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Thursday, April 24, 2003

in appreciation of a king

i had thought of him a few times yesterday. once when i saw the dusty brown 1970's dressboots, from carol ann's eye and the american red cross, collapsed in my closet. again, when i realized that he was a rancho alumnae, and i needed to call to ask him to sing for the anniversary. another time, i can't remember why now.  i think he was tapping people on the shoulder. his last words to me were to the effect that 'we only get so many heartbeats, i spent a lot of them then i was young...' he spent them loving life in an accelerated rush of goodness. he always told the truth - as he saw it - with a glint of mischief and  deeply etched caring in his eyes. first time we met, we had an argument and he called me an asshole. to demonstrate the breadth of his heart, he later befriended me. he'd call to see how i was doing when he knew times were rough and that always made it easier. he always made sure to invite me when he was playing down at crossroads. 'get over it,' he t! old me and as if he had magic dusted me with his good will, suddenly i was.  seeing him play music, his silver haired angel standing over him - two chords, maybe three, played upside down on his backwards guitar - was one of the treasures of the desert. full of the rough mystery, starkness and rich beauty of the landscape, harsh and comforting and 100% genuine, his gentleness of soul would caress you and rock you like a baby, drawing you in like a sacred smoke shared among friends. last night after the wind stopped howling and so did the coyotes,  a star must have fallen somewhere, silently into hank williams' lonesome, good night. a brave and a warrior followed it down into the sparkling sands of just out of sight. native america's heart stopped for a moment of silence in recognition of its desert son. kyoti king was a giant, a griffin, a man whose magnitude cut across this earth like a mighty locomotive. 

with love and prayers to carol ann,

"Keep the Rancho going the way Fred wanted it, and please don't ever quit watering the cottonwood."
Charles Drake 4/21/03
(What more concise mission statement could be made?!)

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