A dear friend died in May, 2010. He was so supportive when his close friend and our friend Ray died and during Shari’s illness and death soon after. The fact that he died so soon after they did seems surreal. But he loved to laugh and he loved the outdoors. He took to the Appalachian Trail in Spring of 2009. He sent out the pictures you see here when he returned.
There remains the matter of the skunk. Before he died, he gave me permission to post the video (see below) on this blog, provided that I identified him by his stage name, Raoul McCool. He sent out the video to friends who knew his secret identity with this note:
“Please recall that, among the photographs of his Appalachian Trail hike that he sent to you in May , were several that clearly showed [Raoul] in close conversation with a small black and white striped creature that many of you correctly identified as a skunk. Unfortunately, [Raoul] was profoundly saddened to learn that some of you expressed doubt as to the authenticity of the said skunk. Some of you went so far as to opine audaciously that the said skunk was, in fact, a stuffed skunk that [Raoul] had carried with him for some 50 treacherous miles over the mountains. Some of you even stated that you would not be convinced of [Raoul's] near supernatural ability to psychically commune with our little tuxedoed terrorists of the terai unless you saw a video of him conversing with an real independently moving skunk.
Well, you nattering nabobs of negativity. Cast your doubting eyes upon the attached video file, oh ye of little faith, and thence go forth and doubt no more.” -Raoul McCool
Goodbye Raoul. You were a good friend and you made us laugh. We will all miss you terribly. Especially the skunk.