One of our greatest died today. I’ve only got one Sir Ed story (it’s not even my story, technically, but anyhoo).
A good friend used to look after Sir Ed’s feet at his Meadowbank podiatry practice. He was making small talk and remarked that it was pretty cold that morning. We’re talking Auckland in maybe June or July.
Sir Ed looked at my friend and said in that deep, deep voice: “This isn’t cold, son.”
I met Colin Meads one time in a pub toilet (not circumstances I’d have wished for, really, but I’ll take it) and I imagine Sir Ed had a similar presence. Meads was huge, with impressively out of control eyebrows, and screamed of the no-bullshit, ‘get the job done and get the jug on and have a yarn about it by the fire in our woolly socks’ rugged-ness that makes us guys working in offices all day pausing only for sushi feel very un-manly indeed.
Guys like Hillary and Meads made this country what it is today (I’m thumping my desk here), and it makes you wonder where today’s equivalent is. And no, blogging doesn’t count.