My Friend John Muir Has Died

I received the sad news this afternoon that John Muir has died.

No person has played as many roles in my life as John: from the time I first met him in the fall of 1985 John was, by times, my mentor, my teacher, my landlord, my boss, my interrogator, my arch nemesis and my friend.

He was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and one of the most tactically arrogant people I’ve ever met.

John had ideas, if you didn’t agree with those ideas, or didn’t understand them, he took you for coffee or a meal until you did (either).

Last year around this time John found himself in an extended hospital stay, and he gave me a call. Over the course of that night, and the next few, we talked on the phone for 4 or 5 hours, all told. About all manner of things: our lives, our partners, our children, politics, free speech, public broadcasting, our friends, our shared past. Occasionally he’d have to excuse himself when a nurse came into exact some indignity, but he’d call back a few minutes later and we’d pick up where we left off.

We were in touch a few times by email in the year since, but that series of conversations was our last hurrah as friends, and I’m glad to have had the chance.

John and I shared a love of the music of Curtis Driedger, and I don’t think Curtis would mind if I have him play John out:

I Hope (That the World Doesn’t Blow Up Tomorrow) from Problem A.