Saturday, March 15, 2008
Delano Riker, part 3
My association with Delano Riker was never that great. I remember having consulted with him many years ago about chartering a flight for some group wanting to go up river, but nothing ever came of the tour, so I didn't go back to his office, located only a few meters from where this picture was taken. I remember having talked with him another time about renting his riverboat, El Dorado. As it turned out, the boat wasn't for hire. It was transportation to his ranch downriver and home for him once getting there. The encounter I remember best with Delano was in 2005, when he was Secretary of Agriculture for the Municipality of Santarém, as well as Vice-mayor. He and a couple of other politicians were passing through Bosque Santa Lúcia on the dirt road that connects the Santarém-Cuiabá with the Curuá-Una Highway. I happened to be out on the road, close to the Bosque entrance, because some community people had gotten together to repair a large, nasty hole in the road that was getting out of control. Delano stopped his pickup next to me and asked if I was responsible for the road construction. I guess it all looked impressive because several community people were working and there was a big pile of rocks on the side of the road. I recognized him immediately, but I'm not sure he ever figured out who I was, then or any other time. I explained to him that it was a community project and I introduced him to Professora Inêz, who was community president of Poço Branco at that time. The good professora isn't timid when it comes to asking for help from politicians. The result of the chat was that Delano committed himself to repairing another part of the road closer to the highway, which he did.