When men were men*

Rolls
How Travis McGee tools around.

YOU CAN HAVE Sam Spade. Give me Spenser and Travis McGee any day of the year.

A retired guy has time on his hands. I spend lots of that time reading. Sometimes it’s important stuff. Oftentimes it’s just fun. Currently, I’m having lots of fun.

I recently purchased the first three books in Robert B. Parker‘s Spenser series. I may have read them decades ago. I don’t remember, which is good because they’re fresh again.

parker
Parker

The first Spenser novel, The Godwulf Manuscript, is not Parker at his best. He’s clearly getting his sea legs. The second, God Save the Child, introduces Spenser’s permanent love interest, the psychologist and high school guidance counselor Susan Silverman who’s a babe.

The third, Mortal Stakes, well, I’ve not started it yet. The three novels rest inside my Kindle, God’s sweet gift to guys who live in countries where English is not common.

Right up there, and likely surpassing Parker’s talent, is John D. MacDonald, the creator of the private eye Travis McGee.

While Spenser has no first name and lives in Boston, Travis McGee is a south Florida gumshoe who lives in Fort Lauderdale. This reflects Parker’s Boston home and MacDonald’s fondness for Florida where he resided for years.

Write about what you know.

Spenser has an office and an apartment. McGee has no office, but he does have a houseboat named The Busted Flush. Both drink a lot. While Spenser has one girlfriend, the aforementioned Susan Silverman, McGee is a player.

And he drives a Rolls Royce pickup truck. His 52-foot houseboat is docked at Slip F-18, Bahia Mar Marina.

He’s for real, you know.

Both have sidekicks. Spenser’s is a fancy-dressing black dude named Hawk who is a semi-criminal. McGee’s is a pudgy economist named G. Ludweg Myer who has his own houseboat, appropriately dubbed the John Maynard Keynes.

John D.
MacDonald

Both Parker and MacDonald come from another world, especially MacDonald who was born in 1916, one year after my father. Parker was born in 1932, 16 years later. Both are now dead.

Both Spenser and McGee would have loathed modern times with unisex restrooms, gay marriages, alleged “white privilege,” a Weepy Barry in the White House with his leftist minions trying to disarm citizens …

… fabricated genders, “rape culture,” comfort zones, trigger warnings, demonization of policemen, girls in the Marine Corps infantry, all of that wussy nonsense.

The two sleuths were what was once called men’s men, which is out of style these days. Probably both would have packed up and moved to Mexico. They would have been happy here.

McGee could have motored to Veracruz on The Busted Flush, but he would have needed to abandon the Rolls pickup in Lauderdale. That would have been a freaking shame.

* * * *

* And women were glad of it.