This is going to make me sound a little old to some and a little young to others, but “when I was young, I walked uphill to school... in the snow... both ways.” Just kidding, but really, I did suddenly feel old when I heard that one of the literary staples of my youth passed away last week at only 66 years old. It was October 1, the day the US government stalled, almost as though shuddering as he passed.
I grew up with Tom Clancy’s novels and movies like Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October. He wrote 17 New York Times best sellers, and I enjoyed playing Rainbow Six and many other games based on military strategy and scenarios from Clancy’s novels. While not a huge military buff, his influence on my childhood simply due to the far-reaching success in his craft is clear. Today, his is a household name.
From the beginning, his books were controversial due to his revelations about submarines and other military technology. However, more often than not the technology was already widely known throughout the world, or Clancy’s imagination and reality simply coincided. When asked about the incidents in an interview with the New York Times, he replied, “I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real, that’s the spooky part.”
Imagination has no boundaries, but I guess we are all limited by the role we play in life. In the end, death claims every one of us. We have but our role to play. Old Billy Shakespeare phrased it, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
I will always remember the events in my life that seemingly coincided with Tom’s contributions. As a writer and a fellow believer in the freedom of information, I know the role he played in life demonstrated the honorable characters and people who exist in this world. They were symbolic in the war between good and evil as his thrilling tales were spun with each continuing line. Growing up with his books by my side, I would like to think that my sense of justice and moral code of ethics were at least partially imparted by his archetypical American heroes.
As a fond farewell, I’d like to say, “Thanks, Tom. Well played. I’m sorry to see the curtain closing so soon, but farewell and good luck.”
However you look at the world, I believe Tom Clancy’s simple take on life should be adopted by everyone, “The good old days are now.”
For a full biography of Tom Clancy, try Biography.com.
Weston Kincade ~ Author of the Altered Realities series, A Life of Death collection of novels, and Strange Circumstances