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Posted at 8:01 AM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Story pick: The story that made Dave Barry Dave Barry

By Marc Fisher

At the Miami Herald, where I spent my first five-plus years as a reporter, we had one of the greatest Sunday magazines ever to be published by a major American newspaper. Tropic Magazine read and felt like South Florida--it was a weekly chronicle of the insane crime, corruption and just plain craziness that pervades the southern tip of the country. The magazine was a weekly miracle, put together with a barebones staff by its editor, a name well known to Washington Post readers -- Gene Weingarten. But for a time in the 1980s, Weingarten was best known as the guy who discovered Dave Barry. Gene and Dave have been friends and collaborators for 30 years now, and The Post's Sunday Magazine starts off each year by publishing Dave's year in review.

And Dave joined Post readers for a web chat earlier this week.

But if that's not enough Dave for you--and who can really get enough?--check out this early magazine piece he did for Tropic on what was, to the surprise of Dave's South Florida readers back in 1982, his first visit to Miami. See, Gene had found Dave up in Pennsylvania, and for the first chunk of Dave's career as a Miami Herald columnist, he lived more than a thousand miles away from the best material he would ever find. So here's Dave's 1982 account of his first trip to Miami--the one that pretty soon led to his moving down to the sub-tropics, and the rest is history...

By Marc Fisher  | January 5, 2011; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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