Hello everyone, my name is Paul Hanowski. I am honored to be able to
share with you a few stories about Max and the relationship we had.
I know it is cliché to say this but Max was like a second son to my
wife, Dana, and I. His sisters Lisa and Layla are considered extensions
of our family and I believe our three children think of them as
I don’t think this relationship is unique to my family, however. Not only do the Marvin kids have their biological grandparents, Cal, Beth, Jack and Virgina, I know they also have Grandpa Frank, Grandpa Loren and Grandma Helen. That’s just the ones I know of.
I first met Max when he was around 6 years old. The one word I would use to describe my first impression of Max would be inquisitive. It is defined as:
- Given to examination or investigation
- Inclined to ask questions
After about three hours of my first day fishing with Max and Izzy,
Izzy said Max, “Quit asking Paul so many questions, remember our rule,
you get two questions, choose them carefully.” That slowed Max down
that day but, over the years, it continued. I tried to be honest with Max
and many times, early in our relationship, I would simply respond “Max,
I don’t know.” Later, with cellphones and the internet I got to say
“Max, just Google it.” He taught me there’s a lot that I don’t know.
In the last couple years, Max found a higher source of education. He
would still ask me questions, but he had already done some research.
He’d ask, “Paul, what do you think of this, I talked to Nick Marvin and
he thinks we should do it this way” or “Paul, I talked to Nick and he
thinks we should be using this product.” Max went from junior high to
college after finding his new source of education.
I believe Max learned a great deal simply by asking questions or
listening to other people’s conversations. Sometimes this posed a
problem for Max at school, though. On a 6th grade social studies test,
Max used his outside sources of information to score some extra credit
points. That didn’t work out quite so well for Max. For the full story
I’ll defer to his family or maybe Dean Bethune.
As he matured, another word would be needed to describe Max. That
word would be respectful. On one particular fishing trip, I had guys
from Arkansas, West Virginia, Missouri, and Kentucky. These are places
where “yes sirs” and “no sirs” are a given. These individuals were
around Max a total of six days over two years. Every one of them were
overwhelmingly impressed with Max.
All of these guys, along with many other people I have introduced to
Max have reached out over the past few days asking me to express their
condolences to Izzy and the girls.
I know Izzy is finding it difficult to respond to messages left for
him. I hope someday that he’ll read them and appreciate the amount of
support he and his family have.
Max also had a gift of being able to relate to people of all ages.
Whether you were two or 92, you were in Max’s wheelhouse. I’ve seen him
with Lee Marvin’s son Charlie at about two, Casey Hendrickson at age
six. They gravitated towards Max like he was their big brother.
In the last few days I’ve heard numerous stories from other people
who had the same observation. Rube Byorkman said how Max would bring
him fish. Spencer Johnston, how many 18-year-olds could sit with you
and your wife for two hours trying to wiggle one last boat cover out of
you? Max could. This summer, I helped Max launch his boat the first
day of his professional guiding career. He was nervous. I told him
“Max, don’t be anybody but yourself and you’ll be fine.” From the
stories I’ve heard, he did just that and it worked out well.
In September, I had some friends coming to fish. I talked to Max and asked
- Max, how are the fish biting?
- What color is working best?
- How do I work this new bungee anchor?
- Why don’t you put your fish in your livewell?
Then I stopped, looked around for Izzy and for him to say “Paul, stop
asking Max so many questions. Remember the rule. You only get two
questions, choose them carefully.”
In closing, I would like to say that we may never understand this situation we find ourselves in today. Max made a decision that none of us here agree with. Hopefully we find it in our hearts to forgive this one decision and remember the great kid he was to each and every one of us.