JDM Civic Activities

Liar’s Poker Rules

From Richard Glendenning’s A Host of Fridays,-- a history of the Liar’s Club/Friday Lunch Bunch  ( 1984)

JDM and Kenneth Millar ( John Ross MacDonald—Ross MacDonald)







About me:

I was fortunate enough to teach my hobbies during my career:  Introduction to Philosophy, British Literature, Mass Media, and Mystery Fiction.  I taught The Deep Blue Good-by and The Empty Copper Sea as part of my mystery course.  

I became involved in The JDM Bibliophile as a columnist, and served as Chair of the 1996 John D. MacDonald Conference (the 6th one).  I have given lectures on Florida Mystery Writers as part of the Florida Humanities Council Speakers’ List, and I have given several programs on  MacDonald to groups and conferences.

Currently my wife and I are serving as consultants to the John D. MacDonald Collection at the University of Florida in Gainsville.

My mystery-detective-crime fiction library numbers around 4,000, and I have a complete collection of MacDonald novels, and books.  And many duplicate copies.

This is a picture of what I love to do:  talk about MacDonald and his works.. 

This was taken at the Slip F18 re-dedication in October, 2004 at the Bahia Mar Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.

At the 2007 “Conference To Die For” I moderated a panel on JDM’s environmental views as expressed in many of his books.  Back row, from left:  Bob Morris, Randy Wayne White, Tom Corcoran, Tim Dorsey, Front row: me, and Jon King

Contact Cal Branche at cbranche@earthlink.net for questions and suggestions.

  All  materials on this web site are copyrighted.


                                          IN    MEMORIAM

Walter Shine, 77, died Dec. 10, 1997. Many fans of JDM will remember him as a person who devoted nearly 30 years to a study of JDM and his work, particularly the Travis McGee series. He authored 3 long bibliographies of JDM and his work. At the time of his death he had been close to finishing a revised and updated Bio-Bibliography to replace the original published in 1980.

Walter knew so much about JDM and his works that when MacDonald was still alive he would call Walter to refresh his own memory about a long-ago short story, or character. Walter's research allowed him to pride himself on being able to answer any JDM-question, posed by anyone, within 90 seconds. Any question.

He was well-known to the staff of the MacDonald Collection, for he spent many long hours over the years painstakingly cross-referencing all items in the Collection in preparation for several publications of his works on JDM.

It is unlikely we will ever see a scholar with such credentials devoted to JDM again. We owe a great debt of thanks for Walter's efforts.

A graduate of Georgetown Law School he was a long-time member and supporter of the ACLU; and argued the case that stopped discrimination against blacks in Washington, D.C. restaurants;

Like Travis, Walter was an avid boater who loved cruising Bahamian waters. A private memorial service was held in the Islands.

Walter and Jean Shine:


During the hot weather you may want to enjoy Trav's favorite drink.

To make the McGee Drink fill an old fashioned glass to the two-thirds line with cracked ice. Slosh dry sherry into glass. Swiftly, with strainer across top of glass, dump the sherry.

Fill to the ice level with Plymouth Gin (imported). Rub lemon peel around inside of rim, pinch some floating beads of citrus oil on the surface of the drink.

Throw away the peel.

And imagine you are on the Busted Flush, miles away from the hum of the big city, lost in your thoughts as the boat moves gracefully through the water.


To visit the Plymouth Gin site, click here: 



In March of 1965 Len and June Moffatt began publishing  the Bib, which was aimed at collecting information for a bibliography of MacDonald’s works.  The Master Check- list was published in 1969, and many of us remember receiving the list in the mail, copying it, and sending it  on to the next person on the list.  

By 1978 22 issues had been completed and the Moffatt’s passed the Bib  to Ed Hirshberg, an English professor at the University of South Florda.  Ed published the Bib until shortly before his death, the last issue being #64.

A memorial Bib for Ed was published in 2004.  Copies are not readily available for collectors and fans, unfortunately.  

One of the quirky items in the Bib’s publishing history is that while two issues per year were promised, that goal was not often reached, yet it remained a favorite reading pleasure over the years.  

Perhaps one day we can resurrect the Bib using this site as a way of publishing articles on JDM.

Incidentally, Ed Hirshberg told me that the design on the cover of  was done by a USF student, but it is not very close to what the Busted Flush would have looked like.  See the Busted Flush page for that.

© bill 2014