Published Authors

A place for budding and experienced authors to share ideas about publishing and marketing books
 
HomeHome  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log in  Featured MembersFeatured Members  ArticlesArticles  

Share
 

 A one-of-a-kind writer

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Dick Stodghill
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
Registration date : 2008-05-04
Age : 93
Location : Akron, Ohio

A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 12:12 pm

I was thinking today of my late mystery writer friend, Ross H. Spencer. He was one of the best, something other mystery writers knew but few others did. I've written about him many times but it bears repeating:

Just after the war Spence moved from Youngstown, Ohio to Chicago because he was a great fan of the Cubs. He wanted to be there when they won the many pennants he felt certain they would. They didn’t win a single one during his nearly forty years there so he moved back to Youngstown. His house in Youngstown, or at least the basement, was something to behold. He had a bar with a wider selection than is found in many taverns, a fascinating N gauge model railroad, a computer for playing football and baseball games, a large area for just relaxing and shooting the bull.
Spence suffered a heart attack in 1981 and was told by doctors to give up smoking and drinking. “The hell with that,” he told them. “I’d rather have one day doing things my way than ten years doing them yours.” He went right on smoking one fat Dutch Masters cigar after another and drinking anything containing alcohol at every opportunity. He lived eighteen years doing the things he enjoyed, then died of something having nothing to do with smoking, drinking or his heart.
Like most of those who write mysteries, he was well known to others in the field, but never made much money and remained virtually unknown. I miss his friendship, regret that there will be no more stories about the guy who drank “Old Washensachs beer, a baseball team called the No Sox, characters like Rube Mountainstill, Brandy Alexander and Itchy Balzano. No more profound sayings by Monroe D. Underwood such as:

“It’s a right-hander’s world…which may be all that’s wrong with it,” “…they ought to build a monument to Nixon…he was the only president what got caught doing what all the other presidents didn’t get caught doing,” “. . .a gigolo is a man what gets paid for doing what any idiot would be perfeckly willing to do for nothing…,” “. . .coffee is something what looks like tar and tastes even worse and nobody can possibly do without...” “... I am probly the only man what receives get-sick cards...” “…religion is something what lets you keep right on doing what you never stopped doing only you can’t brag about it no more…”

And no more crazy adventures like Chance Purdue’s ride on a dilapidated, smoke-belching bus:

We blasted out of the depot in a vast cloud of steam and smoke.

At the first traffic light a priest opened a window and jumped.

He called for his suitcase and I threw it to him.

He smiled his gratitude and made some motions with his hands.

I said it was nice of him to give us a blessing.

The fat old lady said dearie I’m Seventh Day Adventist but I know the last rites when I see ‘em.


And so it went. Who but Ross Spencer could have written five books with no punctuation other than periods and all one-sentence paragraphs? But he also wrote many other books as well, most of them hilarious, but sometimes poignant and deeply moving. He also wrote a very good fairy tale volume for children. He was one of a kind, a great guy who is remembered with feelings of warmth – and many, many laughs. His likes won’t pass this way again
The dedication of one of his books sys a great deal about the man:

To the dreams I have lost and will never retrieve,

To the jungle of thoughts where I hid,

To all of the people who didn’t believe,

And to Shirley R. Spencer, who did.

And then there was the inscription on his last publication, a collection of all five of those short, one paragraph books: “To Dick, bird of my own feather – (a sitting duck, probably) – Spence.”
Back to top Go down
http://www.dickstodghill.com
rainbow689
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
rainbow689

Number of posts : 403
Registration date : 2008-04-15
Age : 68
Location : Laredo TX

A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: Re: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 5:37 pm

Great Obituary Sir Dick A one-of-a-kind writer 986243
Back to top Go down
http://fly.to/rainbow689
Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10680
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: Re: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 9:41 pm

Loved it Dick. You have and had great friends whose respect is clear.
Back to top Go down
zadaconnaway
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
zadaconnaway

Number of posts : 4017
Registration date : 2008-01-16
Age : 71
Location : Washington, USA

A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: Re: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 11:02 pm

That was a good tribute, Dick. One I am certain he would have been happy to receive.
Back to top Go down
http://www.zadaconnaway.com
thehairymob
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
thehairymob

Number of posts : 890
Registration date : 2008-05-05
Age : 51
Location : Scotland

A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: Re: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer EmptyWed Jul 30, 2008 6:19 am

Sorry about your friend Ross, Dick.
Back to top Go down
http://www.billyyoungsbooks.co.uk
Sponsored content




A one-of-a-kind writer Empty
PostSubject: Re: A one-of-a-kind writer   A one-of-a-kind writer Empty

Back to top Go down
 
A one-of-a-kind writer
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Published Authors :: General :: Chatter Box-
Jump to: