Mohave Desert: A few clouds drifted above variegated landscapes, breathtaking rock formations, stunted yellow grasses, Joshua trees. We had come by jeep to say a grateful farewell to our remarkable friend, Randale Rudy Skates. If you met Randy, you didn’t forget him. He stood seven feet tall– a giant.  His heart, spirit, and intelligence were in proportion. In 1969, he came to our school. The coaches were immediately smitten. So was my friend, Susie. She was 5’3” with long dark hair and brown eyes. That was it for Randy. They married at the end of high school. Later, Randy and Susie lived in the house next to my family and we shared meals and music and dogs.  Randy loved dogs and all animals. They loved him. We all felt his love.  In this earthly paradise, friends scattered his ashes on a giant boulder. We sang Dylan: “I see my light come shining from the west down to the east; any day now, any day now I shall be released. . . .”

by Nataniel