Following are a number of my favorite pieces, mostly written during my tenure as a reporter for The New York Times. Some were silly subjects; others were heartbreaking endeavors that will follow me to my grave. As a working journalist, there was one particular quote by H.L. Mencken that stuck with me always which went to the root of what we do as members of the media: "A good reporter comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable." That helped set the bar for many of us dedicated to the truth.