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5 Spot 

Random questions, surprising answers

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JR Moehringer (pronounced Mo-Ringer) is a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. A 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner, Moehringer reads from his best-selling memoir The Tender Bar at The King’s English on Monday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.


You grew up in Manhasset, the backdrop for The Great Gatsby. Could you relate to F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s portrayal of your surroundings?


I found out when I was a young teen that I came from Gatsby’s milieu, and I read the book immediately, and loved it, and I’ve been reading it over and over, ever since.


You would sometimes peek into other people’s living rooms to see how they lived. Why?


Because I didn’t have a home, so I was fascinated by these glimpses into other homes.


What comes to mind when you recall your childhood home?


What my family called the Bicentennial Sofa, a monstrosity from Sears, upholstered in a hideous design: faces of the Founding Fathers, bald eagles, liberty bells. More than any item, the Bicentennial Sofa represented the overall ugliness and shabbiness of the house I grew up in.


The only access you had to your father was listening to him as a deejay, or “The Voice,” on the radio. What was your fondest memory of listening to him?


Listening to him was “exciting” at times because that was my father, after all, but I have no fond memories of The Voice, only a recollection of aching and longing.


How did growing up in a bar inspire you to excel as a professional journalist?


I learned in the bar to love storytelling, and journalism was the only way I could find after college to tell stories for money.

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About The Author

Joey Hellrung

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