Even though today is nearly over as I post this, it has been on my mind all day while I did other things.
Since DeMarco is not one of the great Irish names, St. Patrick’s Day has never been a particularly big deal for me. But March 17, 1995 was a big day in my life.
On the plus side, I rode Amtrak up to New York where, courtesy of my friend Sandra Martin, who was then an agent there, I was invited to a party at which I met Colin and Joy Wilson. I had recently sent Colin a copy of my novel Messenger, along with a letter. I was hoping to persuade him to come to Virginia and do a Gateway Voyage at The Monroe Institute, and — not incidentally — meet Bob Monroe. I was unaware that Colin had written about Bob’s work in his book Mysteries.
My dream of Colin and Bob meeting came to nothing. When we got to the party, the first thing the hostess said was that Bob Monroe had died that morning. And that of course was the minus. Still, I did get to meet the man who had been a huge influence on my intellectual life since I was 24, and began a friendship that lasted. Indeed, before he died, he had published several books through Hampton Roads, including The Books in My Life, the four Spider World volumes, including volume four which he wrote for us, and a strange book called Rogue Messiahs.
As for Bob Monroe, his influence continues to shape my life, undimmed by his death. As I said at the time, in 100 years, no educated person will be ignorant of his name and his achievement.
As I say, that particular St. Patrick’s Day was a big day.