Text and Photos by Nora Vasconcelos
Yesterday I got deeply moved when I learned about the death of the American writer Tom Clancy, whose books, like The Hunt for the Red October and The Sum of all Fears have accompanied my reading collection for a long while.
Then, while reading on the papers the stories about his life and how much he enjoyed being a Baltimorean writer, one thought came to my mind: How many places of this beautiful American eastern city might Clancy have visited often? and I even pictured him walking around, at a slow pace, looking at the horizon with the Chesapeake bay as a background and the flickering Inner Harbor lights around him, or even jumping out of happiness while celebrating a home run at the Oriole Park.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Mr. Clancy liked to eat at Aldo’s restaurant, in the Italian neighborhood, owned a house in Inner Harbor and enjoyed going to the Orioles baseball games.
I also imagined him observing with interest the changes that his hometown went through throughout the years, like the addition to the Baltimore National Aquarium that made it even more beautiful; the restaurants and shops that went out of business due the world financial crises, the ships that came and went during the regattas, and the variations of the Baltimorean landscape during the different seasons that make this city either strongly bright during spring time, or all white during winter time.
All this thinking about Tom Clancy going around the streets of his loved city have also made me wonder, how much of this Baltimorean images influenced him on his work? How the sometimes foggy climate served him to create the images of the misty scenes of his novels? Was he ever touched by the Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious spirit?
I think it might be difficult for me to find answers to all this questions now, but one thing is for sure, I’ll see his work in a new light from now on.