I met Mickey Spillane in a downtown bar in Orlando when I was living in Florida.
In 1998 I was living in Orlando in Florida. In the same year, my friend Martin Rayney had taken redundancy from the gas board, as I had earlier, & had come to stay with me in Orlando for 3 months. One of the places we went to regularly was the Hooters restaurant at Church Street Station in Orlando. We went there on a Friday night after having a few beers in the surrounding areas while watching some of the shows at the Church Street Station entertainment complex.
We sat at our normal table & a few of the waitresses were talking to us. Most of the girls knew us by name & looked after us very well. Whilst sitting there we noticed that the older gentleman sitting next to us was getting a lot of attention from the girls with at least two of them sitting with him most of the time he was there. I asked our waitress to buy him a beer from us, I then learned across & asked for his secret with the girls.
We started chatting & he told us he lived in South Carolina but whenever he was in Orlando he came into Hooters & that he knew all the girls there. We told him that at one time, both Martin & myself, had worked at the same place, that I had left a couple of years before & that Martin had left recently & was staying at my home whilst he was visiting Orlando. He then asked his waitress to get me & Martin a pitcher of beer & we sat chatting for an hour or so before he left.
Shortly after he left the waitress brought us another pitcher of beer telling us that he had bought us this one before he left. We asked the waitress who he was & she laughed & told us to look at the celebrity photos on the wall next to where we were sitting. When we looked there was a photo of the guy we had been talking to with all the Hooters girls, how we never noticed before we will never know.
It turned out our new friend was none other than Mickey Spillane the author who wrote the Mike Hammer detective novels, among many others.