W.E.B. Griffin

A long (LONG!) time ago, when I was in middle school, I ordered a book from the Weekly Reader Book Club. It was a novel about racing, THE GREEN GHOST, written by Patrick J. Williams.

The book turned out to be a revelation, not because it was a great story, but because it seemed to be written for me - as opposed to my English teachers. It broke rules I'd been taught about language. The style was casual, with attitude that seemed right for the story - at least from my seventh-grade perspective.  "I could do this," I told myself. More importantly, I wanted to. I have ever since. And I still have that book.

A few years ago I decided to do some online-exploring to see what happened to Patrick J. Williams. Long story short, I soon discovered the name was a pen-name for the writer William E. Butterworth. And while, yes, that was his birth-name, it was just another pen-name for one W.E. B. Griffin, one of the most popular and prolific authors of military-and-politically-based adventures of the last 50 years.

Griffin passed away February 12 after publishing more of these adventures than most libraries carry. None of them were my cup of coffee

Still, I thought he might appreciate his efforts for younger readers, particularly one who started writing due to his inspiration. I wrote the author, explaining how that book had struck a chord in me, one I've continued to play to the tune of a half-dozen racing adventures inspired by THE GREEN GHOST. I thanked him.

I never heard back from him.

What, you expected we became best buddies?


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