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Robert B. Parker

Updated on October 21, 2010

“You’re Spenser, aren’t you?’ she asked.

I said I was and then she asked me my first name and I told her. She repeated it, smiled and sipped some of her white wine. I was at the house in Cambridge with Susan who stood with Hawk on the other side of the room. We were there to pay our last respects and to keep an eye out for Joan and the sons.

The private wake for Robert B. Parker was a small affair. The guests were mostly his friends, a few folks from the publishing world and even fewer people from the entertainment field.

Through an archway on my left I saw Pearl the second curled up in the desk chair in Parker’s office watching me. I nodded and he lowered his head to his paws and closed his eyes. I wondered what he was thinking and if he would ever want to go out and play again.

Frank Belson brushed crumbs off his coat while Martin Quirk talked to Suitcase Simpson about police work in the big city. Sunny Randall had arrived with Jesse Stone and I watched the body language as she and Rita Fiore spoke quietly. Tough work, but someone has to do it. They were standing at a table loaded with refreshments in the center of the room.

In the backyard Jesse Stone was tossing a baseball with Paul Giacomin. I picked up Pearl’s leash and he came to sit at my feet. I walked him out the front door and down the walk to the gate. He whined and we looked down the block where two men stood next to a ratty green ‘66 Mustang.

‘So what is my first name?” Robert Urich looked over the roof of the car at Robert B. Parker. They were both wearing faded jeans, Boston Red Sox baseball caps, brown leather coats and new Addidas.

“Robert.” He answered. “You know, I liked you in Lonesome Dove.”

“I got hung in that movie.” Urich said.

“Yeah.” Parker said and opened the passenger door so Pearl the original could jump in the back. Parker slid into the front.

“That’s Spenser with an ‘s’," Urich said turning up his collar. “like the poet.”

“Let’s get a beer” said Parker.

“We’d be fools not to.”

"Stop that," Parker said. "or I may have to shoot you."

Fading, becoming almost translucent, the car drove by us. Pearl strained against the leash, trying to follow.

“Not yet,” I said. “Not yet.”


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    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks, billybuc. Robert Urich died yesterday, the 16th in 2002. A couple of good ones gone too soon!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had actually forgotten that he died until I saw this hub! Great short story, a very nice tribute to a prolific writer.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks, trusouldj. I appreciate the comment. I think both the Roberts were class acts, for sure!

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 6 years ago from Indiana

      Great hub. I'd just read about it in a previous hub. It's great that Joan Parker and Mrs. Urich caught what you were trying to convey ... Class act.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 7 years ago from South Carolina

      For what it's worth (a lot to me!) Joan Parker has shared this hub on her facebook page. That is a real honor.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 7 years ago from South Carolina

      What a cool English teacher! Just finished reading the "Last" Jesse Stone novel and loved the way it ended. I will probably write a hub about it sometime.

      Thanks for reading, Tammy.

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      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

      Hey I had an english teacher who loved the Spenser books. He had us read some for the class (that was a long time ago). Sounds like he was a great guy from the articles. I enjoyed reading this.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks, ak. He was one of the great ones!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Great job and it is always sad to lose another great writer or artist. He will be missed.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks, Its Angel for reading and the comment. The links are to articles in the Boston Globe and the comments on them are interesting.

    • Its Angel profile image

      Its Angel 8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I didn't know he had died! I have read most of his books. A true artist gone.

      Really good hub.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks, Pamela99. I had to do it, no choice really. Thanks for the hub you wrote about Salinger. That is how I found out about RBP.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Good hub. I was sorry he passed away as he was a good author. As you know I did the J. D. Salinger story yesterday and I'm glad to see you wrote something about Parker. He deserves to be remembered for all the books he wrote.