No one, not even me, ever knew my father’s first name.
Everyone always just referred to him by his last name, in classic tough guy style, and my dad was definitely a tough guy. Yet he was no thug, no bully, but a protector of those that needed protecting. A warrior, as defined by ninja Shihan Jack Hoban is “a man of action, guided by reason, and motivated by love,” and that was my father through and through.
My last name is Byrd. But that wasn’t my father’s last name. His was Spenser. And if you needed help, he was for hire.
Spenser wasn’t my real father, alas. He wasn’t even actually real. He was a character in thirty-nine novels by Boston novelist Robert B. Parker, who died of a heart attack while writing the morning of January 18th, 2010. He was 77.
So why do I claim Spenser as my dad? Continue reading