Sridhar Pappu profiles New Yorker writer and editor Roger Angell, who tells him nostalgia can cause “sort of a mental diabetes.” There is one product he feels time has not improved:
Inside the cabinets above his desk, he has stored what may be his most valuable assets: stacks of the three-subject notebooks he uses while reporting. “Mead notebooks,” he says, “the best notebook in the world. David Remnick and I talk about how you can’t get anything to replace the Mead notebook, which is unavailable now. They take ink perfectly. There is a great flow. All the other notebooks are coated with something so your pen slides along.” In recent years, when he goes on reporting trips, he has resorted to making use of old Mead notebooks that still have blank pages.
He shows me one, and I glance at his quick sketches of onetime Chicago Cub Ron Santo. On other pages, I see observations from various ball games and notes he scribbled while listening to one of his favorite subjects, former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre. “I’ve done thousands and thousands of words from Joe Torre,” Angell says, “because he was a great talker and he would involve you in some way. I was always the oldest writer in the groups around him, and if he made a reference that was more than five years back, he would say, ‘As Roger can tell you.’ So complimentary.”