You were an absolute legend.
A few years back, we exchanged some choice words about the future of the news business. Though I now fully realize the arrogance in explaining my very opinionated vision of future to a veteran, after I rambled you simply said…
“You’re fucking wrong.”
You rightfully put me in my place, with a terse but graceful wisdom that has stuck with me ever since. I left thinking “How did I fuck that up so much? He’ll surely hate me forever now.”
The next time we saw each other was in Dublin in 2013. It was as though we never had the heated exchange when you embraced me with a handshake and kind words as though we’ve been friends for years. We opined about where the media landscape would shake out in the next few years and this time I was listening more than talking. I had a good laugh as you snagged every little morsel from the waiters that were walking around with finger foods.
Last October while on an old-timey train to Cork, Ireland during a conference you asked me to sit down while I nearly passed by in the car. I’m glad you did. Our conversation about family, careers, demons, and Irish stew has stayed fresh in my brain ever since. It wasn’t hard to stay captivated and want to hear just a few more words as we came to a stop at our destination.
It makes me unbelievably sad to think that moment will be the last time that we really talked. I’ll cherish every story you shared with me, whether it was in person or through the words that you spoke to the world through your columns.
It’s impossibly hard to write these words right now. It was an honor to have met you, to have been so lucky as to spend quality time together, and I’ll forever be thankful. The world isn’t as great without you here anymore but we’ll do our damnedest to honor your legacy.
See ya, pal.