A Rememberance for Clay

A celebration of life was held on August 31, 2008 in Lander, Wyoming. It was a beautiful day and many great folks were able to attend and help us remember a life well lived.

Some fun stories were told and if you have any additional stories involving Clay and his "whacky ways" we'd love to have you share them on this blog.

Here is a meditation prayer which beautifully summarizes our (and Clay's) wishes for all who were part of the celebration and read this blog.

May all beings be happy, content and fulfilled.
May all beings be healed and whole.
May all have whatever they want and need.
May all be protected from harm and free from fear.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May all be awakened, liberated and free.

May there be peace in the world, and throughout the universe.

Search Efforts

For the official information on the search efforts please visit: http://clayrubanosearch.com/

Our special thanks to Margaret Goodro for setting up this site!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So many fond memories!

I first met Clay in 1992 on my first deployment to McMurdo. We flew down together and I have a clear memory of Clay arriving on station that year and a number of folks really excited to see his return. I thought to myself, this guy must be something special to have so many so happy to see him. We became good friends over the next few years and traveled through Tasmania in 1995. That trip was a true testiment to Clay's devotion to his friends; my behavior was less than stellar. Every time I think of that trip I can't help but laugh about Clay's concern for my safety and my always rude response - I never understood why Clay would ever talk to me again - like I said he's a devoted friend.

I had known of Rachel for years before meeting Clay, we have a mutual friend, but we had never met. I then had the honor to meet Rachel through Clay. When they got engaged on the ice I told Rachel that two of my favorite people in the whole world were getting married - and I really, really meant it.

Clay, where ever you are - please know that each of us with you today and forever.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nov 28 update

We WILL be having a new large scale search effort next Mon, Tues & Wed. We are hoping to gather as many people as possible from out of town and in Lander to be involved in this search. If you have any amount of interest, please email or call Mary Schneider ASAP so she can start arranging the search effort, etc... Her email is: mary_schneider@hotmail.com and her phone number is: 208-726-5588.

We still have people working on meals, places to stay, etc... so the sooner you let us know you are coming, the sooner we can arrange this for you.

We had very little snow last night although temperatures are cold. Please be prepared for hiking in slick terrain and in temps below zero (teens and single digits).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update Nov 27

1. Today we have 1 dog, 1 handler and 2 searchers in the field. They are searching a slabby/cliffy area NW of the falls. For those familiar with the lettering system - they are roughly along the left edge of section R.

2. For those interested in giving money, there are 2 options:
1- for search operations, make the check/MO, etc... out to "The Clay Rubano Search Fund"
2- for giving to Rachel directly, make it out to "Rachel Jenkins"
Please use the information given in yesterday's "logistics" for bank contact info.

3. Weather permitting, we would like to conduct another large search effort in two areas this weekend. A storm is blowing in as I write this, although we don't yet know the amount/type of precipitation expected. I will post an update tomorrow to let you know whether this weekend is a go. In the meantime, if you are likely to come out for the search this weekend, please contact Mary Schneider at: mary_schneider@hotmail.com and let her know your interest and needs.

Rachel continues to thank everyone for all of their help, love and support.

Monday, November 26, 2007


1. Several people have asked about donations:

For the Search:
Atlantic City Federal Credit Union
"Clay Rubano Search Fund"
704 W. Main St
Lander, WY 82520

People have also asked about donations to support Rachel personally. I will get back to you as soon as we have established a plan for this.

2. Search operations
Today, 1 dog, 1 handler and 1 searcher are out in the field looking at an area relatively close to the parking lot that hasn't been scoured. Depending on what they find and also the forecast for the next week, we may try to put together one last push to search a couple of areas. If this were to happen, it would likely involve 2 days - either this weekend or early next week. As soon as I get the information on this, I will send out an email and post to the blog.

3. If you would like to post to this blog, please contact Clay's brother Todd Rubano. You must send him your email and then he can add you to the able to post list. His email is: todd@newwavecarwash.com.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stars, Clay, Stars

I keep thinking I have so much to tell Clay when he comes home. Like how all the communities of people we love are united together during this most horrible of times. It's always been a dream of ours to get all our friends from around the world together. Clay, it's happening. They're here. Some in spirit, some in body. And it's incredible. From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for everything you've done, from prayers and meditations, emails, phone calls, helping search, taking care of me ... there are no words for my appreciation. I couldn't survive this without you all.

It's a brilliantly clear night tonight. Look, Clay! Stars! Stars, Clay, stars!

May the rattlesnake and screech owl amuse your reverie...

This is a favorite quote of Clay's:

"May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God's dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and screech owl amuse your reverie, may Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night."

From the preface to 'Beyond the Wall' ~ Edward Abbey

Clay inspires me as he inspires others. One of the most significant events in my life was catapulted into reality because of his friendship. My life is deeper and more purposeful due to crossing his path. We have unfinished plans, Clay.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

clay bob

Clay wanted to meet me, after he had heard some of the avant gart phone messages I would leave for Fireman Dan.
Dan met me in a nursing home, while he was visiting a fellow firefighter who was losing a battle with cancer.
I was just institutionalized there because I was a quadriplegic.

Anyway, I fought my way out .and had the great joy of experiencing clay bob.

Prior to my injury/quadriplegia, I worked ranches in Montana and Wyoming.

Clay recognized what I lost after my injury, but also, encouraged me in the abilities I had renewed.
I went back to college and got involved in theater arts. I became a professional face painting clown.
Clay was there for me. He came to many plays;from Cinderella to Strindberg.
Rachael, my heart breaks for you, and all of us who miss his physical presence. I still see him in every star, plant, cloud, and miracle of life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Clay was a gift and an inspiration to us all...

Clay lived life the the fullest setting fear of failure or judgement aside. I learned a great deal from him when I finally understood his passion for life and love of all things great and small. Clay truly lit his candle and loved every flicker. You are in my heart forever Clay!

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to fuure generations."
George Bernard Shaw

Monday, November 19, 2007

Clay's Smile and Laugh

All afternoon I've heard Clay saying my name in his always friendly, super cheerful way while greeting me with a huge smile and equally large hug. Then I hear his infectious laugh. It makes me smile and laugh...and cry.

When we were working together at RMOC he would say, "Tastes good and good for you". I think he mainly said that when we were drinking, but also during Leigh's Mediterranean night. Remember the theme parties...how about signing our names on the sub-floor before installing the new carpet in the store/office. Clay made those days even more memorable. I can see him walking around the property with his address book, pen, and paper. He was always writing a letter or postcard to someone. He was training Beth in our raft down Browns Canyon when I fell out of the boat and swam for the first and only time. He taught me how to find the constellation Orion.

Several years ago Clay suggested that Jonathan and I spend some time on the ice. I wasn't so sure, but Clay said I would be fine because they had plenty of videos to watch. Always the optimist...always finding the brightest side to everything.

I can see his smile; I can hear his laugh...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Living in a box with no sides.

So much to think about. I just spoke to Dan. You know Dan L. Lost his housse a few weeks ago in SD. That was the phone call conversation with Clay, last week. And of, course, how to get Dan a perfect relationship and how to get a career connection with Clay's knowledge with my own.

That's how most of my conversations with Clay went. Either laughing so hard I'd just about peed in my pants or deep in career building, knowledge enhancing, wilderness experiences. You know the stories. The one where Clay was on a wilderness training exersion and some guy places underwear over his head, inside his sleeping bag, so the blood sucking bugs won't get to him. Laughed so hard I may actually may have peed in my pants.

Then there was the time I was a house cleaner and dislocated my shoulder. Clay calles the day after, just in time to get in his car and show up on my doorstep. Then helps me clean houses for a week. Yup, that's Clay. Always there when you need him, always leaving before he out-welcomed his stay. As if he could ever do that!

So, as I cannot come to Lander to look myself, (just had some surgery and cannot walk on anything but flat ground), I have added Clay to my blog, www.athleticexcellence.net, emailed people all over the world, to send good collective thoughts and vibes, and I have even emailed Oprah. If anyone can send some sort of powerful collective vibe, well, Oprah can. Worth a shot. Just like turing over one more rock.

I will continue to send thoughts and vibes. I will continue to remember the stupid songs he always sung. Thankfully he didn't choose to be a singer.... but I will keep the faith. Because, the stength of collective thought is as powerful as it gets. And I'm not a religous person.

Back to turning over rocks.

A Friend to So Many

I was fortunate enough to meet Clay during a formidable transitional time in life. We were both new-college hires and started work the same week at General Dynamics in San Diego. We were both 21...from AZ...excited about having gotten a good job straight out of college...and both completely ignorant about aerospace. We clung to each other that first year of yuppiehood...and despite the years that followed of each of us pursuing other paths...both of us leaving the corporate world...venturing more into outdoor/contract work...we never lost the closeness that comes from sharing a major personal growth period in life. Clay has been "my rock" for many years. His phone calls and emails always popping up at just the right time. His continual efforts to show that friendships are important to him and that no matter what the distance he always lets you know he hasn't forgotten you. Although his sense of humor and laughter are so very much a part of what friends recognize him for...there is so much sincerity in his concern for others, his desire to always do the right thing, and his desire to make a positive contribution during his time on earth...which he has continually done. The numbers of folks involved in the search...the number of friends supporting from afar...truly a testament of the number of people whose lives Clay has touched and made a heartfelt impact on.


Life is a precious gift. Even so, it cannot be clung to with the fear of loss. Instead, it must be fully explored with wonder and delight. Clay has approached life that way more than anyone else I have had the privilege of knowing.

In all cultures, there are stories of the “crazy sage” who lives an apparently random life, showing up unexpectedly, opening people’s minds to thoughts and questions they had dared not consider, and then disappearing as quickly as he came. I know that Clay has had this effect on others he has met. He certainly had that effect on me. He has not only been my brother; he has also been the crazy sage who continually encourages me to examine my own thoughts, beliefs and choices.

These gifts (along with his tutorials on the many uses of duct tape) I will treasure always.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In Clay's own words

Our thanks and love to Rachel for making our boy *this* happy!