Tony Hillerman died yesterday at age 83.
I never met him though I saw him at a couple of events. I feel sad that he’s gone, because I would have welcomed another of his stories, long or short, about Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and their world. The last time I felt this way was when I heard that Michael Gilbert died, and before that when I learned of the untimely death of Anne George.
At times like this I think: There ought to be a special physical immortality for our master storytellers. They should be given extra-strong hearts, forever supple hands, clear voices never scratched up by passing decades, and the eyes and ears of young wild critters.
But of course the best of our storytellers? Wouldn’t take that if offered on a platinum platter. Because they are human and understand so much about that condition, and the difference between humans and God, and the perils of hubris.