Chuck Egan, The Star's longtime sports editor (and wartime news editor) was a garrulous newspaperman of the old school, with a weakness for fast horses and good Irish whiskey.
One night, after a bout of drinking and swapping lies with friends at a local saloon, Chuck was being driven home, as he often was, by Wheeler Johnson, assistant sports editor for many years and later The Star'ss outdoors writer.
Wheeler turned into Chuck's street and as they approached his house, Chuck shouted, "You just passed it. Stop the damned car."
Wheeler knew the address was still four houses away and told Chuck so. But Chuck was insistent, climbed out of the car and made his way to the door. He fumbled with his keys and tried to lock. Predictably, the keys didn't work.
A light came on in the house and a housecoated woman came to the door and turned on the porch light.
When she saw who it was, she opened the door, and Wheeler could hear her say in a reproving tone:
"Chuck Egan, you again?"
The late Earl Heap, for many years the chief of The Star's copy desk, once told me a tole that he said happened at the old Star building at 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. For many years there was a moving, lighted sign like its more famous counterpart in New York's Times Square. When major stories were developing, large crowds gathered to get the latest news.
Election nights were an especially big attraction, and some Star officials wanted a picture of the throngs watching the sign. But it was night and lighting was a problem.
Several photographers had what seemed like a good idea. They decided they could light the avenue by stringing flash powder in the gutters at the front of O'Donnell's Restaurant, which was then on 11th Street, just across from The Star.
When the photographer was ready, the signal was given and the flash powder was ignited.
The explosion took with it a good portion of the building's front. Nobody seems to remember whether they got the picture.