Childhood: For Hire

As a kid, I spent a lot of time in my room, in relative solitude. I’ve always just liked it that way and I still do today. One of the biggest adjustments for me when the twins were born was less of that. I was never a loner as a kid, but I always loved time spent by myself, so I could lose myself in something, be it building a model car, listening to vinyl records, sorting hockey cards or especially reading books. Oh, how I loved to read books. My earliest memories of book reading were the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery books. I think that must have been around 3rd or 4th grade.

By 7th and 8th grade, I was ALL OVER the Spenser:For Hire books, written by Robert Parker. I had all of them and it took me to another world. The best part about it was that I didn’t start reading them until there were about 10-12 of them on the market, so I had a string of Spenser to books to read – it was like there was always a new one! And when I got caught up, I looked forward to the new releases as much as I looked forward to new albums coming out. Spenser, the funny, tough, clever, but soft-in-the-middle detective. There was the psychiatrist Susan, his beautiful muse and girlfriend. The banter between the two was always fun – they made a legendary couple, arguably one of the best in books. Of course, Hawk, the mysterious tough guy who always had a knack for showing up just when you needed him. It was such fun reading at that age. I remember being so excited when the TV show came out and then so disappointed when I saw it, because the books drew the picture way better than the show did.

It was probably around 9th grade that I moved off of those and onto other books, but that stretch of book-reading was one of my favorite times growing up and set me on a path to almost always having a book or two to read. It continues to this day. So thanks, Robert Parker, you have a very special place in my upbringing and my heart. May you rest in peace, but your legacy is sealed for me and I would imagine many others.