Just about ten minutes ago, I sat down to my email; I had looked at it at about 9:30 a.m. — before the sad news about Kap arrived. So, I saw the message appended below (you have it as well) only a few minutes ago. I was shocked by the news. “Sad” really doesn’t begin to describe my feelings; Kap was almost as close, where I’m concerned, as a beloved parent. Of all my graduate school teachers (Stone, Zygmund, Chern, , , , , , , Mac Lane, Albert, etc.), and I revered each and every one of them, Kap was my favorite. A half-hour-to-hour conversation with him about mathematics generated so much excitement that I spent the rest of the day walking on a cloud. Irv was immensely popular with the graduate students; he was always ready to talk math with us and make good and useful suggestions for our work, but he was also somewhat “scary” for many of the students. His “social” behavior was even more peculiar than the “standard” behavior of dedicated mathematicians. Most of us have an exaggerated sense of the “futility” of small talk; Irv’s view of that had to be described as “excessive”. For example, if you met him in the hallway and stopped for a conversation with him, when the conversation was clearly over, he just walked on, turned and walked away, whatever — absolutely no decompression stage (or phrases, e.g., the currently popular, and almost always, fatuous “have a nice day” — recently inflated to “have a great day”). Handshakes? Forget it! As fast and smart and creative as he was, and all that (genuine, not affected) no-nonsense behavior of his, we loved (“worshipped” might be more accurate) him. Chatting with him in his office, after a few years, he asked me a nice question that had occurred to him, a fine blend of algebra and analysis (nil-potents of index 2 and approximation). I thought about it for fifteen minutes or so that evening and didn’t see how to get started. Being busy with other things I dropped it and didn’t get back to it until I met and talked to him a day or two later. He asked me if I had thought about the problem. I said that I had, but hadn’t been able to get started on it, and then asked him if he really thought it was true. His response was, “When God whispers a theorem in your ear, you should listen.” Now, of course I understood his “cute” way of giving me some valuable mathematical advice, but I chose to misinterpret it. When I reported this to the other graduate students, I told them the story and added that Kaplansky had finally revealed himself, and as many of us had suspected, he was God. In those very early years (end of the 1940s), Irv lived an austere life. He rented a single room in a house near the U. of Chicago campus, paid \$5 a week for it, if I remember correctly, and saved almost all the rest of his salary. The word was that he was (relatively) wealthy in those days. (Of course, that could mean anything from someone with a bank balance of \$100 and up and no debts, in those days and our society.) Chellie (Rochelle), Irv’s wife of fifty-five years was tremendous fun, great sense of humor. I had the impression that she could wrap him around her little finger, he knew it, and he enjoyed it. She entered the picture in 1951. Some years later (about five), was having dinner with Karen and me at our apartment in Cambridge (we were visiting MIT that year). The conversation turned to Irv. (Kap and George were great friends.) When the subject of Kap’s purported wealth came up, George told of a conversation he and Chellie had had some little time back. He said that he had asked Chellie if she didn’t feel that she was lucky to have married a wealthy man — to which she replied, with a (feigned) surprised smile, “Oh, that — it was only about \$30,000 and I went thru that in no time!” George paused after reporting that, assumed a troubled, somber look and said, “Fair, sent a chill down my spine!” It probably helps to know that, in those days, George was still a bachelor, and lived a frugal, austere existence — completely by choice. Both Kap and Mackey were perfectly willing to spend their money when the occasion warranted it. I’ve had many fine meals with each of them. Kap did not eat lunch with us during our graduate student days, we took too long with it. I remember a bunch of us walking down the stairs of Eckhart Hall on our way over to lunch at the Commons. Irv came bouncing past us, evidently on the same mission. The Commons is a few hundred meters from Eckhart. We sauntered over arriving in time to see Kap emerging from the Commons, lunch over. Chellie probably slowed him down over the years. In my first years at Chicago, Irv had no discernible social life. He liked swimming in Lake Michigan during the summer and did so early each morning. Then, in 1949 he had a few quarters off and went out for a stay at UCLA. The rumors flew back to Chicago, Kap had bought himself a convertible, now drank liquor, socially, and smoked. One day it was said that the “new” Kaplansky had returned. A day later, I happened on my dear pal and fellow graduate student, . He told me that he had just talked with Irv a few hours ago. I asked, “The new Kaplansky?” Arnold’s reply was, “What new Kaplansky? It’s just the old Kaplansky — with a smile on his face.” Shortly after that, a few of us finished our Ph.D. requirements. As tradition had it, we invited one and all to a party. Walking around with a tray and two drinks (“highballs”) on it, one primarily scotch and the other bourbon, I offered one of those drinks to Irv. His question for me was, “Which is the perfume and which is the hair tonic?” That, apparently, was the “new” Kaplansky. Of course, I could tell you so many more stories about Irv, many of them that have some mathematical significance. They are all memories I treasure. Kap is one of the very few people I’ve known well most of my working life of whom I can say that I have nothing but enjoyable memories.