Remembering Bob Carruthers
For some reason I awoke around 6 a.m. Friday morning, December 16. As I crawled out of my warm cocoon something just wasn’t right. Looked pink. So I pulled back the bedroom shade and was slammed by a brilliant sky reflecting off of the white snow. Dark red, yellow and pink and all against the deep gray blue background. Sunrise. I gazed for a while and drank some coffee wondering if anyone else was seeing this. Later that day I received a text informing me that Bob Carruthers had passed away.
For some reason this hit me very hard. Memories and experiences came flooding into my head as I thought about all the time and discussions we shared. When I joined this club all the members were warm and accepting. Everyone could be relied upon for any astro-geek conversation or question that I could think of. One in particular was always available. Bob would always take time out of his day to help anyone with anything. Always with a smile and a laugh. His engineering background taught him how to dig in and get answers and he did dig. His homemade optics and “salad bowl” mounts were impressive, inexpensive, and from my perspective a very good solution to the massively popular Dobsonian mounts we see everywhere. He liked to explore and understand. As a ham operator he gleaned a ton of engineering knowledge about antennas and radio operations. He turned this around to build impressive radio telescopes which he successfully used to track and identify planets and our own Sun. I remember all the gear in the dome building where he showed me the antennas and explained the theory. He went on to explain how he found Jupiter and the Sun (among other objects), and played the recorded audible images as confirmation. Always at CSP and at private and public events he could be relied upon to entertain and keep a happy mood wherever he went. We had fun playing music for many years, but as he developed health issues it slowed. Last CSP I just couldn’t muster the energy to jam, but looked forward to this year to get back to it. Sadly it did not come to pass. Bob was my friend. I like to think of that sunrise as his sprit entering the great unknown of the universe and the many adventures it might encounter. I will miss him, as I’m sure anyone who knew him will miss him. Rest in peace.