Thanksgiving Day, I did what I always did. When I got up in the morning I would — my apartment oversaw his home and I would check on his home. I was worried that he would try to drive, for example. I would run down and take his keys. He was always threatening to drive and he shouldn’t have been. I was afraid. He had an accident with the car, not a bad one, so I was always checking on him.

When I woke up Thanksgiving morning there was an ambulance there in the driveway, two white-suited ambulance attendants at the door. I couldn’t see anything else but I ran down and went to the door and the two attendants told me I couldn’t have entry to the house. I suggested that they weren’t going to be able to keep me from it without calling the police and I barged past them. I went into the bedroom and he was on the floor of his bathroom just off the bedroom. He was gone. He was gone.

I do remember that until he died, many of his students in prior years’ courses were still redoing papers for him — still redoing papers that they had written as freshmen and sophomores. He was still commenting on them. There were some of those papers in his bedroom on the day he died. He was still saying, “these thoughts are not terribly coherent so let’s work on them some more.”