August 22, the small town of Coquille, Oregon, dedicated a monument
to hometown hero Buzz Holmstrom, first to run the Green and Colorado
alone. In a series of short, moving talks, local officials, Buzz's
younger siblings Anna and Rolf, and Buzz's biographers each
paid homage to the humble river runner. Anna Holmstrom Smith then
unveiled the bronze plaque, affixed to a massive boulder on the
banks of the Coquille River.
From across the West, river men and women, family,
and old friends spent the rest of the morning exchanging tales of
Buzz Holmstrom, and assaulting the mountain of cookies Anna's
family baked for the occasion. If you're ever passing through
Coquille, stop by Sturdivant Park, pull the weeds around the monument,
and spend a quiet moment with Buzz.
A great veteran boatman caught that big backeddy in
the sky this fall. Jake Luck entered and ran his last rapid on September
2, after a long illness.
Recalling the Canyon experience, Jake said, "Being
able to learn about it, to impart it to the people that traverse
the Grand Canyon. Study it, care about it, and try to realize what
happened here. That's all we can do, is try to realize. There's
no way we could know, because we were not there. We cannot be there
I don't put myself up to be a smart old sonofabitch.
Alright? But I have tried to listen to those who think they know."