Sunday

Previous Aspects of the Journey

I was recently asked what brought me Rodeo NM, what were the threads of life that came together to weave the tapestry of my life in Portal Rodeo area. After finishing my Phd in Biology I moved tot he southwest in 1987 to start a Post Doc at Arizona State University. As a recreational caver I quickly ended up in the basin and range region of the state to look for and explore the caves in the region. It was during one of these trips I entered the Chiricahua Mountains, though not lots of limestone there are a number of caves that I found entreating. And began visiting the area on a more regular finishing the post doc I was fortunate to land a job with the National Institutes of Health working on the genetics of type II diabetes in Pima Indians. This allowed me to continue my explorations of southeastern Arizona and its' cave systems.

Interrupting this was the development of a brain tumor which eventually put and end to my science career, so I sold off everything and decided to full fill a bucket wish item, learning to fly. Since I could not pass a third class medical I chose to fly ultralights. After mastering ultralight trikes I eventually moved out to a remote airport north of Phoenix and started flying on a regular basis. It was after a number of years I met John MaCafee who was learning to fly trikes that I became aware of his desire to build a cross country loop through Arizona and New Mexico. I did a deal with him and moved down to the airpark in Rodeo. Having access to the valley and surrounding mountain ranges by air was great. The landscape just pulls you in and I began photo documenting the landscape eventually producing a coffee table book. But like all good things there was a dark side to this aviation project which rapidly became apparent. It was more about people and personalities rather than the ideas and concepts of business which lead to some serious mistakes including 3 deaths. It is my belief that a startup should not kill people but this one did. I managed to avoid all the lawsuits by adopting the nom de plume even though I was publishing the Sky Gypsies blog.

McAfee packed it in and sold off all his holdings at auction an left for Belieze where the same thing happened again only this time getting out of third world country proved more difficult for him. 

8 comments:

  1. This would have been a great book to write about your experiences! Threw the years you have told me some interesting stories! I hope you are all right as you did not finish your sentence?

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    1. My error. I edited but forgot to delete the leftover.

      The documentary on MaAfee did a pretty good job showing his dark side.

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  2. Glad YOU stayed.............and glad we saw the backside of MeAfee

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    1. If his approach to business is typical of success, then I'm happy ever I' at.

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  3. MeAfee, not a typo by the way; he sure was full of himself; I met him when Steve T had the hikers tour the greenhouse one hike day.

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  4. Hello, my friend. It's the old one again. Having little to no experience with blogging, I do hope you get these posts. I have read all of your posts back to the beginning of your horrific adventure and cannot tell you how much you have reminded me of the meanings of courage, strength, acceptance and, of course, humor. You are truly a remarkable individual and I cherish the privilege of knowing you. It never ceases to amaze me that, after all these years, I am still learning the real meaning of so many words. For you have also taught me the meaning of the word "bittersweet." Hearing your voice on my voicemail was "sweet," but hearing the news you shared was most definitely "bitter." How I wish I were more faithful to FB. I missed all your wonderful posts and most especially your beautiful photos! Did you know that I am a fan of trees? I have often thought of consolidating my amateur pictures of trees and publishing them in a coffee table book entitled "Digital Trees?" And if I had stayed in touch more faithfully, I would have shared with you the arrangements for my cremation and funeral - a lesson I learned prior to the deaths of my husband and parents. I could have shared with you my years with hospice and told you stories to make you laugh, not to mention stories that might just remove all question of the existence of an afterlife. I do regret not visiting you - after all, I so often came to AZ not far from you in NM. But as my husband reminded me, do not spend your time with "shoulda, coulda, woulda." Live your days as you want to live them. I know you will leave incredible memories for your family and friends to cherish. My wish is to visit with you when I come to Illinois in 2 weeks, but please know that if such a visit is not to be, that you will remain forever "my favorite student." :0) And I charge you with sending a sign to let me know you have made it to the other side. Be sure you say "hey" to my family. Praying for a peaceful, painless and happy "transition" for you. Love from your OP

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    1. Dear Old Professor,
      I was Bruce's housemate for a couple of years in graduate school, and married his best friend, and mostly lost track of him for a number of years (though we were both in New Mexico). We have become reacquainted here at the end of his journey. I was incredibly moved to read about your visit, which meant so much to him. He is truly remarkable, as you say, and my big regret is having lost track for all those years. I just wanted to show my gratitude for witnessing such joy even from a distance. Bless you for existing. Kathe Andrews

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  5. Bruce this last post from your professor tells it all what a wonderful person you are 😘 So glad we were such good friends we became in rodeo!!

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