At tonight's inaugural Pen and Sword open house at the Denver Press Club, a turn-of-the-century treasure at 1330 Glenarm Place, thirteen club member-authors will offer "the stories behind the books" from 6 to 9 p.m. But the stories, and the night, won't end there. Stories rarely end that neatly.
One of the authors who'll be speaking tonight is Dick Kreck, the former Denver Post columnist who's written several books, most recently Smaldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family.
Kreck himself has been part of a notorious mob: the journalists who invaded Central City exactly twenty years ago, on September 1, 1991, in anticipation of "limited stakes gambling" starting in that mountain town, as well as Cripple Creek and Black Hawk, the next morning. The evening ended with an argument in a legendary Central City bar, the Glory Hole, with Kreck and Bill Husted, then a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News, now with the Post, arguing over who was the biggest hack.
The Glory Hole, like the Rocky, is gone, but that argument lives on -- with the answer undetermined. Tonight, after the official Pen and Sword event is over, Kreck and Husted -- as well as witnesses to that original fight -- will try to finally close the book on this battle. The Press Club isn't quite the Glory Hole, but there is a handy poker table in the basement, where Ginger Rogers reportedly learned how to play poker.
Before that, here are the other authors you can hear:
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Harlan Abrahams (with Steve Farber): On The List: Fixing America's Failing Organ Transplant System
Mary Voelz Chandler (and Michael Paglia, Westword art critic): Colorado Abstract: Paintings and Sculpture
Norm Clarke: Vegas Confidential: Sinsational Celebrity Tales
Sharon Cooper: The Night of the Witching Moon
Casey Demchak: Essential Sales Writing Secrets: The Complete Reference Guide to Thousands of Dynamic Copywriting Tips
Denny Dressman: Eddie Robinson "...he was the Martin Luther King of football"
Terry Frei: Playing Piano in a Brothel: A Sports Journalist's Odyssey
Warren Hern: Risus Sardonicus
Alan Kania: Colorado National Monument and John Otto: Trials and Trails
Michael Madigan: Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters / 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain News
Barry Petersen: Jan's Story: Love lost to the long goodbye of Alzheimer's
Irene Woodbury: A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis
The open house is free; sponsors include the Tattered Cover Bookstore, the University of Denver University College Enrichment Program, Paros Press and Northwestern Mutual.
As for the impromptu hack v. hack? Should be a free-for-all.