I do not remember when I first met David Carr, who makes three local appearances on August 13. At some point, he just appears in my memories of the annual meetings of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the trade association for papers like Westword, where editors and publishers would get together to swap war stories and tips and lies. Or were they truths?
In my memories, Carr appears sometime in the late '80s, when he was an editor in the Twin Cities, an impish presence with wicked insight who always elevated the conversation -- both in person and in print.
Today, Carr has moved far beyond alternative newsweeklies. He's now at the New York Times, where he writes a weekly media column and does regular videocasts -- including annual red-carpet reports from the Academy Awards. He also regularly speaks to journalism groups (including AAN) and classes, and is a dedicated husband and father. And still, somewhere he found the time to write a book, The Night of the Gun. And what a book.
Although Carr never made a secret of his past -- which included severe heroin addiction and all that comes with it -- he never really spilled his stories. But in The Night of the Gun, he does. And not just his stories, but the stories of those he encountered, impacted. Carr is a hell of a reporter as well as a raconteur, and he went back to investigate his own past, discovering the amazing gaps between memory and reality. Or at least, someone else's reality.
Carr will be talking about that, and the other lessons he learned from his book, and anything else we're lucky to get him to expound on, on Peter Boyles's show this morning, and then at a reading at the Denver Newspaper Agency at 8 a.m. He'll also speak at the Tattered Cover on Colfax this evening.
Turn on your radio, and then try to get to one of his appearances. Because any time with Carr is guaranteed to be memorable. -- Patricia Calhoun