Huntley Schaller, R.I.P. - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Huntley Schaller, R.I.P.

This afternoon I learned that my friend Huntley Schaller lost his battle with cancer in late January. He was only 58.

Huntley was a professor of economics at Carleton University in Ottawa. We met through the NDP back in 1997 when we were both selected as delegates to the party’s federal convention in Regina, Saskatchewan (where Huntley grew up) and got to know each other during the convention. 

Although I moved down to Boston and my politics would change, our friendship did not. We could still discuss politics in a civilized manner. But we both knew that man cannot live by politics alone. We both loved baseball. Huntley made a lot of visits down here for academic conferences and even taught for a semester at Harvard a few years back. We probably attended about six or seven Red Sox games together over the past 15 years. When I saw him for what turned out to be the last time this past July, we saw the Red Sox face the White Sox shortly before the All-Star Break. It was a hot, muggy and rainy night. During the rain delay, we were ordered under the grandstands which were even muggier and just teeming with people. Yet this did not deter Huntley’s spirit one iota. He was eager to discover the interior of Fenway Park. Looking back on it, I have to admire his gusto even though he was probably a lot more ill than he was letting on. I suppose if I was in his position I would want to look around as much as I possibly could too.

I had hoped to get together with him when I visited Ottawa last August, but this unfortunately did not come to pass. Naturally, I wish I had known about Huntley’s passing sooner. In retrospect, I should have known something was amiss when I didn’t receive his annual Christmas letter. It was more of a year in review summary. Huntley loved to write about all the traveling he did, meet new people, try new foods and read books. He also loved tennis with a passion. But he would often not watch the major tournaments until months after the fact. So I learned not to talk about Wimbledon during his visits. Letter writing is a lost art and Huntley was one of its last great practitioners.

I suppose I didn’t give as much thought to the absence of his correspondence in large part because of my Dad’s medical troubles late last year. It wasn’t until I went to Fenway earlier this week on Patriot’s Day that he crossed my mind. Needless to say, I regret not having thought of him sooner.

I will miss Huntley’s engaging manner, inquistiveness and idiosyncracies (he liked to brush his teeth while driving) and his zest for life. Above all else, I am glad to have known him.

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