NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Tom Clancy, one of the most prolific espionage writers of our time, passed away yesterday at the age of 66. And now we're finding out that he had some ties to Connecticut.
No matter how successful he got, Clancy never forgot those who were there from the very beginning.
"I remember I picked him up at the train station because he was afraid to fly," said Frank Diener, former book store owner.
The year was 1984, Diener owned the Paperback Booksmith in the New London Mall and he brought in Clancy for his first-ever book signing. Clancy, an insurance salesman at the time, sent him a thank you note.
"That's a neat book store you guys have. I've seen places will a little...by people who know books. Maybe we'll see each other again," read Diener.
And they did see each other many more times. For luck Clancy continued to come back to the now closed store, sometimes it was his only book signing stop.
"Most memorable thing about him was he was extremely sharp," Diener said. "He had a mind like a steal trap. He could remember everything about every detail."
Diener has copies of all the books Clancy signed, including the Red Storm Rising. It was Clancy's second book and after the signing at the store, he stayed right at Diener's house.
That's where he told Diener about the movie deal he made.
"A great day comrades."
"The Hunt for Red October" was Clancy's first techno-thriller and the first made into a Hollywood blockbuster.
"I remember we were having dinner, he picks up a little napkin, he says this is me, square," Diener said laughing.
He says Clancy's hands would hurt so much at the book signings that the store manager would go to a nearby pizza shop to get ice so he could ice down his hands.
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