His book consists of 19 in-depth interviews with some of the pioneers, movers, and shakers of diving. They range in time from the 1950s Zale Parry to present day icons like John Chatterton and Wes Skiles. The careers of some of these still-active divers span nearly the entire history of scuba diving: Stan Waterman, Bev Morgan, Ron and Valerie Taylor, and Chuck Nicklin. Michele Hall rates her own chapter, as does Howard. Peter Benchley, Bob Ballard, and Greg MacGillivray have transcended our diving world and are well known outside its provincial boundaries. Bob Hollis and Dick Bonin were innovative manufacturers. Al Giddings, Mike DeGruy, Paul Humann, and Ernie Brooks round out a pennant winning lineup.
Gilliam himself is the subject of the final chapter, interviewed by longtime professional collaborator Lina Hitchcock. He claims to have been dragged in kicking and screaming. Fred Garth, Douglas David Siefert, Danielle Alary and Michel Gilbert, and I wrote chapters; the rest are Gilliam’s.
The book fills 489 pages and weighs 4 ½ pounds, so it hardly qualifies as airplane reading. Instead it’s something to take into a comfortable chair in the living room and read a chapter or two each night. It’s almost like having a diving legend sitting in the chair next to you, and carrying on a conversation with an old friend. The divers reveal their personalities, their sense of humor, their philosophy, and some amazing tales ranging from triumph to tragedy