His election is the first that occurred in my lifetime, and, even as a non-Catholic kid, I remember the news coverage that took place as Paul VI was laid to rest and John Paul I was elected.
As a seminarian, I came to know Pope Luciani by his book, Illustrissimi, which was a collection of fictional open letters written by the then-Patriarch of Venice to people like Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, St. Bernard, King David, Pinocchio, St. Luke, Hippocrates, even Jesus himself. They were originally published in the diocesan newspaper, before being published as a whole body of work.
One can wonder how the Church might have been different, had John Paul I lived longer. All sorts of writers (and not a few conspiracy theorists) have opined about what he'd have done with all sorts of things, from Vatican finances to the Church's teaching about artificial contraception. But I think about someone else: What would have become of the Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla?