Dearest Pawnee

I was so glad that I managed, a little later after emailing you, to find out your telephone number and speak to you in person.  I had doubts if I was doing the right thing to email you like that, but without my even mentioning this to you, you assured me that I had "done exactly the right thing" because no one would have known how to get hold of you.   I am sure that events unfolded as they were intended, because then, by the time I spoke to you, you had been able to speak to someone and get the facts, since I had no contact number in Presidio at that time.   It helped to find out that I had been given the wrong information and that Kelly had not been alone and his long-time friend, Terry,(and others were there with him, holding his hand, when Kelly left for his final journey in this world .... and for the beginning of many new adventures in the next.  I contacted Terry and my husband and I went to see him within a couple of days, visiting Kelly's grave and leaving there some photographs he had asked me for .... photographs I had been meaning to show him for many weeks ...

I had not noticed, the times I had visited Kelly during the last few years he had lived at La Hunta, that there was a very small, old graveyard right there where he lived, and it was here that he was buried, as was his wish, in the traditional cowboy fashion - wrapped in his bedroll, wearing his jeans, white shirt and leather waistcoat, with his boots, cowboy hat and bandanna, facing south in the Native American tradition.  Terry had put a black, felt-tip pen in his shirt pocket - the ones he used to do his little drawings ...

Kelly's wish was that all his animals be kept together, and his dear friend Terry had taken it on himself to be the one to adopt them all.  Kelly's  horses, Samson and Blue, and the very recent addition of a sweet, abused, little  donkey, were already at Terry's place but the two dogs, Wizard and Gracie, and the young wolf, Wolf, were there with Terry when I visited.  As I knelt at Kelly's grave, Wolf came over and licked my face and stayed with me - Terry said that up until then the three of them had only gone part way and none of them would go the 100 ft or so all the way over to the grave itself.

Terry was so kind - even in his own grief, he spent a lot of time with us and was gracious enough to allow us to go back with him to his home so that we could see an old painting Kelly had done for him many years before.  He also had a bronze of Kelly's  - I had never seen any of his bronze sculptures and had always wanted to - I just never dreamed it would be under such sad circumstances.

We shall visit Terry and the animals next winter when we go down to Texas, and have told him to contact us if there is anything we can do to help ... and the same goes to you, dear Pawnee.  The last time I saw Kelly, he asked if I had been in contact with you.  When I told him I had not yet, he said, "You should, you know.  Pawnee's a lovely person - you'll like her.  You two should get together."

Lesley Powell
Lesley's Letter