Tony Hillerman, journalism professor, author of 29 books, and all around nice guy died today.
Professor Hillerman taught at UNM, the university I attended, before I arrived, but his name was always spoken in reverence and with high respect. People there were proud to have studied under him.
A few years ago, I was with someone at a local resturant I frequent and saw his wife and him eating at a table nearby. It had just so happened that it was near Christmas and I had bought my brother a hardback copy of Hillerman's latest Joe Leaphorn book as a gift.
I asked the guy at the resturant if he would do me a favor and ask Mr. Hillerman if he would mind signing the book for me. I didn't want to just go over and interupt his dinner and draw attention to him, but I thought it would be a great gift if it was signed.
The next time I went into the resturant, the waiter told me that he'd talked to Mr. Hillerman who said that it was so appreciative that I had been polite enough not to interupt dinner, that he'd be happy to sign the book for me. I was thrilled and had a great gift to give to my brother that year!
Professor Hillerman brought alot of positive attention to New Mexico with his writings and the movies that were made of them.
He'll definately be missed around the Land of Enchantment!
Rest in Peace Professor!