A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 09, 2017
“Writing a daily column is like being married to a nymphomaniac”

"Writing a daily column is like being married to a nymphomaniac,” newspaper columnists often claim. “Every time you think you’re through, you have to do it again.”

The saying has been cited in print since at least 1970. It has been credited to Edwin A. Lahey (1902-1969), who wrote many columns for the Chicago (IL) Daily News.

American humorist Lewis Grizzard (1946-1994) wrote in 1980, “John Keasler, Miami News: ‘Writing a daily newspaper column is like being married to a nymphomaniac. The first two weeks, it’s a lot of fun.’” This line is usually—incorrectly—credited to Grizzard.


18 July 1969, Boston (MA) Globe, “OBITUARIES: Was Nieman Fellow: Edwin A. Lahey, at 67—Newsman With a Flair” by Louis M. Lyons, pg. 30, col. 1:
Edwin A. Lahey is dead at 67 in Washington where he was long chief correspondent of the Chicago Daily News and Knight Newspapers. One of the most colorful newspapermen of his time, some of his most pungent columns appeared through two decades in the Boston Globe.

Google Books
How to Light a Water Heater and Other War Stories:
A Random Collection of Random Essays

By Donald Kaul
Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press
1970
Pg. XI:
Asked what it was like to write five columns a week, he replied, “It’s like being married to a nymphomaniac.”

6 December 1970, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “This Talented Guy Won’t Come to the City, So We’ll Take You to Lapeer, to Him” by Larry Adcock, Detroit magazine, pg. 26, col. 3: 
He (Jim Fitzgerald, editor of Lapeer County Press—ed.) flatly refuses to give that much of himself: “Writing a daily column is like being married to a nymphomaniac.”

5 September 1971, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Inside the Inquirer: An Incurable Itch Needs to Be Aired” by John McMullan, pg. 7, col. 1:
Writing a daily column just possibly is the toughest job in the world.

Don Marquis, who used to churn out one for a New York paper in the days when daily meant seven days a week, began to look on the space occupied by his efforts as a 22-inch graveyard that had to be filled every 24 hours.

My favorite newspaper reporter, the late Ed Lahey, described the life of a regular columnist as “like being married to a nymphomaniac.”

9 February 1973, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “2 Love Affairs: Making a Choice Is the Tough Part” by Art Peters, pg. 1-B, col. 1:
Any newspaperman can tell you that writing a column five times a week is no picnic. John McMullan, former executive editor of The Inquirer, described column writing as “like being married to a nymphomaniac.”

2 September 1980, The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), “Anderson weakened by demanding pace” by Lewis Grizzard, pg. ?, col. 1:
It’s not easy writing a daily newspaper column. I quote some who have accepted the task:

John Keasler, Miami News: “Writing a daily newspaper column is like being married to a nymphomaniac. The first two weeks, it’s a lot of fun.”

28 February 1982, Sunday Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), “Publisher’s Notebook: Some new donors will add their blood to this column” by Creed Black, pg. D7, col. 3:
But the trouble of writing a column, as one of my colleagues on the Chicago Daily News, Ed Lahey, once remarked, is that it’s “like being married to a nymphomaniac. Every time you think you’re through, you have to do it again.”

Google Books
Do !t!
Let’s Get Off Our Buts

By John & Peter Mcw Roger
Prelude Press
1998
Pg. 237:
Lewis Grizzard: “Being a newspaper columnist is like being married to a nymphomaniac. It’s great for the first two weeks.”

Google Books
She Said What?:
Interviews with Women Newspaper Columnists

By Maria Braden
Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press
2009 (Originally published in 1993)
Pg. 62:
She remembers a friend warning her that writing a column is like being married to a nymphomaniac. It’s nice, but....

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Thursday, November 09, 2017 • Permalink