I learned yesterday that Jack Matthews died last year. I regret that I didn't know about his death until yesterday. I regret more that I never knew him, although I saw him often for several years. John Harold Matthews was born on July 22, 1925, in Columbus, Ohio. His résumé alone makes interesting reading, but you can find that on your own. Mr. Matthews was a novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, essayist, professor of English, and book collector. He was a regular at the local library book sale. Always in good humor, he spoke to everyone he knew and some he didn't. Invariably he wore a sport coat and a bolo tie. Jack Matthews died on Thanksgiving morning, November 28, 2013. I was away and didn't learn of his passing until yesterday when I picked up one of his books at the library. It is called Hanger Stout, Awake!, and it was Jack Matthews' first novel, published in 1967. I have read the first chapter and I am hooked--or maybe I should say I'm hanging on each word.
Jacket design by Robin Sherwood
Original text copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley