Just back to the shop a bit ago from a going-away luncheon for beloved jailhouse psychiatrist Leonardo Garcia-Bunuel, at the medical ward of the Estrella County Jail in south Phoenix.
Garcia-Bunuel, who is 84, is moving to Reno with his lovely bride, where a retirement surrounded by family, his books and his music await.
Garcia-Bunuel has worked for Maricopa County as a shrink for 37 years, which in Correctional Health Services years, makes him at least 200 years old.
He has endured some remarkable things during his tenure--most notably Sheriff Joe Arpaio's endless reign of jailhouse hell--and has done so with grace, professionalism and a keen (if understated) sense of humor.
The deep respect for the Spanish-born gent was borne out by those who showed up for the informal Mexican food lunch:
Retired sheriff's deputies who used to work in the psych ward, a host of Correctional Health employees, and random friends all showed up to break bread with him, hug him and wish him all the best,
As do we.
Here is a little yarn we wrote about the good doctor about a decade ago, when a charlatan named Joe Murray tried to get rid of him.
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Murray is long gone.
Dr. Leonardo Garcia-Bunuel stayed the course.