It is a delight for me to express to all of you how lucky I have been to collaborate with the likes of Tim Tracy, Steve Trimble, Josh Tewksbury, John Tuxill, and weird guy named Henry David Thoreau… (who I’ve already spoken of under the letter D for Barbara Dean).
Who actually gets most of them up and out for the public to see is my Lebanese cousin Tim Tracy, who is not just a knowledgeable web designer but also a dear friend and confidante. If he hadn’t had the drive to assemble the Make Way for Monarchs and Healing the Border Disorder in short order, a lot more land and wildlife would have been forgotten and left in further peril. How he tolerates my illiteracy regarding the internet is beyond me, but it makes for good laughs.
Stephen Trimble and I have been friends since the summer of 1974, when we arrived in the Miami Airport about the same time, to take the same flight to Ecuador for two months in the Andes and the Galapagos. Within minutes of meeting one another, we realized that we had been dating the same bright young lady (who we remained in touch with for years.) We’ve written one book together, The Geography of Childhood, and offered essays for anthologize that one or the other of us has edited.
But after 40 years of friendship, our dialogues are less about writing and more about that “angle of repose” where you steady one another up. That’s what friends are truly for.
In my circles, Josh Tewksbury and John Tuxill are rock stars, creatively and steadily pulling off one beautiful and significant project after another for years. But John and Josh and I began our friendships under the shelter of nurse plants like mesquite, hackberry and ironwood, searching for chiles or night bloomers, their dispersers and pollinators.
Each of them have gone far beyond such mundane topics in their work, and I’ve had my eyes opened by them, more than they by me…unless of course, one of them gets chile oil or powder in their eyes. Too many hilariously funny times in the field to talk about now, but check their works out through a google search…
Josh is headed to Panama about now, to head up Smithsonian Research there, and while John teaches at Western Washington University, he spends considerable time in Quintana too; but their impacts have been global. To me, they’ll also be desert rats.
And as for Henry T., we only had one project together, but some else may emerge on day if I get to retrace his canoe trips with Native Americans down through the meanders of the rivers of Maine.
For me the greatest two words Thoreau ever wrote were during his epiphany on Mount Katahdin: “CONTACT! CONTACT!” … or maybe that only counts as one word…