Thursday, February 19, 2009

Orrie Hitt

A few weeks ago, I posted a comment on Duane Swierczynski’s blog about one of his “Legends of the Underwood” series, this one concerning Orrie Hitt. If you haven’t read that post and my comment, go over there and do so, then come back here.

Okay. So I’m sitting here checking my email, and this message comes in, prompted by my comment on Duane’s blog:

"i recently read a statement on orrie hitt and feeling sorry for him. so why?
you need not feel sorry for such a man in his time or in your time. this man was well loved by everyone that met him. he lived his life as he saw fit. his family centered their lives around him. and they loved him with all their hearts. he lived a happy and joyful life. i know i am his daughter i was there i saw his smile and twinkle in his eye everyday. so do not feel sorry for him feel sorry for yourself for not knowing him like i did!!"

I’m getting email from Orrie Hitt’s daughter. I love the Internet.

And you know what? She’s absolutely right. There’s no reason in the world to feel sorry for a man who lived his life as he saw fit and was happy and joyful doing it. We should all be so lucky as Orrie Hitt.

Since this message came in, I’ve traded a couple more emails with the lady, and she graciously gave me permission to post her words here. She’s also told me a little more about her father, such as how he would always talk to her dates when they came to pick her up when she was a girl, and how the guys enjoyed the conversations with Orrie so much they’d wind up being late getting to wherever they were going on the date. As she points out, I am sorry I never got to know him. I would love to be able to sit down and talk writing – and life – with Orrie Hitt.

I’m also sorry that I’ve never actually read any of Orrie Hitt’s novels. I used to have some of them, but I never got around to reading them. That, however, is something I can remedy. I just ordered a handful of them, and I’ll get around to reading and posting about them as soon as I can.


David Cranmer said...

The internet is amazing and now thanks to your post I'm aware of Mr. Hitt and have added GANG-UP and HOT BLOOD to my weekly order.

Anonymous said...

If Hitt was writing at the kitchen table all day, where did the family eat?

So he was writing for the sleazy market. That would explain the cover you posted, a primo example of sleazy illustration. Just looking at the cover makes me want to pick up the book and read it.

James Reasoner said...

Yeah, that's a great cover. SHABBY STREET isn't one of the books I ordered, but I may have to break down and find a copy of it, too.

Cullen Gallagher said...

Wow, that's an incredible story. And she's right - it sounds like he did live a good life. It might have been hard work, but it seems like he had a loving family and friends. Sometimes we all need a reminder to look on the bright side of things.

And in the past two weeks I've gotten two random emails. One from a friend I lost track of about 8 years ago and was trying to find myself (with no luck). And the other from a cousin I've never met or spoke to in my life.

Juri said...

I've received strange and surprising e-mails from relatives of other writers. I'm so sad the niece or whatever of Lionel Olay never got back to me after writing her first e-mail some ten years ago.

And, hell yeah, I would've liked to live the life$ of Orrie Hitt. (One of the reasons is that I hate revising.)

August West said...

"I'll Call Every Monday" by Orrie Hitt is one of my favorite paperbacks. It's on my top 25 list.

Frank Loose said...

What a fascinating story. I must say, my curiosity is peaked by all this. So much so that I just went to Amazon and ordered a copy of I'll Call Every Monday. The artwork looked cool --- a woman about to nail a guy in the head with a log. My kinda gal ...

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I recently found myself in a used bookstore in Portland, ME standing face-to-face with Orrie Hitt's UNFAITHFUL WIVES. I couldn't resist the front or back covers (See what I mean: So bought the book and am actually reading it. It's not the greatest, but for some reason I can't manage to stop reading it either! I found your blog googling his name and just wanted to share my experience.