Lewis was a Smoky Mountain newspaper guy who was too wild and woolly for newspapers... and that was back in the days when newspaper work was wild and woolly by definition. He was a combat Marine from the Korean War -- one of the Chosin Few -- and a mountain-mean, ass-kicking hell-raiser. He was a libertarian / Republican who was connected to white supremacists and knew all the guys who were training right-wing militias in the camps around Western North Carolina in the early 1990s, but he was also an FBI informant (or so he told me), and a poet, and I've got a signed copy of his sensitive Korean War novel Spirit Bells on a shelf upstairs.
Lewis was a gratuitously ornery, rude motherfucker, and as a rookie reporter I liked the man as much out of self-preservation as sincere admiration. He ran his own little newspaper, The Independent Torch, and if the man set his sights on you, he'd gleefully set your ass on fire in its pages. The Torch wasn't fair or balanced (it was, in fact, often demonstrably deranged), but the flip side to that was that once Lewis put his mind to something he'd root out every secret, expose every flaw, damn every hint of hypocrisy. The Reporter From Hell. Few of us can stand up to that kind of treatment.
Here's my favorite Lewis Green story: When he was a reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times (which in later years he took to calling "The Gray Whore" or, sometimes, just "The Whore"), Lewis got so mad at his editor that he punched the man in the nose. The editor foolishly filed an assault charge, and the case went to court. Apparently the judge didn't like the editor much either and let Lewis off with a $100 fine. Green's famous response: "Your honor, if I give you another hundred dollars, can I punch the sunuvabitch again?"