I have to admit this is a tough one.
Back in September 2008 I reviewed Jack Falla's excellent new book titled Open Ice: Reflections and Confessions of a Hockey Lifer for my website HockeyBookReviews.com. The next day, he contacted me to offer me his thanks.
I must admit to being completely ecstatic. One of the greatest hockey writers ever not only read my review, but he liked it, and liked it well enough to go out of his way to tell me so.
Then I got courageous and asked him if I could interview him about the book. I fully expected him to brush me off, at least at that moment. After all, he's an incredibly busy guy and he could be conducting interviews with so many more beneficial sources than my little website.
Without hesitation Falla enthusiastically accepted the offer to be interviewed by me. I would contact him a day later with my questions, and he would clear time from his busy schedule to make sure the interview had center stage.
I'm not sure if I was more incredulous of what just happened or down right nervous about what was going to happen. After all, here I am, a complete amateur, interviewing a writing legend, veteran journalist and a 20 year university professor of journalism. I was definitely out of my league.
Jack Falla not only obliged me but made me feel like a million bucks in doing so. He gave me the rare feeling that maybe, just maybe, my hockey writing was going to get me somewhere yet. He was truly an amazing and humble man.
Three days later Jack Falla died of heart failure. I could not believe it.
A few weeks later on HockeyBookReviews.com I released the last known interview with Jack Falla, hoping it was in good taste. The interview was intended to promote his new book, but as far as I'm concerned this interview was now my way of saying thank you to him.