CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When Dave Lieber came to West Virginia, he “learned to understand what it was like to live in America.”
“Before that, I had a distorted view, having grown up on the Upper West Side on Broadway,” said Lieber, a humorist, story-teller and award-winning newspaper columnist who will speak at the University of Charleston, as part of its Speakers’ Series, on March 17 at 6:30 p.m.
After growing up on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, Lieber moved to Charleston in 1980 to work as a statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette.
“My two-and-a-half years at the Charleston Gazette was one of the key informative experiences of my professional life,” Lieber said during a telephone interview on Friday.
“When I got to West Virginia, I began to understand about living in a place where everyone knows your mother. Where I lived previously, you could just hide among the crowd. In West Virginia, the community was so tight that I fit in like a puzzle piece. I met some of the best friends I ever had in my life.”
Lieber said he is “still in touch with Jimmie Collins, my bank teller at Empire Federal Savings and Loan. She still lives in Charleston and is in her 80s.”
Lieber enjoyed working with Don Marsh, the late editor of the Charleston Gazette, and covering the Statehouse for two years with Fanny Seiler.
“If you worked with Fanny, you can work with anybody,” he said.
Lieber then became a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1983 to 1993, then for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1993 to 2013.
“Since May 2013, I have been a columnist for the Dallas Morning News,” Lieber said. “I also studied to become a professional speaker…