John McNamara was the second of seven children, reared in chaos and thus craving just a slice of solitude in adulthood. So, when he and wife Andrea Chamblee were settling into their Maryland home, the sportswriter had just one request.
The den, McNamara decided, would be his sanctum.
Chamblee understood and honored his request, and when McNamara launched his passion project – the definitive book about basketball in our nation’s capital – the den became a de facto library, filled with copies of microfiche and carefully indexed interviews. Chamblee knocked on the door merely to deliver his dinner – “Like a 1950s housewife,” she notes – and would return half an hour later to retrieve the empty plate.
This routine played out for the better