I just happened to read an interview with Eamon Duffy at pbs.org tonight, and loved this bit:
Can you help us bring Wojtyla alive with a story about the future Pope?
…Shortly after he was elected…the Archbishop of Liverpool and a rather gray, austere man who’d been a career cleric…told me at dinner that he was absolutely entranced by the election of Wojtyla. And I said, "Why does he impress you so much?" And he said they had sat together on the proprietary commission for the bishops in the early 1970. And a number of meetings had been in Rome in the winter and the weather was terrible. And…it was rather austere, a meeting of people who didn’t really know each other very well from different countries.
And the key figure was Wojtyla. And he would tramp into the meetings, always just before they started, and on one occasion, he marched in (he walked all the way from wherever it was in Rome he was staying), and his cassock and his feet and his socks were sopping wet, skirted up his sock, took his shoes and socks off, squeezed the water from the socks and hung them on the radiator and he said, "Gentlemen, should we get down to business?" And they were just so entranced by a bishop with balls. You know, a man who was rugged and the energy and the lack of self importance. And so people suddenly felt here was somebody who wasn’t tired, somebody who had vigor who was absolutely sure of himself. He could take his socks off in public.
There’s more to the interview, of course, but that’s the best bit right there.