I met Tom Clancy back in high school. I went to the older kids version of Space Camp with his daughter and we dated for about a month before distance killed that relationship. At the time, he was writing Without Remorse and I got to see a chapter on his computer that I recognized when I read the novel.
This was well after the Hunt for Red October made him a success and I think before the movie came out. He had purchased what used to be a girls' summer camp and built this gorgeous house on the water in Maryland. It was on the edge of the cliff and I believe was the inspiration for the climactic scene in Patriot Games (book, not movie). IIRC, there was one room in the house that didn't have a window looking out over the water. I've visited some nice houses in my time... It's one thing to drive through the gate along the road to the house, and it's altogether different to drive past the soccer field. He also had a two-lane shooting range in his basement.
I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. I loved his books (and Dale Brown's. Check out Craig Thomas of Firefox fame as well) and didn't bother with the ghost written ones. He was an interesting dude. And I hope Michelle is doing well.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus