Sunday, April 11, 2010
"The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way." So said Richard Harding Davis, who died on this day in 1916, in New York City, a week shy of his 53rd birthday. Back upstream, in pre-WWI America, this ace journalist/war-correspondent/adventure-writer covered the horrendous 1889 flood at Johnstown, PA, the Boer War in South Africa , and the Spanish American War down in the wilds of Cuba. He was a close comrade of Teddy Roosevelt, an honorary Rough Rider, and, incidentally, tops in the handsome department. When Charles Dana Gibson (one of my favorite artists) dipped his pen in a bottle of India ink and drew a gentleman to escort one of his regal young women (www.gibson-girls.com), who was Gibson's ideal dude, the model in his mind's eye? Dashing Dick Davis.