Today marks the anniversary of Hammett’s death on January 10, 1961, and in one of the weirder coincidences of all time, also the death of Hammett devotee Joe Gores, same date in 2011 — exactly fifty years to the day after Hammett died.
Now I try to keep my head down on this date, and I’m thinking maybe I won’t even leave the lair — but I’ll admit that if I kicked off on the 10th, it’d be something to talk about. Better if I bite the dust on some even number, perhaps, exactly sixty or seventy after Hammett.
Gives me some leeway. Eighty years? Break out the calculator. . . .
By chance I happened across a post on the Pulp Flakes blog commemorating Gores’ birth — poor guy was born on Xmas Day.
Screwed. Half the loot you might reasonably expect.
(Another writer and Hammett fan I know — both he and Gores did articles seeking out Hammett locales in San Francisco — was Fritz Leiber, in the same boat: born December 24, 1910. I always felt sorry for Fritz — with Gores now added to the list.)
Surf over and check out the birthday notice, which incorporates a 1975 local article on Gores’ career as a private eye in Frisco before doing his crime fiction, most of it set in Frisco.