One of the things David and many of his friends throughout his life had in common was a love of nature. David spent much time on the water in Galveston Bay with his teenage friends John, Terry and others; when he was seventeen, he and his good buddy Norman did a whole photo shoot in Jordan's mother's garden. Later, when David lived with Alan Freeman, he was surrounded by Appalachian woods in West Virginia. During his life in Nashville, he spent much time at English Valley Music in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a lovely place built by Jan Pulsford where Delcimore was recorded.
The first time David met Leo Kretzner in 1977, Leo was working as a naturalist at Antioch College, Ohio in its Glen Helen Outdoor Education Nature Center. David had heard about Leo as a great dulcimer player, so called him up one day out of the blue and asked if he could visit and play the dulcimer with him. (Leo told me that it wasn't unusual at all for such calls from a complete stranger in those days; folk musicians were a friendly bunch of people.) After a pleasant day of playing, Leo took David to the clinic where injured and orphaned birds were housed. One of the raptors, a Red-tailed Hawk, fascinated David, and he even got to stroke it. This visit was significant to Pluck's story on a number of levels and provides the first of two matched and mystic "bookends" to the story.
The story of David meeting Leo and their time together at the nature center is detailed in Pluck. A Red-tailed Hawk will make another appearance at the end of the book in a most unexpected, and, even mystical, way.