It's easy, perhaps natural, to write about the dead in dulcet, muffled tones — as if mere words could provide a cortege that will escort a loved one through time.

I'm not going to do that with Rob Dean.

His life was too expansive, too human, for that. He wasn't some journalistic John Wayne, bustin' through the door to take on all comers, but rather a man who saw himself as a neighbor and friend who had this huge curiosity about you, and an even bigger desire to tell your story. It was almost as if he thought he could create a 25th hour in every day, because he always seemed to have time — or an ability to make time — to talk and ask questions. 

Phill Casaus is editor of The New Mexican.