I've learned long ago not to take no for an answer, whether that "no" is delivered by cold shoulder, a slammed door, or a couple of New York's Finest showing up to escort me off the premises. (Yes, I mean you. I know you're reading this now, and you can bet that I'm not going to be kind to you in the book.)

You learn early that the first answer is always no, the second answer is always that you're crazy, and the third is to clam up and call for an attorney or security. That's when you know you're really closing in on something.
When people blow you off -- and believe me, when you're honest about what your researching, elected officials and public figures do that -- you have no choice but to go the hard route.

Especially with events 35 years in the past, with some of the principals dead, it's hard to get anyone to talk. I never expect to get more than one or two responses to my first-round queries, that's why I spent the weekend tracking down homes, office locations, and planning the next couple of weeks of ambush journalism.
Some by e-mail, some the old-fashioned way, in W.A.S.T.E. envelopes. Ha ha. Lucas make joke.
Interesting weekend of work. Here's what I think I know.

In 1972, Emmanuel Cellar had been the Congressman from Brooklyn's 10th district for almost 50 years. He had been the chair of the House Judiciary Committee for over 20 years. To say his seat was safe is an understatement.

And suddenly, he's defeated in the Democratic primary by an upstart lawyer named Elizabeth Holzman, who had never held elective office before. A neophyte beat the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives.

Not only does Nixon not have a friendly face at the gavel, but Holzman contributes actively to building the case against him.

That is just about the textbook example of a Black Swan.
Feels like I've turned a corner. Get home on a Friday, and I'm looking forward to a weekend of researching and writing again.