"Aw, that wasn't a mountain," Marshall says. "Besides, you were with me and you made me stop halfway up."
Most of Marshall's poetry was written for Anita. Like: "I love your lips while they are red with wine, and red with the wildest desire...."
"Oh, he had some real heavy lines," says Anita.
Marshall smiles at her. "They worked, didn't they?"
Marshall learned to ski the same way he learned to sky-dive. Eller took him to the top of the highest hill he could find and said, "Jim, follow me." And Eller took off with Marshall a few seconds behind.
"Carl thought it was funny," Marshall recalls. "He was laughing and yelling all the way down—until he fell and I went past him. Then I stopped with one of those great swooshing slides. Swoosh! I damn near made it, too."
"Carl and Jim, I don't think I've ever seen them in a bad mood," Gary Larsen says. "They're always laughing, having a good time."
"They're out of their minds," says Page, trying not to smile. "When I first met Jim I thought he was stone crazy. Now that I know him a lot better...."
It was Marshall who led the rookie party in 1967, Page's first year. The veterans ordered the rooks to drink beer. Page said no, he didn't smoke or drink. Okay, they said, then you have to drink hot Coke or get out. Page got up and walked out.
"I have to admit I was kind of worried," he says. "I had heard all the stories about how the veterans treat the rookies, and at the time I thought a lot of those guys were crazy. I didn't know what they'd do, but except for some needling, they didn't do anything. The Vikings don't ride rookies. About all they have to do is sing for their dinner at training camp. And every day during the season they have to buy five dozen doughnuts and bring them to the locker room."