SAYING GOODBYE TO MY FRIEND WHO HAD ALL THE ANSWERS
Last weekend I lost a very close friend. I never met him. I never even had a conversation with him. But he came into my home every weeknight for over 35 years for a half hour long visit.
My friend was brilliant. He had all the answers. But he expected me to ask the questions.
My friend and I would have fascinating virtual discussions on topics ranging from history to literature to sports, and even pop culture. My friend was a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge. He would rapidly fire facts at me, and expect me to respond with relevant questions.
My daily visits with my friend were like tutorials with a great college professor. While my friend was not a teacher, he knew something all great teachers know. He knew the search for knowledge is about asking the right questions.
My friend and I did not gamble. But we did occasionally make wagers, betting on whether or not I could ask the right questions.
My friend had many other friends with whom he also had daily visits. But when he appeared in my den each weeknight, I felt I had his undivided attention, and he had mine.
Several months ago, I heard that my friend was very ill. But he kept visiting me every weeknight, looking like the picture of health. He was always upbeat and positive, invariably greeting me with a smile. He had contagious enthusiasm for our nightly pursuit of knowledge in questions and answers, although not in that order.
And then last Sunday morning I heard the news that he was gone. But not quite. Through the magic of videotape he will continue to visit with me each weeknight between now and Christmas.
I will enjoy our last few visits before we say goodbye forever. And thanks to him, I will continue to ask questions, although he will no longer be with me to give me the answer first.
He may well have been your dear friend, too. If so, by now I am sure you know the final answer and the question.
And the final answer is … The phenomenal host of the classic TV quiz show “Jeopardy”.
And the question, of course … Who was our dear friend Alex Trebek?