R. W. "Bob" Arthur Canoe Launch Dedication
by Cindy Bartos
Even though it was cool and a little windy I couldn’t help thinking Bob would be
asking “What the heck ya’ll doing here so close to water – and nobody brought a
boat?” Well what we
were doing there was to honor and celebrate the life of someone who loved the
rivers and bayous of Texas, the sport of canoeing and the camaraderie of the
people involved – our friend, Bob Arthur.
About 50 of us had gathered at a canoe launch on a lovely, wooded bend
on Buffalo Bayou at Briar Bend Park to dedicate the “R.W. “Bob” Arthur Canoe
Launch”. The dedication was a joint
endeavor by the Bayou Preservation Association and the Houston Canoe Club. As chairman of the BPA’s Paddle Trails
Committee, Bob was instrumental in helping to create the Paddle Trail on
Buffalo Bayou – the largest paddle trail in the state of Texas. Bob was a long-standing member and office
holder in the HCC where he created the Southwestern Canoe Rendezvous (the
largest on-water canoe show in the United States), was a promoter of canoe
safety and education and a leader of many canoe trips down Texas rivers. He would often lead trips down Buffalo Bayou,
sharing his knowledge of the Bayou’s history as the group paddled downstream.
Cindy Bartos, with Bob
Arthur and Mary Carter
BPA and HCC member John Bartos opened the ceremony sharing his
friend’s many accomplishments in the promotion of paddle sports and his
protection of rivers as a member of the Texas Rivers Advisory Board and the
American Canoe Association. Kathy Lord, Allen Craig, Eric Ruckstuhl and Mike
Garver from the BPA spoke fondly of Bob’s accomplishments and his easy going
East Texas approach to tasks that always kept the mood light and positive. HCC members Ken McDowell, Ann Derby, Bill and
Donna Grimes and Tom Douglas spoke appreciatively of Bob’s efforts to open up
the world to canoeing, and his wonderful sense of humor that caused others to
laugh, even if it meant laughing at himself.
Bob’s youngest son, Matt relayed a memorable canoe experience with his
older brother, Jeff and his dad on Lake Raven.
A display of the planned memorial stone was unveiled.
To close the event, John Bartos asked everyone to join
him at the top of the canoe launch trail to help in dedicating the launch in
the same manner as one would christen a new canoe: determine a name, splash a little liquid on
the craft and the first step into the canoe is with the right foot. So with a dousing of Wild Spirit Liquor
(“Paddle Your Own Canoe”) and a promise to use the right foot when entering the
water, the R.W. “Bob” Arthur Canoe Launch was dedicated.
A photo album from the memorial and dedication ceremony, with photos by Cindy Bartos, can be viewed by clicking here: Picasa
Click "Slideshow", click the "pause" symbol (double vertical bars), and you can then scroll through the photos one at a time at your own pace.