What They Said

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A salvager who bought downtown Albany’s biggest, ugliest building. An Irish priest lifting spirits at a maximum-security prison. A wealthy socialite whose 40 dogs eat organic chicken. A laid-off farmhand temporarily working as a human billboard. An upstate New York mayor who became the Pied Piper of Guyanese immigrants. A friendly clock enthusiast named Smiley Lumpkin.

They are some of the people Michael DeMasi has interviewed during more than 25 years in journalism. He shares what they and many others said in this collection of his favorite stories.<

DeMasi’s work has been recognized by the New York State Associated Press, New York Press Association, National Association of Real Estate Editors and American City Business Journals.

He lives with his wife, Lori, and twin daughters, Emma and Sophia, in Clifton Park, New York.

Customer Reviews

Reviewed by Paul G, 12/19/2018

“Mike DeMasi has worked for three papers and has written more than 10,000 articles in a 25-year career as a newspaperman. He has an eye for offbeat characters, possesses empathy and writes with a straightforward style. He captures telling details about his subjects, from mayors to street people, because they trust him. One of his mentors was the late, legendary Schenectady reporter, Marv Cermak. Marv gets the last word.”

-- Paul Grondahl, director of the New York State Writers Institute and former Times Union reporter

Reviewed by Carl S, 12/14/2018

Mike DeMasi’s collection of articles from 25 years of journalism belies the notion that newspaper stories are here today, gone tomorrow. His stories, bringing to life the characters of upstate New York life, are very much still here. From artists to mayors, bicyclists to jewelers, he has met them all and has kept them alive through his sympathetic reporting. Meet here the mayor who tried to give new life to a dying industrial city by attracting immigrants from Guyana; a socialite who owns 40 dogs and picks up their poop; a landscape painter who emerged from a gritty mill town. The newspapers in which the stories first appeared may molder away, but the people portrayed in them live on in this book. May there be a Volume 2.

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