Dangerous Dan

I just found out via email – via emailed obituary – that one of my childhood guides is dead. Retired Lt. Col. Daniel Marvin helped to start my father’s church in Ithaca, NY, before moving on to Cazenovia, NY. I was somewhere around 11 or 12. He used to hug me, swing me up and around. He used to say, “Well, I’ll be darned.” He gave me my very own Cross pen, beautiful, smooth-writing slim gold barrel of a pen with which I promised myself I would one day write autographs (obviously, it’s been rather unused). Somewhere, I have a contract to write his biography, which was my first serious endeavor at a book-length manuscript, and which I later tried to convince Jim Daniels to make into my senior honors thesis (obviously that didn’t happen. Looking back, I should have asked for nonfiction).

Col. Dan wrote a book called, Expendable Elite, which was actually quite interesting and well-written. This is where he got the affectionate nickname, “Dangerous Dan”. My parents edited it, and I remember pages and pages of typewritten faxes. I remember feeling grown-up to read it when I finally got my own signed copy. I remember being very excited to write his biography, interviewing him and sifting through his notes and belongings like an archaeologist.  Unfortunately, I only made it to 6 chapters before I ran off to Korea for a year. I never picked up the project again. But now I wonder if, for the sake of his amazing, James Bond-esque life, I could do something with the material he gave me. Let me think about it.

Retired Lt. Col. Dangerous Dan Marvin, Green Beret Special Forces.

October 10, 1933 – January 19, 2012.

May he find joy in the presence of the Lord.


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