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FWD: RE: Craig Roberts

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  • Birders2@aol.com
    Greetings, When news of Craig’s death came this afternoon from Diane Pettey, I immediately thought of my first encounter with Craig in 1971.  He co-led a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 28, 2003
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      When news of Craig’s death came this afternoon from Diane Pettey, I
      immediately thought of my first encounter with Craig in 1971.  He co-led a Rogue Valley
      field trip (with Otis Swisher) that Portland Audubon ran every year in those
      days.  I was eleven at the time and Craig was an impressive birding figure (to
      me) even though he was probably only about 16 at the time.  I can recall him
      confidently announcing bird after bird that he spotted and of course correctly
      identified for the group.  His name would occasionally appear in the Audubon
      Warbler over the next few years and then he all but disappeared from the
      Oregon birding scene for about 10 years  I would occasionally wonder, “whatever
      happened to...?”  As a young kid, I was more impressed by Craig (someone near my
      age) than the numerous adults whose birding skills were far superior to mine.
        Sometime in the 1980’s Craig reappeared after his years in college and later
      medical school.  I quickly learned that his years away from Oregon and
      regular birding had not dulled his skills.  He was always a very careful observer
      and you could bank on any report of his being accurate.

      Given my earliest encounter with Craig, I was extremely flattered when he
      called me in 2002 and asked if I might be interested in being a trip leader
      during the June 2003 ABA Convention here in Eugene.  Our level of acquaintance was
      casual at best and of course he had no recollection of me from the trip in
      1971.  I considered it an honor to help him by leading trips.  We talked several
      time during the convention and exchanged emails a few times afterwards.  As
      pointed out by others, his contribution to the success of the convention was
      immeasurable.  He spent hundreds of hours making phone calls, sending emails and
      personally scouting each and every trip route.  He earned the respect of every
      trip leader I spoke with during and after the convention and had most of
      asking ourselves, could we have done the job he did.  As a leader it was nice to
      be able to show up each morning with all the details well in hand.  About all I
      had to do was grab some coffee and get on the bus.  

      My lasting impression of Craig was his dedication to excellence in everything
      he did.  There are no doubt countless Tillamook Co. residents who owe their
      lives to his skills as an emergency room physician.  I know that he was a proud
      parent.  During the convention his daughter had a graduation ceremony and
      though he was working on virtually no sleep, he drove home for the ceremony and
      returned in time for the field trips the following day.  I can recall several
      of the leaders being concerned for his safety making the long round trip on so
      little rest.  I think many of us breathed a sigh of relief when he safely
      returned to Eugene.  When I said goodbye to him following the final field trip
      last June, I thanked him for thinking of me when he was looking for leaders.  As
      Diane told me when she called this afternoon, “Craig was one of the good guys”
      .  I couldn’t agree more.  I am thankful that my first and last encounters
      with him created indelible memories.  Godspeed Craig.

      Dave Irons
      Eugene, OR  

      obol mailing list

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