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“I thought of Jim not as my doppleganger, exactly — that would have been ridiculous. But we were the same age, came from similar backgrounds (his old man was a saloon keeper; mine, a cop), and had something of the same spoiled altar boy’s worldview, and we both worshipped at the dual shrines of the Roundball and the Word.

In Slate, editor Gerald Howard remembers the late Jim Carroll, best known as author of The Basketball Diaries and the album Catholic Boy. “Tall, slim, athletic, pale, and spectral as many ex-junkies are, Jim was a vivid presence in any setting. He was a classic and now vanishing New York type: the smart (and smartass) Irish kid with style, street savvy, and whatever the Gaelic word for chutzpah is.

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