Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Max to the Max

Allow me to introduce Max Castillo, Arizona State Park Ranger.  Max is one of My Heroes. He and I and Susun go waaay baaack in The Way Back Time Machine.  Max is always totally and thoroughly Max to the Max.  His heroes are The Three Stooges.  I never really know if and when Max is mimicking Moe or Curly or even sometimes Larry.

Max is on the short end of his long career with State Parks.  He's been a loyal public servant for far more than 30 years, pretty much all of that time at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and the Verde River Greenway.  He's been exiled a few times to Slide Rock State Park but that's another story.

Max and I met yesterday about almost an hour.  He was manning the Dead Horse office so he had time to talk and tell tales, some tall but all true.  Max had me laughing so hard I could barely breathe. I laughed until tears rolled from my eyes.  I laughed until I almost fell out of my chair.  That's Max to the Max.  When he gets on a roll, he's unstoppable and his one-liners fly fast, furious and funny.  Maybe it's the result of a lifetime spent watching The Three Stooges.  Whatever the reason, Max is a Master Slinger of Slapstick and a  Vaunted Vendor of Vaudeville.  He can turn a bureaucratic tragedy into high comedy and end it all with a tip o' the tongue to Curley's famous line: "Why coit-ain-lee!"

My main reason for visiting Max yesterday was to learn the "backstory" on Chip N. and his role with Friends of The Verde River Greenway.  I wanted to make sure I was not stepping into a hidden mine field by agreeing to do a Verde River Guide.  Max is a Seer of Seers and he knows all and sees all and keeps it all under his hat with a twinkle in his eye.  Luckily, Max sprinkled some holy water on the river guide idea so "we're good to go."  Ain't no way we woulda started off on that project without an audience with Max The Maximus.

While we were over laughing our anatomy off with Mister Max, Susun was enjoying lunch at Cricket's with Betty, Dorothy and Bev.  Betty and Dorothy came by the straw house afterwards.  They are such Dear Sweet Friends!  Betty (at left of Dorothy) is really thriving in her assisted living facility.  Her heart, smile, spirit, energy, enthusiasm and quality of life are all Most Excellent.  Sedona Winds is a perfect match for Betty.

We enjoyed another fine campfire last night.  We tooka lot of fire fotos and are now trying to figure out how to make a YouTube video out of a bunch of jpgs.

Congratulations to Lisa and Drew on the birth of Baby Ella Jane December 5th.  We learned about the arrival yesterday.  The Baby Girl is cute as they come.  You can click here to see a video of her minutes after her first look at the world.

Many Cheers!  jp

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