Bag It” at Mattituck-Laurel Library on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. to help explain the dangers plastic bags pose to the marine environment.

“It’s a life-changing movie,” said Debra O’Kane, North Fork Audubon’s educational director, who attended the screening with her filmmaker daughter Claire. “We can start somewhere. The Village of Greenport would be a great place. We’re surrounded by water.”

Alex Mautarelli worked one-on-one with Mr. Stoutenburgh on two movies. The first, “A Bird’s Paradise,” was shot at North Fork Audubon’s headquarters on Inlet Pond in Greenport. He filmed the second, which he wasn’t quite through editing before the film festival, at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

“I had great slow motion shots. They were so good, I couldn’t believe it,” said Alex, who also chronicled his misadventures with Mr. Stoutenburgh at the refuge, where they spent time in the bobcat cage and got lost on the trails.

“We thought, we can figure it out. We’re professionals,” he said.

Mr. Stoutenburgh said he would like to run the program every summer, though he might be abroad next year.

“They are some of the most creative, artistic kids I’ve seen,” he said of his students.

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09/27/12 4:00pm
09/27/2012 4:00 PM

Voters said yes this week to the Floyd Memorial Library’s 2013 budget of $955,457, which is $808 higher than the current spending plan.

The vote Tuesday was 173 to 30. Since the library covers two separate school districts, Greenport and Oysterponds, separate ballots were required in each. Even so, the budget proposition still passed easily.

In Greenport the vote was 122 yes to 50 no, while in Oysterponds the results were 50 to 10.

The budget includes $924,798 to be raised from taxes, and an additional $30,659 from other sources, such as fees, gifts, interest and the library fund balance.

The tax increase is less than $1 per $1,000of assessed value, which for an average homeowner comes to an increase of less than $6 a year, according to the library.

12/08/11 9:00am
12/08/2011 9:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Tom Foster of Peconic checks out the books at the Orient Country Store which were provided by Floyd Memorial Library's traveling book program. Library assistant director Poppy Johnson stands by.

In most communities, borrowing a book means a trip to the local library. But Greenport’s Floyd Memorial Library is reversing that process for Orient residents by bringing the library — or at least part of it — to them.

Thanks to a cooperative arrangement between Floyd Memorial and the Orient Country Store, the store will host a mini-library about twice a month. Customers can add a novel or work of non-fiction when picking out a gallon of milk or a roast beef sandwich between 2 and 4 p.m. on alternate Wednesdays.

The program’s Nov. 16 launch was stymied by heavy rains, but the library returned on Nov. 30 and will be back again on Dec. 14, said library director Lisa Richland. With the holidays they’ll skip Dec. 28.

“I have wanted to do this outreach for a long time,” Ms. Richland said. She began the conversation with library board members about a year and a half ago, describing her deputy, Poppy Johnson, as “enormously excited about it.”

The library isn’t just the books and building, Ms. Richland said. It’s the information and “more and more, it’s a community center,” she said.

That’s exactly why store co-owner Miriam Foster liked the idea.

“I was extremely interested,” Ms. Foster said. She and her fiancé, Grayson Murphy, who bought the business from longtime owner Linton Duell last spring, envisioned it continuing to be “a community center.” During Mr. Duell’s time the store was a gathering place for conversation over coffee, breakfast sandwiches or any of the deli items available.

Ms. Foster has been delighting Orient residents with her baked goods for months.

“A book and a cookie — you can’t beat that,” she said of the outreach program. One library patron who had requested items from Floyd Memorial was able to have them delivered to Orient during the first week of what Ms. Richland called an experiment she hopes will continue and expand.

Some Orient residents find it difficult to drive to Greenport, Ms. Richland said. Making books, films, music and other media available in their own hamlet is an effort to better connect with the community, she said.

There are still some outreach program bugs to work out, but Ms. Richland is optimistic that what’s now a trial will eventually become routine.

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09/14/11 4:01pm
09/14/2011 4:01 PM

Voters in two library districts Tuesday said yes to 2012 budget proposals.

Floyd Memorial Library passed its $821,449 budget while Cutchogue New Suffolk Library’s budget of $1.45 million also received voter approval.

Greenporters voted 182 to 27 in favor of the Floyd Memorial Library budget and Orient and East Marion residents approved it by a vote of 45 to 18.

In Cutchogue, 104 voters said yes and 39 opposed the budget. The New Suffolk vote was 32 to 2.

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09/10/11 6:02am
09/10/2011 6:02 AM

Two North Fork library districts will put their budgets for next year to a vote next Tuesday.

Floyd Memorial Library, which serves Greenport, East Marion and Orient, is proposing a tax hike for the first time in three years.

Using money from its fund balance, the library board held the line in 2010 and 2011.

“We cannot continue to draw down our fund balance at this rate,” library director Lisa Richland said. But the proposed $821,449 budget does apply $20,671 from the fund balance to minimize the tax increase, she said.

If the budget passes, taxes would increase by 1.6 percent with a proposed tax rate of $30.59 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up from $29.14.

Greenport taxpayers would contribute $484,850 while those in East Marion and Orient would contribute $414,884. The balance comes from grants, fines and fees, contributions, interest and dividends and miscellaneous sources.

Ms. Richland and assistant library director Poppy Johnson have taken a pay freeze and other library staff members are receiving raises not to exceed 2 percent. Costs of fuel, health insurance and materials costs are increasing beyond the rate of inflation, Ms. Richland said.

During tropical storm Irene, Floyd Memorial had power and served people from Orient to Southold who were using library computers, plugging in their own laptops and recharging their cell phones.

“I was so thrilled to be able to offer that service,” Ms. Richland said.

Voting takes place at the library Tuesday between 2 and 8 p.m.

Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library is proposing a $1.45 million budget, with spending up 3.85 percent and takes up by 2.8 percent, said director Neely McCahey. Cutchogue residents’ share of the budget would rise from $1.19 million to $1.23 million. New Suffolk residents will vote on an increase from $166,491 to $171,152.

If the budget passes, a Cutchogue resident whose property is assessed at $5,000 would see an $11.34 increase in taxes, paying $363.63 in 2012, up from $352.29. A New Suffolk resident whose property is assessed at $5,000 would similarly see an $11.20 hike in taxes.

“The composition of the 2012 proposed operating budget was firmly guided by the economic climate facing our taxpayers and by our commitment to maintain the services, resources, materials, hours and staffing at a level our patrons have come to expect,” Ms. McCahey said.

To offset the tax hike, the library board voted to incorporate $31,000 for the fund balance in the 2012 spending plan.

Voting takes place at the library Tuesday, between 2 and 8 p.m.

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09/04/11 11:56pm
09/04/2011 11:56 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Sports writer and author Robert Lipsyte, foreground, and television producer and writer Ron Fried during a talk Sunday at the Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport.

For the record, Robert Lipsyte is not and never was a sports fan. That in itself would not be so unusual if he didn’t happen to be acclaimed as one of the greatest sports writers in American history.

A master at his craft? Most definitely.

A sports fan? “Not at all,” he said.

So, how does that happen? How does it happen that someone with virtually no sports background rises to the top in the sports writing profession?

Purely by accident, Lipsyte would tell you.

Thus, Lipsyte’s newly released memoir, “An Accidental Sportswriter.” The book, published by HarperCollins, is aptly named.

The accident part of this came in 1957 after Lipsyte graduated from college and was looking for a summer job. While perusing the classified ads in The New York Times, he saw a help wanted notice for an editorial assistant at the paper. Shortly after, Lipsyte was hired as a copy boy for the sports department, and one of the greatest careers in American sports journalism was launched.

Lipsyte spent 20 years at The New York Times, remaining in the sports department the whole time before leaving the paper in 1971 as a sports columnist. (He was replaced at the Times by Red Smith, “probably the finest stylist who ever wrote sports,” said Lipsyte). Later, Lipsyte returned to the Old Gray Lady, writing a column for the Times from 1991 to 2003.

In between those two periods with the Times, he did television work as a correspondent for CBS and NBC as well as winning an Emmy as host of WNET/Thirteen’s “The Eleventh Hour” in the late 1980s. Ron Fried, a television producer and writer, called Lipsyte the “hardest-working and most even-tempered host I’ve ever worked for in my life.”

Lipsyte has straddled two writing worlds as a journalist and as a fiction writer. He has written many books. Not counting his latest work, Lipsyte’s web site lists 12 young adult novels, seven books for adults, seven young adult non-fiction works, three young adult short stories and seven essays for educators. His writings have brought him numerous awards, including the runner-up for Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 1992.

But Lipsyte never really left sports writing. “I always kept coming back,” he said.

Currently, Lipsyte does an op-ed column for USA Today and writes for a web site run by The Nation as well as bleacherreport.com.

Lipsyte, who maintains a residence in Shelter Island with his wife, Lois, may be best known for his work in sports writing. It was a career that nearly got sidetracked barely after it started.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Robert Lipsyte signed copies of his new book, "An Accidental Sportswriter."

Lipsyte did not like his initial job as a copy boy at The New York Times. The hours were rough (7 p.m. to 3 a.m.). The work itself involved getting coffee for people, sharpening pencils and going into the basement and handling a big vat of paste; that wasn’t particularly appealing to him. He was making $35 a week.

After a year and a half, he confided to Gay Talese, who at the time was a night rewrite reporter, that he had decided to quit.

As Lipsyte recalls, Talese told him he was making a mistake and urged him to stay with the paper, saying he would make it big.

“Just him saying that changed everything,” Lipsyte said. “Gay Talese believed in me, so I hung in there.”

A couple of months later, Lipsyte was promoted to clerk, and by the time he was 21, he was a reporter.

The thrill of working for one of the world’s great newspapers also kept him there.

“I loved being at the Times,” he said. “I loved the excitement of it. You’d look out and these famous foreign correspondents are walking by. It was a wonderful place to be. I kind of lucked into it. What a place to start.”

Perhaps the second “accident” in Lipsyte’s career path occurred in 1964. Cassius Clay — who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali — was to fight Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship in Miami Beach. Many expected Liston to knock Ali out in the first round, so The New York Times editors decided not to send their boxing reporter to Florida. They opted instead to give the assignment to the kid from the night rewrite desk, Lipsyte.

As it turned out, Clay scored a stunning upset, and Lipsyte’s story made it onto Page 1.

It was around that time in Florida when, before a photo op prior to the fight, Lipsyte found himself in the same room, talking to members of a British band that was visiting America, the Beatles. “For 15 minutes,” Lipsyte said, “I was the fifth Beatle.”

Lipsyte is critical of sports reporting that pulls punches and overlooks things such as the off-the-field carousing and womanizing of athletes. During a 57-minute presentation to promote his new book in a fund-raiser for the Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport on Sunday, Lipsyte said sports writers didn’t always write the truth in his time. He said he tried to be an honest reporter and had considered himself “a kind of monk of journalism.”

As with every sports columnist, Lipsyte has opinions:

l He rates Billie Jean King as the most important sports figure of the 20th century. “Billie Jean King opened up sports for half the world,” he said.

l He has so far correctly predicted that golfer Tiger Woods will never win another major tournament following his indiscretions, which have sent his career into a tailspin.

l  He said he doesn’t care if pro athletes use steroids.

l He said Pete Rose belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

l He has started a campaign to have Howard Cosell elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Why not?” he said.
(Lipsyte, who wrote for the ill-fated “Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell” TV program, got along well with Cosell. He told the story of how the two of them were walking in New York City one day when Cosell saw Lipsyte’s new book in a book store window and pulled Lipsyte with him into the store. “I have Bobby Lipsyte, the world’s greatest sports writer,” Cosell, in his famous voice, announced to everyone in the store. “His book is here. If you buy it, I’ll sign it.”)

Sports reporting has changed dramatically over the past half-century. Lipsyte indicated that he has seen changes for the better.

“When I started out — this is late ’50s — sports writers tended not to interview players,” he said. “Spring training they might talk to coaches or the manager or something like that, but they didn’t rush down [to interview players] after a game.

“So, it was from this Olympian perch that they climbed on that they told the world what happened. Well, in those days, most people had not seen the game, so you could do that. Nowadays you could never get away with that because the fans have seen the game better than you had with instant replay and two former athletes telling you what really happened.”

He continued: “A sports journalist now has a very different position. He or she has to come up with analysis that nobody else has, gossip or investigation that are different, or write from the point of view of the fan. You just can’t be lazy and mediocre any more.”

Lipsyte, a survivor of two bouts with testicular cancer, said writing the memoir was special for him. It might have given him some insight into how sports has kept the attention of a non-sports fan for all these many years.

“There is something about sports, even though I’m not a sports fan, that really gripped me,” he said. “It took me a long time figuring it out, and I think writing the book helped me figure out. I think what it is is that there may be no other kind of journalism … that is such a window on the whole world. It kind of leads you anywhere you want to go, overseas, psychology, injury, money.”

“I enjoy writing,” he continued. “I love to write. Sports in a sense gives you that dramatic structure, [those] vivid personalities under pressure. It’s all kind of right there. It’s exciting.”

And this connection was all by accident?

“There are people who say things like that are fate or that’s what you were meant to be doing or if it was such an accident, why did you stay so long?” he said. “Fifty years, that’s a long accident.”

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