The title of the book is Assassins… Serial Killers… Corrupt Cops… Chasing the News in a Skirt and High Heels. The recalled contents are to SoCal journalism what On the Waterfront was to Hollywood.

Author Mary Neiswender began her trailblazing, twice-Pulitzer Prize nominated reporting career at the Long Beach Press-Telegram just a few years before Brando’s Terry Malloy eviscerated the big screen. She quickly established herself as a journalistic contender, becoming later that decade the first female member of San Pedro’s Harbor Press Room. The booze-soaked, cigarette-stenched den was located above the Harbor Division police station and directly below court chambers and the local jail.

Here’s how Neiswender recalls her first day, alongside ten waterfront-beat reporters for all the major LA newspapers:

As I pushed open the door, the room quieted. There were a lot of throat-clearing noises. I saw my desk top was clean, except for a lone, plastic geranium in a broken pot. I smiled. I could handle that.

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