Edward Winskill wrote:
 But the great thing is, when your calendar is clear, you can take off. You punch no clock. You answer to no pettifogging supervisor. You can choose what to take, and what not to take. You are, ultimately, independent. This is priceless.

I understand this motivation of Jack's well.

Same here.  I freelanced from 1981 to . . .  well, I suppose I'm still doing it.  You have to accept a degree of uncertainty in your life -- it's chicken one day, feathers the next.  But I could never have gone into an office, day after day, and done what I was told, especially if the guy doing the telling was no paragon of wisdom.  I'll bet Jack got enough of that in the merchant marine.

I can remember thinking, when I was sixteen or seventeen, that life offered you a spectrum:  at one end, complete freedom;  at the other, complete security -- and everybody has to find where they fit comfortably in that range.  I was pretty sure then that I was going to lean toward the freedom side of the spectrum.  I think Jack would have been somewhere near my spot, too.