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An ode to Denny Martel | Letters
I was driving west on Bailor Hill Road the other day, out in front of Martel's field and home.
It was windy and overcast, and I slowed with heavy heart to look across the field toward Denny's house and shop. I noticed a hawk (I looked it up when I got home and think it might have been a Northern Harrier—how appropriate!) a few feet off the ground paralleling me with wings perfectly trimmed, as it caught the wind and cruised gracefully across the width of the field, and then doing a slight twist up and over, and across to the north side of the road to continue on its patrol for food.
It made me smile… an omen of Denny's spirit right there in front of me, doing his 'thing'.
He was a very accomplished pilot, well-driller, energetic bee-bop dancer, coffee drinking, stock-market studying devoted son, neighbor and friend. I'll miss him.
The whole danged island will miss who he was and what he represented. I hope there is a place 'out there' for his spirit to test the limits of a stall speed, and to sore around, checking on things. So long good soul!
Steve Porten/San Juan Island