This one-day job from hell came to mind today while reading an article in the New York Times recalling the 40th anniversary of Dickey’s novel. It quotes a biography of the author by Henry Hart, saying the macho Dickey “drank oceanically,” slept with too many women and was a serial exaggerator.
“I am crazy about being drunk,” Dickey wrote. “I like it like Patton liked war.”
Now that I look back, I wonder whether my assigned task of keeping Dickey sober that day was a big joke on me, or just an impossible job placed upon a novice college kid. I’ll never know for sure, but I remember James Dickey as a bigger than life character and one hell of a challenge!
Photo of Dickey playing the sheriff with Jon Voight in Deliverance. Photo from the Everett Collection