A blog post by Dorsey Kindler, feature writer for The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
Anybody who reads this blog knows that I’m raising two pigs on pasture for a local restaurant. Thing is, they can only buy one now. And I’m trying to find a “home” for the other.
Enter Bob Batz Jr. of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I sent a random email to the newspaper’s “Plate” section. And within minutes Batz wrote back to me with a list of restaurants and executive chefs who might be interested. (Including Cure in Lawrenceville, which got my mouth watering just thinking about it.) He seemed genuinely happy to lend his expertise.
Looking back over my 15-year career, that’s fairly typical of the profession.
The first major story I ever did was a profile of a Tour de France star for the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. Cover story. Teased on page one of the actual newspaper. Feeling a bit shaky and out of my league, I sent out an email to Daniel Coyle asking for any suggestions. (It was a shot in the dark.) Coyle was then, and is now, a major player, having written regularly for Outside magazine as well as a best-selling book about Lance Armstrong. He’d even written a book that became a Keanu Reeves movie. To my surprise he responded.
Not knowing me from Adam, he spent a half hour on the phone, walking me through the various possibilities and giving me suggestions. (Don’t bring up doping was one of the tips I remember.) Later, after I’d finished the piece, I sent it to him. He told me that I’d done an excellent job. Which swelled my 25-year-old heart with pride.
Over the years I’ve experienced similar helpfulness from other luminaries ranging from Ted Conover of New Yorker fame to William Langewiesche of Vanity Fair. In fact, the only nasty response I ever got was from the food writer Michael Pollan. A pretty good average I’d say. Sometimes I’m floored by people’s generosity.
At any rate, a tip of the hat to you Mr. Batz. With any luck my hog will be on a Pittsburgh menu before long.