This Washington Post Lede Is a Howling Success

Gregory Speck decided to hold on to Max.

Whenever you can legitimately fit a stuffed animal into the lede of a newspaper article, chances are you’ve hit upon a winning topic. From Washington Post local enterprise reporter John Woodrow Cox’s article, “Why a Millionaire New York Socialite Gave His 400-Member Taxidermy Collection to a Virginia Museum:”

HARRISONBURG, VA. — With Max the stuffed wolf propped on a baby grand piano behind him, Gregory Speck lounged in his darkened parlor and combed through an internal catalogue, searching for the answer.

It’s even better when the digital version of the article can be be crowned with a photo of Speck and Max. A shot in which the animal staring ahead on the right looks as alive as the human owner, with photo flash glare in his specs, staring ahead on the left.

Cox frames Speck as a Southern-accented version of a Downton Abbey character who, during his days as a celebrity journalist, interviewed the likes of Bette Davis, Ava Gardner and Christopher Reeve. Speck was also at one time the press agent for Studio 54.

When Speck sold his Central Park West apartment last year for $3.4 million, he donated all but two of his stuffed animals to the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Still with him are Max and a mountain lion. An exhibit featuring 50 of Speck’s donated artifacts, “Exploring Virginia,” opened over the weekend.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Animals ‘Negotiable’ at Journo’s Central Park West Pad