His friends referred to Wilke time [as in: “I’m heading to the elevator, be there in 10 mins,” which meant 30 to 45 minutes].
At the Big Hunt, or Mackey’s, or Fourth Estate, or Morton’s [or any number of places] he wasn’t likely to be the first to leave, even if he was on his cell phone talking with sources.
When he was delving into a big story, no amount of haranguing from an editor would force Wilke to give up his copy until he knew it was ready.
About the only time he would decline a beer was when he made plans to watch a big Sox game at home with Nancy.
Yet here we are talking about him and all that he did as a friend and colleague.
Clearly, his work here wasn’t complete.
Last fall, he picked up a copy of The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, by Bruce Barcott, which centers around the fight to save the habitat of the Scarlet Macaw in Belize.
Wilke had a keen interest because a college friend, Sharon Matola, was involved on the conservation side of the fight. I grew up in Belize and Wilke talked incessantly about taking a trip to see where I came from. He was fascinated by the history, and kept peppering me with questions in the way Wilke always did as he gathered information for his many scoops.
We were making plans, hoping that his fight against cancer would stabilize enough to allow him and Nancy and other friends to take the trip with us in May or June.
Unfortunately, he left us before he could fly down to see the macaws.