Parker was the Head Ranger at Hueco for an eternity. His tenure
marked the Golden Age of Hueco. He was the most totally cool
non-climbing ranger that one could hope for. He was not a "truck" ranger
- he would be out there with us. I remember the time I fell
near the start on Plastic Fantastic, and took a king swing
low and fast across the belay area, where everyone was hanging
out. The belay rock for Plastic is about 30 feet off the ground,
and I swung right at Dave! We collided, nearly knocking him
off the boulder, but he clutched me and hung on as we both
swung free of the ledge.
His true calling is his art - whenever one visited his house at
Hueco there would be a new painting to admire. In 1995 he realized
that he could make a living as a full time artist and said adios
to the TPWD. If you are interested in seeing some of his work, visit
the Wilderness Museum in the Franklin Mountains State Park. Some
of his paintings may also still be hanging in the Hueco park headquarters.
Many of his best pieces were given to friends - Fred Nakovic, Don
Hardin, and others.
I really miss being able to go to your on-site house at Hueco after
a day of climbing, check your latest canvas, have a beer and unwind.