June 04, 2005
When I first learned to read, my father fed me a steady diet of old pulp hard-back books that HE bought when he was a boy. Dad had boxes of those things and I read them all. I think dad paid about ten cents each when he bought them brand new, and they tended to want to fall apart by the time I got my hands on them. But I still thought they were GREAT!
I have a VERY serious question to ask here: does anybody except me remember who Graham M. Dean was? He wrote dozens of those pulp-fiction books and I loved everything he ever put on paper. Herb Kent, West Point Cadet probably affected my outlook on life more than anything I read in college. I also read all the Dave Dawson (fighter pilot in Europe) and Red Randall (fighter pilot in the Pacific) books he wrote about WWII.
Nobody teaches Graham Dean in literature classes today, but I believe that he was about as good a hack writer as anyone who ever sat before a typewriter, especially for a 10 year-old boy who loved to read. He enthralled me.
Dad ended up storing all those old books in an outside storage shed and the bugs got to them. They were reduced to sawdust shortly thereafter. That's a crying shame, because I wish I could hand a couple of them to Quinton now and say, "Read these. You'll like 'em," the same way my father did for me.
Quinton WOULD like 'em, too. Any boy with an imagination would like those books. I didn't just read them, I LIVED them. And I know for sure one thing now, after all these years.
Those books beat any video game I ever saw.
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