To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make. ~Truman Capote, McCall’s, November 1967
By: Stacey Purcell
Before we get to the last half of the remarkable Sue Simon (Ultra Counterintelligence), I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with all of you.
For the second time in as many months, I am at a funeral today. It was another young person in another car accident. No one should die in their early twenties. No one. It’s just not right on so many levels. But life happens. The good, the bad, the ugly. Life is a mixed up puzzle that I try to unwind only to find another piece missing. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. Being only human, I cannot fathom God’s plan- nor should I.
I also celebrated my 5oth birthday yesterday with some remarkable friends. Seeing as I’ve now joined the ranks of being truly middle aged, I’ve decided to be happy in the face of this tragic death. Why? Because I have blessings that multiply with each breath that I take. Death is but a momentary separation and I choose to be in the here and now. Be happy, my friends. Find your blessings- they are there!
Let’s get back to Sue Simon!!
What’s a two man carry?
I was asked a couple of times by airport security to “find something better to do than pick up men outside the bathroom” when I was intently watching for my partner to come out of the Men’s room. More than a few times, a good partner of mine and I would pose as a married couple. If either of us made the bladder error of going to the bathroom on the airplane, the other was busy talking to seatmates. I’ve walked back with women taking my hand because of my brain tumor or congratulating me on my pregnancy or my autistic brother’s upcoming wedding. Since we didn’t want to blow cover, we had to work with the shenanigans of the other. I admit, in retaliation, I’ve told people my partner is a deaf mute and other pranks.
A two man carry is literally when two people are carrying information that needs to get to its destination so much so that if something happens (ie.death) to one person, the other can go alone and deliver it. Spooky, but exhilarating. Two man carrys, when stuck at a hotel and having to get adjoining rooms with a common door, was interesting. **Information on the floor between rooms and him in bed under threat of bodily harm from me.
Okay- when the movies have the macho law enforcement guy is handcuffed to a briefcase, I want to scream out laughing! The POINT is to be clandestine, not scream your actions. “Hey everyone! I have really important stuff in my briefcase you could probably make a lot of money from if you bonk me over the head and cut my hand off!”
I know you can’t use names or places, but were you ever in danger at any point?
For Your Eyes Only?
Hollywood spy jargon. Real documents are more specific like “For Sue Simon’s Eyes Only” or ‘For ICEBTS project Eyes Only”. Like a lot of Ian Fleming’s writing, it had double meanings and usually sexual so my guess is that the woman was for James Bond’s eyes only and I don’t mean to play Parcheesi with.
What’s a dead giveaway that something big is happening on the hill or at secret installations?
On The Hill, it is a well known fact that when some big legislature is being mulled over they send out for pizza. Pizza being a euphonium for Chinese food etc. The pizza guys know what’s up.
If you think about it, for a facility that is supposed to be clandestine, you have to add in the law of taking the easy path. People pick codes that do include their birthday and people get hungry and don’t want to go get food all the time. So they send out. What is not suspicious about delivering 15 large pizzas to an unmarked building? Why are their huge bus shuttles leaving at all hours of the day and night from a small town into the desert?
How long have you been writing and what prompted you to start?
I’ve always written even as a girl. I would write little books using as many words of a certain letter of the alphabet. I did not get through the entire alphabet, darn ‘x’! Since middle school I have journaled so I have lots of self blackmail, uh I mean adventures to draw from.
Anything else we should know about Sue Simon black ops to children’s writer??
I’ve sung professionally and am more at ease singing than speaking. I’ve sung with the San Diego Opera, Old Glove Theater, Cinnati Opera, Starlight Opera, May Festival and even Carnegie. On two man carries I’ve posed as an opera singer, they rued the day when asked if I really did that with some nasty Wagner. Bwaahahaha
I’m leaving tomorrow to do some writing for sitcoms in California, will spill the jelly beans on that later.
I understand you’ve written a children’s book. What are you working on now?
As I write, it is in limbo at a publisher’s. It’s a children/middle grade book about a society of penguins as told from the penguins perspective. Sort of a Watership Down with humor. I’m also working on two romances. I pitched them at National and they both want them!
We’ve enjoyed learning about your adventures and life in counterintelligence.