Re "Is Spenser Still for Hire?" Commentary, July 1: Having taught and coached high school youth for 29 years, I can say to John Balzar that many are still for hire--and willing at the same time--to set an example for the kids. Like Balzar, I have read almost all of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels as well as John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series for the relaxation, escapism and succinct philosophical aphorisms put in a variety of creative contexts.
Fortunately, my bottom line is not dependent upon deceiving myself and others, as Balzar discusses, but rather on living and teaching such maxims as the ones found in "Potshot." With "luck is the residue of design," I wonder if Parker realized he was quoting baseball executive Branch Rickey. Thank you, John Balzar, for being a "direct" Spenser fan.