Those of us who knew Don Shiles were better for having met him. He passed recently at the age of 81.
You've probably never heard of him. That's natural. Unlike James Bond, real spies don't seek recognition, and seldom give their real names to outsiders. Those of us who learned part of our craft from him got to know him.
Don invented forensic locksmithing, and testified in numerous court cases.
Don was an artist. He sold his paintings at local craft fairs, and taught art at a community college.
Don believed in the occult, but was skeptical enough to scientifically test it. He was the real life equivalent to Fringe's Walter Bishop in some ways.
Don won the Bronze Star for actions in Vietnam. He went to Iraq in 2004 at the age of 67, and was a refreshing breath of common sense and sanity.
Don was talented, creative, a good teacher, and a genuinely decent man.
He will be missed.