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Doug Roberts


Original Post
Lee Davis · · Belen, NM · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 350

Sadly, Doug Roberts died on Tuesday, the 11th, in Houston.Typical of Doug, he could not see living as an invalid (he had a serious condition) if he were to recover from the short term things that laid him low (viral pneumonia), so he pulled the plug on life support himself. Many will remember Doug. I met him in 1965 when he was 14 and I was 15, and became backpacking buddies. We both went to Sandia High  in Albuquerque.  Later, climbing partners and roommates at New Mexico State. 
    Doug was well known and liked in New Mexico, well, except for the bureaucracy at Los Alamos, where Doug ran a critical blog. I can see many picking up their ears when they read "Doug Roberts".   In middle age, Doug and I became motorcycle riding partners. In 2001, I bought a new bike with the intention of taking a long distance trip. I hit up many friends to do the same and head off with me, with no takers. But then I mentioned it to Doug, and it started the first of many long road trips to Canada or Alaska. 
     But, my best claim to fame comes from my desire to play Sidney Bechet tunes. I bought a new, cheap clarinet and took it to Doug for advice on reeds. He had played a sax in the Sandia High band... so he would be the one to know about woodwinds. I left the clarinet with him, and that got him inspired. He bought a good sax and eventually joined a jazz group that played in Santa Fe. Went to hear him one night and was mightily impressed. (shades of Goedecke and the Yucca Flats 5).
     Perhaps what we should thank Doug for the most is for providing the Southwestern Mountaineer rescue team with some work. He took a spill off a high peak in the Organs in the late 60's or early 70's and I think he broke his wrist. Anyway, that sounds about right. I wasn't there (I think it was summer), but when I got back, the place was abuzz with talk of the 'rescue'. Finally, we had one to talk about (Not to forget Paul Seibert). 
      So long, "Birdo".  I guess I should explain that nickname I gave him on one of our bike trips. I sent a postcard back to Ingrun and called him 'Birdo' because of the 15 or so rescue parrots that he and Ingrun had. I remember complaining about his preening in the mirror every morning on our motorcycle trips... well, whatever. One of the birds was named Gertch, which I found very appropriate. He was devoted to the welfare of his birds, and never could resist taking in a new one. Doug was that kind of person... a caring and entertaining friend. I shall miss him, more that I can express.                                            Lee Davis

Greg Opland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 267

Sincere condolences for the loss of your lifelong friend, Lee!

Lee Davis · · Belen, NM · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 350

Photo by Cliff Naveaux

Lee Davis, Clem Ota, Reed Cundiff and Doug Roberts, Las Cruces, 1972
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Arizona & New Mexico
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