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Charming and the Captain

I’ve written on a few occasions about my grandfather, Dr. Harry L. Heckel Jr. (“Captain Heckel”), the oldest man to perform a solo circumnavigation of the globe.  I still owe him a page on this blog. He always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He would push me to do more writing, and he reminded me more than once that life was shorter than I thought.

In fact, he told me that life was short on the day he died.

When I took the afternoon off work to go see him that day, I had something to tell him. At that point, contracts hadn’t been signed and I wasn’t supposed to talk about it, but I had received the offer on The Charming Tales. He had been having a difficult week and everyone thought the end was near.

So on his last day, I was able to tell him that I had gotten a book deal with Harper Voyager. Charming is the last thing we talked about, and I’m so thankful that I had the chance to share it with him.




The Other Harry Heckel

When I first started this blog, among the most common searches that directed people here were “sailor Harry Heckel” and “Captain Harry Heckel.” This isn’t surprising as I happen to share my name with the oldest man to ever circumnavigate the globe.

I’m also very proud to have him as my grandfather.

At age 97, he’s retired to live on land, and he’s still sharp enough to stump myself, my uncle the chemist and my incredibly bright daughter by asking us to spell a word pronounced “ti-sus.” Just so everyone knows, it’s phthisis. He’s a great man and a fantastic inspiration.

He’s also now a writer with some assistance from my aunt, Florence Russell. His book, Around the World in 80 Years: The Oldest Man to Sail Alone around the World – Twice! is now available both in print and in Kindle format on Amazon. It’s also available in a variety of e-formats on Smashwords and should be out at the Apple e-store and for Nook on the Barnes and Noble site in the next few weeks. It’s the story of his voyages around the world (with stops) in his eighties. For anyone who wants to know more, please check out the book.

And if anyone asks, I’m the other Harry Heckel.

Here are the links:

Kindle Version

Print Version

Smashwords Version

And just to make sure you have the right edition, here’s the cover:

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