Dan and Max.
Of all the creatures that adored him, surely hyperactive puppies topped the list.
For someone who – purely without intention – epitomized the proper British gentleman, Dan Klein had an odd way of dealing with exuberance. He encouraged it.
The month after 9/11 when I asked him – rhetorically, I thought – where to go in a world gone mad, he said with charm-stuffed conviction “Come to North Lands”.
A year later, after I’d fallen deliriously in love with one of the most remote corners of the planet and found a pile of old stones that I thought I couldn’t live without but was sure we couldn’t afford, he nudged me towards the dream “You’ll regret it more if you don’t than if you do”.
Dan changed my life – our lives, my own Dan’s and mine. He encouraged our exuberance, our risk-taking, and our passions.
But my stories are small, short and irrelevantly personal, compared to the larger dreams that Dan Klein brought to life. Among them, the existence of one of the world’s most magical glass programs. North Lands Creative Glass is a testament to Dan’s willingness and ability to turn a quirky little Highland fishing village into a world-calibre glass centre.
I was packing for North Lands when I learned that Dan died yesterday.
He will be so very, very missed by all of us who loved him so very, very much – not least I’m sure, the madcap puppies.