One way or another I never did meet Bill Safire, but the Register ran his column for years and I really enjoyed his "On Language" pieces. He took such obvious delight in the written word and in playing with language, coining neologisms that it was difficult not to share his enthusiasm. Here's the Register's appreciation.
Here's an appreciation from Maureen Dowd, and another from Howell Raines (and a criticism thereof), neither of whom shared Bill's political convictions, but both of whom appreciated the man. Also some words from Rich Richman and from John Podhoretz.