Monday, June 10, 2013

RIP Cal Bowman

This is a sad blog post to write.

If you live in Las Vegas, you know how damn hot it's been this week. It really bothers me when people complain about the heat here - I mean - YOU LIVE IN THE DESERT, what do you expect? 

(I complain about it too - and yes, that is stupid. It's a bad habit I am trying to break.)

It's easy to forget how dangerous this heat can be. Forget that your dog is in the car and it will die. Same with kids in cars. Every year, there are tragic stories about someone dying in a hot car. 

So yesterday, when I heard that some Boy Scouts and their Scout leaders had run into trouble while hiking out by Lake Mead, I thought - who would take kids out on a day when the temps were going to reach over 110 degrees? It's so easy to criticize or think something cruel about that, when the truth is - it was just an accident. No one would have ever scheduled something like that, knowing what the outcome would be.

That's why it's called an accident. We'd all do things differently if we could go back in time and change things - right?

Sadly enough - the scout leader who died during that hike was a student of mine at the school. Cal was a good guy - quick with a smile, or a kind word. Smart. Busy. Energetic. Wanted to build a ton of furniture. 

He was a member of the Sin City Woodworkers group, and at our last holiday party, he'd won a tool in our raffle, which is still sitting in my office. A month or two ago, he emailed me to say he'd be by shortly - for he was in the process of setting up his woodshop and needed the tool he'd won. Sad.

So - please - before you make a mean comment or a judgement about this tragedy, stop and think about this. These comments are mean spirited and unnecessary. At various times in our lives, we've all encountered dicey situations, like narrowly avoiding car crashes, or luckily - leaving the scene of a disaster, moments before it occurs. 

By some twist of fate or luck, we manage to stay safe. Lucky us. Be a better person, and instead of judging this situation, offer up a bit of thanks that you're still around. And - maybe a little prayer (if you're the praying type) for Cal. 


Vegas Lupe said...

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Cal, Jamie. :( I did not know him well, but I met him at a couple of Sin City Woodworkers meetings. His sudden death must be tough on his family. May he rest in peace.

One can never be too careful with the heat in the desert. Last year, during a bike ride, one of our fellow riders experienced heat stroke. She was a young woman who did not hydrate properly. It can happen to anyone, at any moment, and it happens very quickly. If you are older and have a heart condition it could be deadly.

For your readers who live in the desert, please be careful. Drink lots of water and stay and be cool. Happy woodworking to y’all!

Anonymous said...

Cal was a wonderful, dedicated, and honest man. He was a hero to his family, friends, and even strangers. He was a beacon of faith, love, and understanding for his family. It was truly a blessing to have him in my life and I know the world was a better place because of his life works. Although this is terrible, he passed doing what he did best. This was leading others with grace, dignity, and faith.

Chris Bowman said...

Thank you for your kind words about my Dad. I am just now reading this after all these years. Thank you for making his time so wonderful. He loved your class and woodworking. Shortly before he died we were planning on working together on making cutting boards for each of our family members for Christmas. I was so looking forward to spending the time working and creating with my father and sharing something he loved so much.

Thank you,
Chris Bowman