John Gardner at Home

Memories from Robert Harrist Jr.

Remembering John

I had the good fortune of knowing John Gardner for about thirteen years—not nearly enough, but of course no sum of years would be adequate for a friendship with John. Upon meeting him for the first time, only a few minutes were necessary for me to recognize that here was one of the smartest and funniest people I'd ever encountered; more time spent together made clear that he was also one of the finest and most humane. Every visit to Oxford, every shared meal, every outing with our families were occasions for delight, hilarity, and nourishment of mind and soul. Best of all was seeing John with Jenny and Henrik and Annika and Audra—the lights of his very full life, so well-lived. Recently, I've been reading some of John's essays and books. On every page one hears his inimitable voice and experiences anew his brilliance, humor, and humanity. His wisdom, badly needed I find for the task of living in such a confused and confusing world, is a comfort and a blessing. John, thank you for everything.

Bob Harrist

New York