It is very difficult for me and for most colleagues to describe how much we all miss Huntley. Although I think we are still in denial and we expect him to show up, for example to the upcoming seminar and bombard the speaker with questions, or to the next hiring committee meeting to veto a candidate it took us ages to agree on …. Reality is slowly sinking in, though I have frequently heard myself or one of us assert , for example, that “Huntley would not have seen it this way, Huntley would have said so and so, Huntley would have never agreed to this, Huntley would have stopped you right there.”
And Huntley himself, had he been in this room, would have stopped me right here, right now! He would have reminded me that it was difficult to always agree with him, to follow his high standards, and to support his “combats.” Perhaps it was. Yet we miss him for all of this! For his ambitious vision, and for his contagious drive.
I will conclude with a quote from Gibran Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” on friendship, that I find best summarizes how I feel:
“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”