Thursday 26 December 2013
In one of his more memorable retirement eulogies George Short drew a hilarious comparison of the departing Jack Hartzman to the great Apache chief Geronimo. I had a good view of Jack’s face as George set about demolishing Geronimo’s character. At first it was just the hint of a smile as George listed the chief’s meanness, his twisted features and finally his stunted growth. By the end, with George insisting that Geronimo was in the habit of shouting “Asshole!” at recalcitrant members of his tribe, Jack was in tears.
Two decades or so earlier Jack had stopped by my desk on his way out for “lunch” and asked if I’d like to join him. Assuming that some sort of bollocking was in the offing I was surprised to find a most affable companion at the bar. It was the start of a life-long friendship which I valued enormously. ■