Chris has been pulled out of Lake Erie by Coast Guard after spending the night lost and trying to stay afloat in the cold water. He has stepped on a sting ray who lunged his barbed and toxic tail into his achilles tendon. He has broken his jaw. He has thrown himself into a frozen lake to rescue his dog. He has jumped out of a plane. He has gotten lost on a mountain in the dead of winter, curled up in the snow under a tree and listened to “large animals” snort and sniff around him. He has swam in ponds with snakes. He has intentionally and frequently shot flames out of his mouth.
It was never a question that Chris would add a bit of adventure, risk and impulsion to my life. I knew these stories and tall tales, I even lived some of them.
Chris is larger than life.
When his name is mentioned; Smeech, Smitch, Chris, Best friend, Mr. Lion, Christobal, Smyczeker, there is always an epic to be told. He is the modern day Odysseus, having traveled through Europe, lived in at least 10 states including Louisiana!, encountered sirens and rough seas along the way, at the same time making it through with a unexpected, yet endearing pizazz. Perhaps a humble and loving midwest upbringing flung him into the search for excitement, or maybe it was just his crazy friends (Howard and Brad) instigating him, whatever it was, his hunt to find himself and his place in this world is a romantic one. His “seize the day” attitude, and his uncanny skill of escaping danger is admirable. He is both a story maker and a story teller.
Above all, he is a survivor. He always has been and he always will be.
A real life, mountain man.