I remember the house in Utica, New York, where John D. grew up. The curtains were always closed and the atmosphere seemed invariably dark and somber. Nothing there predicted his imaginative outpouring. Imagination was frivolity and frivolity was not on the agenda. He followed his own father's path toward the commercial world. While earning a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Harvard, he married Dorothy Prentiss, an artist, and produced one small son. Then he went off to war. The marriage of the business graduate and the creative person was the unrecognized first step in John D.'s becoming an author. During service in China, Burma, and India, his mail was heavily censored. In frustration he wrote a short story and sent it to my mother. She saw his potential and sold the story. When my father came home, a Lieutenant Colonel and Harvard graduate, his father presented him with a list of plum career options. He turned them down and took an undemanding job so that he could pour his energy into writing. Eventually, we moved to Florida. For my parents, Florida was the land of light, the place where the curtains were never drawn. The place itself became a topic and Travis McGee strode into the landscape. Maynard MacDonald
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Random House Trade Paperbacks
January 08, 2013
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