Letters from Tyrone Donnelly
Anton and I were first friends. We met in nursery school in 1974. Together we indulged in the wondrous adventure and discovery of childhood. Anton and I would spend all day diving for coins in the pool and evenings pouring through books. Even then he knew what he wanted to be; an underwater treasure hunter. It was with Anton that I learned to swim, and together we amassed a priceless treasury of speckled birds eggs, fossils, rocks and snakeskins. To us a bit of weathered glass was a sapphire and every fragment of bone was a significant archaeological find. Now all of those faded memories have come flooding back. I recall the skinned elbow and cut thumb that lead to the sacred pact that made us brothers in blood. We attempted to carve our names in stone atop Vroman's nose.
In the many times I have climbed that escarpment since then, I remember Anton and often remark to companions, "I used to know the kid who lived up here".
Anton, your name is up there now.
Hi Jim and Yoyo,
Sorry it has been so long. Anne forwarded your messege to me and I sent my prayers to you in SF before I ever got around to e-mailing. I remember at Anton's memorial service that you mentioned astral travel and since then I've always made an effort to invite Anton along anytime I'm somewhere interesting. While you were all in the courthouse I was flying low-level aerial biological surveys over the southern Alaska Peninsula, and of course I invited Anton along as usual. Saw some pretty interesting events that you don't see everyday- like a wolf feeding on a humpback whale carcass and a mother brown bear instructing three cubs on how to raid swan nests. Lots of volcanoes, whales, seals, moose and caribou too.
I think you'll also be pleased to know that Anton was with me in AZ in a cramped little blind when the two of us released 3 young California condors into the wild. It was one of the high points of my life and I sincerely believe that I wasn't alone in that blind. Must admit a feeling of shame that I haven't contacted you before this. It is hard to believe that the death of someone I hadn't seen in over 15yrs could effect me so deeply- guess that is just another testament to how vital a person he is.
I included a photo of myself with one of our local residents here in Cold Bay. No, I could never shoot a bear- as part of my job with USFWS I have to inspect and register all large game sport harvest.