Who are the DM Refugees?

We are writers Robert Smith, Steve Ricci, John Griffin and Jon Pine, four refugees from The Daily Mail, a tiny daily newspaper in upstate New York. We recently found each other thanks to a newfangled communication medium called FaceBook.

And like long lost siblings from a dysfunctional family, we realized that our time together at The Daily Mail infected us with certain formative skills, ideas and attitudes that, for good or for bad, are still with us some 25 years later. So we decided to write together again, here, in this blog.

The pay still sucks, but the companionship still feels special, so what the hell?


10 responses to “Who are the DM Refugees?

  1. Robert Smith

    Wait…who said I’d part of this? I don’t even roll out of bed in the morning for less than $75 an hour, a continental breakfast, and spa privileges. And what good is a website without naughty teens? At least let me show my teeming manhood…please?

    • Doug Lane - no, not him, his son

      So, Master Smith – after about 20 years of kicking around work universes like government contracting, distillate sales and wireless communications marketing, you’re saying it was a BAD time for me to return to my initial path and get my masters in journalism from Georgetown?

      Can I somehow pin the rap on you for giving me my start, and encouraging me when I was still a pup, when Saint Pat’s was still a school and Shop Rite was still the scrunchiest?


      Feh. I’m never going to be a Jedi at THIS rate… but I’m glad to see the Sith didn’t get you…

      • Robert Smith


        Amazing to hear from you, you talented rascal!

        Please: Never consider me an influence. At best, I’m an adept emulator; at worst, the lowest hack on the horizon. I make a living writing short bits of digestible prose for publications that nobody ever sees. Success is relative; failure isn’t an option. But my all means…follow your goals! All the best….

  2. Yay for us lost newspaper refugees. I haven’t written a daily column for years but this feels exactly right. Who’da thought we’d be bloggers? It just sounds wrong, like booger. cheers.

    • Robert Smith

      Oh, how I agree, esoileau; we blog because of lost venues and bad career choices; we blog because people can no longer muster the energy to the store to buy a newspaper or magazine; we blog because people are lazy and crazy. While I am still actually employed in publishing (imagine that), there once was a time when I had my choice of four jobs … on the same day. At another juncture, my name was in 17 national magazines on the same newsstand.

      Now, I am the only one standing among all my former journalist comrades – and I hesitate to say that what I do for money these days doesn’t qualify as journalism at all. Instead, I am an editor, existing only by keeping my publisher and advertisers placated.

      That isn’t really why we all got into this field, was it?

      • Claude Haton

        Hey Bob, you old rascal.

        Still trying to wave your wand around in public, eh? Isn’t that what got you tossed out of Shop Rite in 1982? You never could measure up to those cucumbers.
        As for me, I’m still up here at the DM in Catskill, not so much a refugee as stuck in the twilight zone.
        I kind of feel like Conan chained to the gristmill. Still going around in circles, but boy are my calves buff.


  3. Nice Blog. I Subscribed. Visit me at the101201blog.wordpress.com

  4. Claude,

    Happiness is where you find it, my friend. As long as you continue to do your fine work, it’s a valuable service.

    Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself while clipping coupons. 🙂


    • Claude Haton

      So how go the blues, brother? I’m playing again in the blues/rock format after putting it down for 10 years.
      I have fond memories of our old band and in fact still do a few numbers from that set list. Got this wacky chick on guitar who does “Don’t Take Advantage,” solos and all. She ain’t hard to look at either.
      Maybe you should start a White Hot and Blue refugees site as well. Remember CBGB’s? We smoked.

      • Robert Smith


        If you have a site or something, let me know where you be workin’..I’m long overdue for an upstate jaunt…sounds like fun!


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