Rolling Rocks Into The Grand Canyon

Back in August 1972 I attempted to reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

My friend and I left the south rim at 7am. We had two full canteen. Nick and I ran out of water around Skeleton Point.

The Colorado looked so inviting, but we were parched by the summer sun and quit our quest.

Near the top I ran into someone from my hometown. Moon Marco, who had bullied me incessantly with Joe Tully.

I said hello and introduced myself.

The long haired twenty year-old remarked how strange it was that we had run into each in the West.

“We come from the same town,” He said to his two friends. “Didn’t you convince Joe to enter a demo derby in his aunt’s station wagon.”

“At Norwood Arena. It didn’t take much convincing. Joe was drunk.”

“I wouldn’t have been so forgiving as Joe. He ended up in the Marines.

“And survived Vietnam. I saw him last Christmas. He’s changed.”

“Me too. I’m a hippie now.”


His punches had hurt, but I wasn’t twelve anymore and he said, “Maybe we’ll see you around.”

“Not if I see you first.”

After he departed carrying two gallon bottles of water, I related the connection to Nick, who pointed to Moon and asked, “I didn’t hear him say sorry.”

“Sorry for what?”

“I don’t know. Punches, kicks, and slaps. Daily humiliation. Never knowing why.”

Nick was Italian. They had a code. Fuck someone before they can fuck you.”

“You’re right. He didn’t apologize.” I looked down the slope. Moon was a small figure on a dusty trail.

Throwing or rolling rocks or other items down hillsides or mountainsides, into valleys or canyons, or inside caves was prohibited by the National Park Service.

Moon was still within striking range.

“Me, neither.” so I rolled a rock down the slope at Moon.

The bully ran for cover. His friends too., I rained more boulders at him.

After I stopped, Nick asked, “Are you feeling better?”

“Yes, and about a lot of things.” We got in Nick’s BMW and continued west to California.

It wasn’t very far way from Arizona.

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