As a young man in a banal and frustrating existence, J. D. M's books provided me escape and provoked me to think and even spurred me on to man up and pursue my dreams. The dichotomy and even juxtaposition of a man of depth and honor as a lawbreaker and mixture of hero and antihero created by Mr. MacDonald, is a great contribution to literature. As a reader of Poe, Doyle, and Robert Heinlein, I have been blessed with countless hours of stories that fill me with pleasure and thought. They added a dimension to my life that many of my peers and acquaintances (even friends) don't identify with or understand.

   I just reread  The Lonely Silver Rain and after crying when I should know better, I of course wondered if there was any resolution in the form of posthumous manuscript, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and ended up reading your comments on Wikipedia. Your explanation and Maynard MacDonald's letter were profound and amazing. I'm sure that you and others recognize that the voice and insightfulness of the father is present in the son. And seemingly, the strength and resolve of  one Travis McGee made the transition from fiction to reality.

   If ever anyone continued the legacy of John D. MacDonald, only his son would ever measure up. Thank you for the informative work you have done. I am better for it. Aloha nui loa.

                                                                                                                 --Curtis Powers 


Hello Cal,

I came across your fantastic site about a month ago and really wanted to share my “Meeting Travis Story.” I hope you consider posting it. Thanks!

I was working for Norwegian Cruise Lines, and at the time I was on a ship performing three and four day runs out of Miami down to the Bahamas. I just finished my shift, was tired, and didn’t feel like doing the same old thing that everybody who works on a cruise ship always does after finishing their shift (drinkin’ at the crew bar). So I meandered down the crew decks to the makeshift crew library—a few dusty bookshelves thrown against the wall with old, torn paperbacks scattered amongst some board games.

I browsed through the shelves and came upon a beat up book by an author I’ve never heard of called The Lonely Silver Rain. It promised to be adventurous and took place in Florida. I decided to give it a shot.

Well, it was a much longer night than I had planned it to be. I was instantly hooked by this man named Travis McGee who lived on a boat. Taking retirement in installments? Hard drinking but not a drunk? Intelligent? Introspective? Beach bum? This man was great! I felt like we could have been good friends. (And who, by the way, is this author who can write such vivid prose and cutting dialogue?)

I finished the book in a couple of days and immediately ordered more to be sent to the ship. Since then, I’ve read from Blue to Tan and I am steadily re-approaching Silver, and I have occasionally gotten distracted (about a dozen times or so) by other McDonald titles. It has been a fantastic adventure and I don’t want it to end. I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m scouring the earth for the mythical A Black Border for McGee.

Austin Scheeringa

Lutz, FL

© CAL  2012