Dennis McCarthy retired as the Daily News' good news columnist more than a year ago — in January 2012 — after 40 years in newspapers. But now, he writes, "six months into retirement I knew the piano thing wasn't working out....At the rate I was learning to read music, and figure out chords and scales, I'd be lucky to get a gig playing birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese by the time I hit 80." So he's back writing one column week for the Daily News, where the readers know him, and for the sister newspapers in the LA News Group chain, where he will be new to many. He explains:
Which means most of you don't have a clue who I am or what kind of column I write. I could provide references, but that would be kind of pathetic at my age.
So I'll just jump in and wing it.
To all the Daily News readers hello, again. I missed having coffee and breakfast with you.
To everyone else at our sister papers, give me a shot. I'm told by reliable sources I grow on people.
One longtime reader liked my column so much she lined the bottom of her parakeet cage with it. Every month, like clockwork, she mailed me a picture of her parakeets perched over my smiling face.
But she didn't cancel her subscription. I grew on her. Or her parakeets.
In my book of favorite columns, "Here's to the Winners," I mentioned that the gripe I've heard most about the news media from readers is that there's too many negative stories driving up your blood pressure.
Once in a while, you want to read the kind of stories that kick-start your day with a smile, a laugh and maybe even a few tears because they touch something inside - something good for a change.
They're called human interest stories, a genre that's gotten a bad rap over the years as being soft and boring. Not if you find interesting people and stories to write about.