No use pretending that I always got along with Don, or that I always agreed with him-and I am feeling kind of bad about some of that right now.
I suppose that when you've connected with someone over a long period of time--that is to say, you've gotten to see their life, their tastes, their interests, their quirks and predispositions unfold over time, there are bound to be some differences. I hope he understood that I always liked him a lot, and that I read and and carefully considered everything that he wrote.
The thing about Don was that he had a wonderful sense of the sound and effect of his voice. Not just his singing voice or his speaking voice, but of his written voice, as well. This isn't just a talent, it is the stock and trade of a broadcaster--the ability to fill and extra 60 seconds or to cut something short, to make the improvised fit seamlessly with what has been carefully prepared, and to always hit the sweet spot.
If you listen to his singing, you will hear not only a deep, resonant voice, but also a "natural" voice-he had an excellent sense of phrasing and great timing, so you forgot about everything else and only heard the story he was telling--
His writing was like that, too--I particularly loved his reminiscences because he had gift for taking you to a distant time, to a room you'd never been in, with people you'd never met, and making you feel at home. He mentioned writing a book on numerous occasions--I have a feeling that was never realized, but I think a lot of his notes and first drafts are with us in the many, many threads that he contributed to--
Don, you were a luminous presence here for long, lo, these many years. Your voice was so clear, so constant, that it felt like you'd be with us forever-tho that is not so, we will always remember you.
Blessings and condolences to friends and family. Holding you all in the light.