Under A Purple Sky update

Dateline: I-84 North

Trucks rocked the minivan.

Sedans sped by.

The windshield wipers were on high.

Mist everywhere.

And I let the phone ring for a moment.

Maybe two.


Because on the Droid there was a photo of who was calling.

It was a deep breath call.

It was Terry Baksay.

And I knew what the phone call was about.

His PET scan.

His cancer.

His purple sky.

"Hello." It was a hello with a stall built in. Long. Pensive. Worry lines.

"db, it's Terry."

"Yeah dude, I see ... " Then I asked a question. THE question.

"... how you doing?"

Waited for an answer I both wanted to know ... and not.

I wasn't going to say another word, until Terry answered, would have sat on the side of I-84N forever if it took that.


I heard Terry breathe, once, twice, three times. He never heard me, I couldn't breathe, couldn't get the breath. No movement.

Except the windshield wipers.

I sat and watched the rain run down the windshield.

"db ... I'm OK ... cancer free."


"Cancer free, my docs are very happy -- couldn't find any sign of the cancer."

We talked a bit, Terry said he competed -- COMPETED -- in a tournament this past weekend.

"I stunk. Did horrible."

I just smiled ... dude you are cancer free ... and that's pretty much the only tournament that counted.

We talked a bit, complained, laughed, thought.

Then I hit the turn signal, got up to speed and continued on I-84N.

And drove through the mist.

On the highway.

And ...

"Yes it's moments like this that make me wish

I could freeze frame time."

Freeze Frame Time

Brandon Rhyder


-- db

Don Barone is an award-winning outdoors writer and a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Guild of the U.K. You can reach db at www.donbaroneoutdoors.com.