It’s sad to read about Tom Clancy’s death, especially at such a young age. He was a true American success story, an insurance salesman turned author with no expectation of commercial success.
I met Tom Clancy at ABC in New York. I was filling-in, doing the weather on Good Morning America. Back then the show originated in TV-2, a cramped studio in ABC’s oddly configured labrinth on West 67th Street.
Clancy was one of dozens of famous guests who passed through while I was there. I met him in the narrow hallway that led to the makeup and dressing rooms. It was a brief encounter.
He was taller and broader than I expected and wearing his signature aviator sunglasses in the poorly lit hallway.
I’d read a few of his books and told him so. He smiled and thanked me. We talked for a moment. I remember him showing interest in my weather maps.
Tom Clancy didn’t need anything Geoff Fox could give him, but he was friendly and gracious and made me feel like my compliment was the first he’d ever received.
It’s been a long time, but I remember him fondly because of that brief meeting in a hallway. It doesn’t take much to make a lasting impression.
(Photo credit: Tom Clancy at Burns Library, Boston College. Taken by Gary Wayne Gilbert.)