Reminiscing about John Hume, it occurs that looking at his career brings to mind an iceberg, both for stature and for the fact that so much of it lies unseen.
A very large portion of his career was sustained and directed by the administrative and political talents of his wife Pat.
Obviously there are innumerable stories one might tell about a figure like John; but I remember one occasion in particular, when I was engaged in what proved to be a futile exercise, but at the same time illustrated John's willingness to try anything that might yield a peace dividend.
I persuaded him to accompany me to Convoy in Co Donegal to meet a man called Frank Morris who had been jailed for his IRA activities in NI. At the time, the Troubles, as we came to know them, had scarcely begun. I wanted to persuade Frank, with John's help, that international media had begun taking an interest in NI and the commentary was almost uniformly sympathetic to the nationalist cause.
I then hoped Frank would impress on his Republican colleagues the fact that suitcase bombs going off in streets would surely destroy this image.
John demurred a little at first, saying that he always found that once he succeeded in convincing an IRA man to rely on dialogue not bombs, a harder one in the IRA circle would convince him otherwise.
Yet he agreed to accompany me, but first he had to speak with a constituent in Derry.
When we eventually got to Convoy, Frank was nowhere to be found. His more-than-hospitable wife, however, suggested we spend the night at their home.
However, John and I had to share the same bed.
At the enormous breakfast which she provided the next morning, Mrs Morris ribbed us both, inquiring of John: "What were you two fellas doing last night?"
John looked at her from two heavily pouched eyes - into each one you could have poured a glass of brandy - and replied in heavily accented Derry: "Shleep."
With nothing to show for our efforts, we disconsolately headed back to Derry. John received a call that we should visit Ivan Cooper's house.
On arrival we found Ivan standing beside the wreckage of his car which had been blown up overnight.
John posed for pictures taken by the BBC. Constituency work, Derry style!
A few years later, John got another call offering another possible peace dividend.
It would involve going to Frankfurt to meet an Irish American politician called Ted Kennedy.
John borrowed the money for the fare, and set off to commence what turned out to be one of the most valuable relationships of his rich career.
Like Convoy, the visit could have ended fruitlessly, but at least he would have tried.
His pursuit of peace led him to the realisation that achieving it would ultimately have to hurt those he loved - the membership of his own SDLP party which he helped found and came to dominate.
When Fr Alec Reid began his subterranean peace efforts, putting political opponents in touch with each other; John agreed to meet with Gerry Adams and continued to do so even though the initial talks foundered disastrously; John discovered that the Provisionals intended to photograph the interview.
When it came in 1998, the conferring of the Nobel Prize on John was no more than his just reward.
By the time the Good Friday Agreement era dawned, he was almost burnt out.
His exertions: the late nights, the political strain of dealing with Dublin, Belfast, London and Washington, the indignities of age, all took a heavy toll, but John by now had won not only the ear and trust of the Kennedys but also of Bill Clinton.
He helped to bring the agreement to birth and it is a commentary on the inadequacy of Unionist philosophy that his opponents did not wholeheartedly embrace bringing that infant to a state of healthy adulthood.
His legacy is such that - in Ireland, America, and the UK - those who dealt with John Hume will forever honour his memory.
"Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?"