james crumley, 1939-2008

Just got a note from Otto Penzler that James Crumley has passed away.  The national newspapers haven't taken note just yet, but the bloggers have.  Here's one obitAnother.  I knew Jim a little bit, spent a couple of memorable nights drinking with him.  One night up in Seaside, Florida, a bunch of us closed down a barroom and rode back to the cottages in the back of pickup truck.  Must have been after two when we got home. I had to teach at 7:30 in the morning.  As I was walking, none too sprightly, to the conference center with my cup of coffee, I saw Crumley, standing in the doorway of his cottage with a beer in his hand.  He waved, told me to enjoy myself, and said he hadn't been to bed yet.  Jim's book The Last Good Kiss contains one of the great opening lines in American literature: " When I finally caught up with Abraham Traherne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."