Derek Hunter

I'm trying to write and trying to think, but I can't. I just listened again to the first interview radio I did with Andrew Breitbart. It’s weird to hear yourself interview a friend. It’s harder to say goodbye to one.

In one sense, that interview seems like yesterday. In another, yesterday seems like forever ago. I'm still in shock. The disbelief is fading, but part of me won't let go of the hope that he'll pop up on Twitter with a big "I was just kidding.”

He can't, of course, but a gut-punch like this, that you don’t see coming, is never easy to take. It's not so much the jolt of the hit that gets you, it's the waves of pain and disbelief after. I'm stuck somewhere in one of those ripples.

Christopher Hitchens had been ill for a while, and you could see it coming. This was out of the blue.

I first met Andrew 4 or 5 years ago while taking pictures of people in a Snuggie. I knew he was in town, he was coming to my office the next day, but springing a Snuggie on him there seemed less than professional.

I’d been told he was stopping by a happy hour at bar on Capitol Hill, so I set off to find him there.

I spotted his hair first. I’d only ever seen a picture of him, the small one he used on Big Hollywood (the only “Big” site that existed at the time), but I’d heard about him from our many mutual friends, so I knew what to look for. I introduced myself to him in a room full of clean-cut, suited conservatives, my hair longer than his, and he made a reference to an obscure 80s musician (that I can’t remember) that my hair reminded him of.

Within 3 minutes he was wearing the Snuggie and posing for pictures.

I remember thinking that Andrew was different than just about every other conservative in Washington. Aside from politics and his family, Andrew loved music. Specifically, he loved “all British 80s (music), 34.7% gay, alt-Brit rock,” as he once jokingly told me on air. The percentage would change every time we’d talk about music, but the sentiment was always there.

The man was an encyclopedia of 80s music trivia. Not hair bands or bad metal bands, but the ones a few of us liked in high school and were ridiculed for, only to find those doing the ridiculing claiming to have always loved years later.

Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.