David’s and my duck-hunting exploits became fairly legendary at Evergreen. People would ask, “You and Powell goin’ duck hunting again this year?” knowing full well that the answer was going to be “yes.” The Nisqually Delta near DuPont, potholes out near Elma, the Skagit drainage north of Seattle, were all places we and my stepsons (Grant and Greg Whiting, about 12 and 10 at the beginning) learned well. I was never quite sure why his boys didn’t join us.
One morning, after he and I had boggled my boys by drinking a quart of Jack Daniels down to a mark below where the label ended, we sat freezing our tails off on a Skagit canal. Powell shot a Mallard drake that was so high we could have drunk the rest of the whiskey before the bird twisted and turned down to the ground. Risking another similar shot, David missed the bird. He startled all of us by leaping up in his blind, shaking his fist at the departing Mallard and shouting, “Go ahead, you big green-headed son-of-a-bitch. Go ahead. Fly away. See if I care.” Then he sat back down out of the cold wind.
That was Powell--energetic, passionate, risk-taking, going at life full bore.