Remembering the sting of male discrimination she repeatedly endured during her career as a newspaper-woman, Kathryn Tucker Windham with wistful amusement recalls here the hurt and the awful fact of being overlooked, snubbed, and ribbed by her male colleagues.
When Windham applied for her first newspaper job at the Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser in 1940, she was rejected because she was a woman: ``I don't want any female reporters,'' the paper's editor informed her. But in 1941 the Alabama Journal hired her--all available males had gone off to war. She took up her job with enthusiasm and soon proved that gender had nothing to do with good journalism. Although she escaped having to toil on the so-called women's pages, Windham was put in charge of chronicling and pacifying community eccentrics and oddball readers (hence the book's title). She won the respect of police--who had treated her earlier with contempt or faux politeness--and colleagues. She married, freelanced for 14 years and, when her children were grown, worked for the Selma Times-Journal during the city's integration battles. Despite her stubborn evasion of convention, Windham tells an only mildly interesting story, with requisite local color. Photos not seen by PW. (June)