In today's final column Mr. Shapiro notes
I also cherish the dialogue, which admittedly sometimes became fractious, that I had with readers. From the moment that I published my e-mail address at the bottom of this column, my goal had been to respond to every reader comment with a personal message. As is often the case with such high-minded intentions, I sometimes became overwhelmed by the volume of e-mail that I received.I can affirm, from personal experience, that this was the case -- I was (pleasantly) surprised to see his reply to a message I sent once.
He will be missed, but hopefully for not long.