A very good friend died today, or rather yesterday, John Hunt. I had the opportunity to get to know John through the Hunt Museum, or vice versa. When we (Mona and I) had moved to Limerick, Ireland, in 1991, we wanted to understand the country and its people, so I signed up for a course in Irish Archaeology. After completing two years of night classes, I found and advertisement in Limerick Leader that the Hunt Museum (which we had visited, at UL, during our first pre-immigration visit to Ireland in the spring 1991) was looking for Docents guides. I applied and was accepted into the program. This is also how I got to know Mairead Dunlevy – the most amazing, passionate and learned curator any museum on Earth could have. Every now and then, John was around, talking about the collection, art, archaeology, or, just having a pint and a chat. I guess it was John who enabled me to attempt experimental archaeology in Craggaunowen as well. I think he really liked the methods involved, and also that we allowed the public to be involved in our exploration of pre-historic methods.
Last time I had a good chat and a pint with John was at the opening of an exhibition in Castlebar where he had asked me do to the honours. Last summer, leading up to the Living Exhibition in the Hunt Museum, I missed the occasion when John was around, but I think and hope he liked what we were doing.
You will have a very special place in my heart and mind forever. I already miss you. Not that we met that regularly, but when we met I felt we were on the same planet, wavelength and fellow human beings. I hope I will get the time to sit and contemplate issues we did discuss and never resolved. I will enjoy it and I’ll try to anticipate your responses. One day we might meet again, I hope.