David Royko Psy.D
A few samples of what's been written about Royko In Love: Mike's Letters to Carol
“Royko in Love: Mike’s Letters to Carol, reveals a new dimension of the columnist, and introduces Carol to the world. [It] reads like a great epistolary novel... This isn’t a harrowing tale of life on the battle front. Nor are the letters hot and steamy. They were written by a slightly insecure young man from the Northwest Side at a rural Air Force base in Washington state. Royko’s depiction of life more resembles 'Hogan’s Heroes' or 'F Troop' than 'All Quiet on the Western Front' or even 'M*A*S*H.'"
"Mike Royko's softer side... Love letters from the famed Chicago columnist to his future wife reveals a man obsessed. Royko reached for his pen and went after Carol with a fever, displaying the same level of pursuit he would later employ in chasing bureaucrats and political hacks... The Royko cadence was already locked in -- simple, unadorned sentences that don't show the sweat behind them and are marked by a near-poetic lack of pretense. Even then, barely old enough to vote, he made it look effortless."
"He became a celebrated syndicated columnist and a Pulitzer Prize winner, but the love letters written in 1954 to woo Carol, his childhood sweetheart, were likely the most important assignment of his life. He sure wrote like it was... We become privy to the whole human turmoil that Mike goes through as he spills out his heart in letter after letter to Carol, almost every day, sometimes a couple of letters a day... Through his descriptions we visualize his lanky frame on his military bunk at 3 a.m., hunched over a sheaf of lined paper, writing his tender missives under a harsh light. Woven through the letters are snippets of postwar military life; astute observations of base politics (“We have two officers on our golf team playing because of their rank instead of their skill”); of the social culture of the 1950s; of a military man’s life as he waits out his duty so he can get back to the real world and begin life on his own terms with the girl of his dreams."
"Royko won his love’s heart with 114 handwritten letters... In 1954, Royko was trying to win the love of Carol... She was a tall, blond beauty who turned down a marriage proposal almost every week. From his barracks room, the only way Royko could compete for her love was by 'groping for words with a pen.' And compete he did, writing Carol a letter every day, often two or three a day."
"The subject of his most famous column, 'November Farewell,' was the untimely passing of his first wife, Carol. The piece is included in this collection... The long-distance love letters...are all the more compelling as the written word was his only means of winning her over."
(Greg Wahl, CBS Chicago, 3/9/11)
"Alternately happy and sappy, angry and jealous, funny and serious... They were penned, pre- and post-nuptials, over the course of around 10 months and are rife with the cutting wit and wry cynicism for which Royko would one day become renowned."
Courtship of a Chicago legend "If you were a newspaper reader in Chicago during the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s, the most influential writer went by just one name - Royko… Before anyone knew him, however, back in 1954, he was hopelessly in love with Carol Duckman… The letters reveal a side of Mike Royko few have seen…"
"Royko in Love compiles the achingly tender, rarely seen correspondences of a man who once claimed Cyrano de Bergerac as his hero. “Hearing your voice nearly caused the telephone to melt in my hand,” writes Royko in one letter. “I’ve read your letter until the ink has practically worn off,” he says in another. It’s not hard to see why one day, one of Royko’s most cherished pieces of writing would be 'November Farewell,' a tribute to his better half."