The Pipe

When Lori returned to the hotel, she was informed that something had been dropped off for her. The clerk took her to the place where they had finally decided to store the pipe, underneath the windows looking out onto Speedway Blvd. When he showed her the pipe, he related, at great length, the fun the employees had had with it during the day. They had blown into it, talked down it, etc. But now Lori had to get it upstairs.

Unlike the agave stalk, it would not bend at all; therefore she could not get it into the elevator. Instead she had to walk it, as I had from the car, but up 6 flights of stairs! When she finally reached the room, she had to decide how to install the agave in the pipe in such a way that it would not be damaged in transit. Lori finally decided on the use of huge amounts of toilet paper, courtesy of the hotel, as the best packing material.

After the agave was packed in this way, it survived it's trip in great condition and lived in Lori's house in Amherst for the next several months, set in a pot in sand. However, when Lori was forced to leave that house and find another place to live, the ceilings were too low in the new house. For that reason, the agave now resides just outside my office door, right in front of the poster of Georgia O'Keefe riding off into the New Mexico desert on the back of a motorcycle.

Its presence there drove Tom Arny on a hunt through many reference books on southwestern flora until he had properly identified the species, a Schott's agave. Of course, as I wrote this document of our trip, I discovered that, all along, I had had the proper identification in my possession, in the guide to the nature trail at Muleshoe Ranch!

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