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  The Michael Jacobs Award
  The News ~ fall 1992

n 1990 GCRG was planning to initiate a “service to Grand Canyon” award. At the fall meeting, shortly after Michael’s tragic death, it was decided to name the award in his honor and award it annually “for outstanding contributions to river running in Grand Canyon.”

  A difference of opinion soon emerged however, some people feeling that the award should stand for the above qualities, and others, Michael’s friends and family among them, felt it should be more in keeping with the way Michael was and honor the “boatman’s boatman”, the unsung hero, the professional guide quietly doing a damned fine job.

  We presented this quandary with the 1992 ballot, hoping the vote would give us a mandate one way or the other. Instead we got a tie, with one award going toward each ideal.

  Since then the board, in close communication with Michael’s friends and family, came up with the following redefinition, which was adopted at the Fall Meeting:

  • that we would like to retain an award in Michael’s honor
  • that it should represent the ideals defined by those who knew Michael best:
  • that it go to a working boatman who:
  • is doing a damned fine job
  • may have done something particularly heroic
  • may be consistently going beyond the call of duty
  • may be stricken by some calamity
  • that it will not necessarily be awarded annually, thereby becoming a popularity contest. It will be awarded occasionally by the board of directors in response to input from the river community.

   So. Keep your eyes, ears and hearts open and let us know when someone may be shining particularly brightly, whatever the reason.


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