The Pacino Blunder and 4 Other Goofs I Made as a Young Writer

When you’re a novice, there’s a lot to learn.

  1. Who Is Al Pacino? Dumont High School, New Jersey, 1979 — senior year. A few of us were in the Periscope newspaper office after school. Adviser and journalism teacher Charles Barragato ran in, breathless. “Al Pacino is on the field!” he said. “Someone has to interview him!” I said yes, dashed down with pen and pad and saw a dark-haired man in a wheelchair, near the track. But I didn’t know Al Pacino from Adam. “Is that Al Pacino?” I asked a beefy fellow in a jacket. “If you don’t…