Patricia Brooks - The most beautiful woman I've ever seen
Patricia should of course write her own autobiography, but she's asked me to include bits of her life in the telling of mine.
It would be impossible not to do so because I have not a single doubt that I am alive today because of her love and "creative nagging" over the past half century.
Rakes like me only grow old if they love a woman enough to stay in love with her as she keeps after them until they give up all their bad habits.
Patricia and I were destined to meet and fall in love. After all, we met because she stole my sketchpad, and even when her parents separated us she ran off to New York City searching for me and bumped into me on the street as I was leaving to go get her.
Since we both have extremely proud, passionate and volcanic personalities, it's a small miracle we have not killed each other countless times.
Pat says tongue-in-cheek that we're still together because we haven't finished fighting yet.
But I'm not the only person she occasionally riles.
A Cape Cod woman
Pat hated school even more than I did. She spent huge hunks of her school days in detention or forced to sit next to the teacher's desk.
Even her agnosticism started early, and her mother once told me that when they passed the collection plate in church, little Patsy Twite would try to help herself.
The stories of her rebellious nature are infamous in the family, and it's that feisty, "take-no-prisoners" attitude that is one good reason for her success as an adult.
Patricia, whom I call Pat and a few call Patsy, was born in Falmouth on George Washington's birthday in 1942.
On her father Harry Twite's side her grandmother was a Bangs, which was one of the first eight families to settle on Cape Cod in the mid-1600s.
Her mother Margaret Teresa Geraughty came to America at 16 from County Galway, Ireland, and within two years was a maid and nanny for little Gloria Vanderbilt at her Newport RI mansion.
Pat was at least as adventurous as her mom by running away from home at 17 to find her Beatnik lover.
Obviously she didn't hang around home long enough to finish high school, and yet within a few years she was probably the highest-paid advertising rep on Cape Cod.
But that came after she had her last child when she was 21 and quickly became an advertising model for Puritan Clothing featured in countless full-page ads for over a decade.
At the same time she worked first from home and later from The Cape Codder office selling ads and subscriptions over the telephone.
She was incredibly good at both.
After I was fired at The Cape Codder in 1978 and quickly hired by MPG Communications, Pat stayed on selling for that weekly until after six months the Business manager, Paul Donham, called her into his office and told her she was being fired "because you are sleeping with a competitor."
Imagine getting away with that crap today!
But it was a lucky break for her as it was for me, for she would have loyally stayed there forever, but when she started selling for MPG where I worked she zoomed past every salesperson and within a year was earning over $100.000 a year, and the year was 1979. That's the equivalent of over a quarter million a year today.
Pretty and witty
Pat was crucial to our success at Best Read Guide. It was not unusual, when we had four salespeople on staff, for her to be responsible for half the group's total. She was just as important for the launch of our internet company eCape.com in 1996 when she sold contracts for banners even before the first site was online.
As this is written she is in her 67th year and out selling this year's ads for Best Read Guide.
Here's an example of her quick wit.
We were visiting our son and his wife in Salem fifteen years ago, and Pat noticed a copy of "American Atheist" on their coffee table.
Pat asked our son what it was, and he told her that they subscribed to it to support the separation of church and state, to wit Pat parried;
"I raised my kids to be agnostics and they turned atheists."