09 February 2009


Other subjects I intended to attempt today have been pushed aside by the death of a friend.

William McRostie: Bill to most people, Dad to his family, but always Mac to me and to the half dozen friends we shared.

Mac "ate a good breakfast and had a pretty good night's sleep", his daughter tells me, then left us at 1708 UTC today. I was walking through the beginnings of a blizzard at that time, which seems somehow appropriate, and only heard the new about six hours later, just a few minutes ago.

Mac had been many things, from forester to lawyer. His passions ranged from opera to world poverty. His curiosity embraced everything from politics to string theory. He had lived through a lot of history. He had moved across the political spectrum, in the opposite direction to what most would expect. All of that went into any conversation with an always interesting human being.

Mac and I usually disagreed about most things (though not, ultimately, the most important one or two core things) but always in mutual respect. Cantankerous, argumentative, exasperating, honest, warm, compassionate, loyal, humorous, he will be deeply and sincerely missed by a lot of people. I am one of them.

Addendum (2008-02-12): a lot of people have written in response to this post, and I would like to thank all of them.


Gayle Reynolds said...

Mac's candle hasn't gone out, it continues to glow warmly in a corner of our hearts.

Anonymous said...

"Mac has been many things..."
Let me add one more dimension. He was a man with a huge heart, one filled with gratitude for his friends --none more special than his internet family, and none more valued than you, Felix. The disagreements between you and Mac flowed from deep respect and admiration. More of a sparring event, a match of wit, rather than any substantive differences.

Mac would want me to claify that, Felix, and so I have. He would want to know that we miss him, and that our world has changed since he left us, yet richer for having been called his friend. Pauline