Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mike Gleeson, Most Interesting Man in the World

Four years ago the most interesting man in the world passed into the "next experience" as he sometimes called it.

Some 25 years before, the two of us were horseback riding on a hilltop in Questa, New Mexico above the hacienda where he and his wife Michele lived. We, Lorry and I, were staying with them. I was on a leave of absence from my teaching job at Santa Fe Preparatory, and it amazed me to think I was not in the classroom. The leaves were turning, it was October, my birthday, and I was riding the range with my friend Mike Gleeson, the most interesting man in the world, and I was free as a bee on the back of a horse. How was this even possible?

Mike was a mind reader, as everyone knows who knew him. He looked over at me, saw the gleam in my eye and said with smile, "Hey, Gerry, no one said you couldn't do it." By which he meant more than I could've said at that moment or any moment, even now, but I'm going to try.

He followed this up with, "Just think, you could be stuck in some office somewhere bent over a ledger book like Bartleby the Scrivener!" And so saying he learned over the saddle horn, reins in his lap, and pretended to do some ciphering. Then he exploded with laughter and his horse whinnied and both of roared in the gold blaze of that lazy autumn afternoon.

"Now let's get some war paint," Mike said. And I suddenly remembered our mission -- to go the  secret cave where the Taosenos actually got the red rocks that, when you wetted them, made war paint. It was a mission of holiness that I was sharing with the most interesting man in the world.

God bless him, and may he be riding steeds on the heavenly mesas right now.

Ride in peace.

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