Three river runners to be honored at Green River banquet
Sep 21, 2017 | 1901 views | 0 0 comments | 101 101 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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If you’ve ever been on a running trip on the Colorado River, chances are you’ve done it in a boat that traces back to the trio of Jack Currey, Ron Smith and Glade Ross, who will now join the likes of Georgie White Clark, Norm Nevills, Katie Lee and Buzz Holmstrom as members of the River Runners Hall of Fame.

The three legends of river running will be inducted into the River Runners Hall of Fame during a benefit banquet to be held Sept. 30 at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River.

The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets to the induction ceremony are $15.

Jack Currey, the founder of Western River Expeditions — and one of the last river pioneers — will be represented by his family at the event. Currey laid an early claim to river fame after being the first to run the Rio Grijalva in El Sumidero Canyon in Mexico. The expedition garnered wide national attention, produced a feature film and landed Currey a cover on Time Magazine. His early investment in two trainloads of military surplus rubber also led to the creation of the J-Rig (J for “Jack”), a popular boat that is still heavily used on the Colorado River today.

Ron Smith became a household name in the river running community for his invention of the S-Rig (S for “Smith”), perhaps the most popular motor boat in the Grand Canyon to this day. Smith also started one of the most popular river outfitters on the plateau, Grand Canyon Expeditions, and worked to protect the natural resources that surround the Colorado River. He and his wife will be in attendance at the induction ceremony.

Longtime river ranger with the National Park Service, Glade Ross is credited with building the first open floor, self-bailing rubber boat on the plateau. For more than two decades, he was the river ranger at the remote Lodore ranger station, and worked diligently to identify valuable historic resources on the Green River as a member of the park service. Glade and his family will also be in attendance.

“The 2017 inductees share a common storyline in that they each had an impact on boating design and pushed boating technology to new frontiers,” said Tim Glenn, executive director of the museum. “In their own way, they were instrumental in creating some of the most important technological developments in rubber crafts on the plateau, and provided a unique impact on the culture of river running in the West."

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