In memorium -- Lyman Wong


Teresa B:

Lyman was one of the very first people I met in ICO, before rafting (life before rafting??). Chuck Ford use to take our high school of troubled youth on day hikes and backpacking trips. Lyman would occasionally join as a fellow leader on these outings. I fondly remember our first hike, where at the half way point I pulled the 13 year old girly thing (can't believe I'm publicly admitting this) and professed that I was so tired I couldn't walk back. Now remember, Lyman was my same size. No problem though, he gladly offered and carried me piggy back all the way back and we talked the whole time back to the car. It was a fun day, and my only memory from that great day was how fun it was to hangout with Lyman.

After the hiking trip Lyman visited me a couple times at the restaurant I worked at, just to say hello and encourage me to get outdoors more. He was a great source of encouragement when it came to sticking to rafting. A true example of a great youth leader.

I remember Lyman as a worldly person, very handy and creative. Always upbeat, willing to help out, or lend an ear. He enjoyed meeting people and the wilderness inspired him.

As I've move back to the bay area, I'm looking forward to catching up with folks from long ago. Lyman was someone I was hoping to reconnect with. A good lesson to myself to not keep putting off those times that I want to reach out to people. I'm going to miss the little guy.


Lisa F:


This so sad. Like Teresa, Lyman was one of my ICO mentors when I first started rafting. He has a kind heart, but I will never forget how to wash the dishes in "downstream" order from our ico rafting training boot camp. He also took some of my Cameron House girls on their first backpacking trip where we walked about 15 minutes and then prepared camp and had the best outdoor feast! We took a short hike and he showed us all how to look at bobcat poop. His enthusiasm for nature was infectious and my inner city tween girls all got down on their knees to disect the remnants. His smiling face, kind heart and firm beliefs of certain things (I did not say stubbornness) will be missed.


Paul L:


Yes, a boat-deflating trip report L
 
I'm certainly not alone with fond memories of Lyman and thought of him often though we've been inactive ICO'ers.  Only two weeks ago a friend commented about a 'fridge magnet' we have of Lyman with (Kathleen Ferris, Delton, Cindy Wheeler, Susan Mayer;  playing fuzzball in Berkeley) and once again I thought, "I wonder how I'd get a phone # for Lyman and check in?"  Oh those lesson's we learn of wondering.... L  
 
Generation ahead of me,  a very solid presence in ICO who inspired and supported others with his calm, enthusiastic and creative approach to the outdoors (I couldn't pitch a tent in 1992 without his help or wilderness advise), along with his infectious sense of humor and enthusiasm....I can still hear his spirited laugh if I listen closely.  
 
Grand Canyon 1995, Margery's or Kiwi's boat (sorry J) somehow flips with our 1 group guitar on board, the neck folds over all the way back and breaks off L,  and it's Lyman to the rescue!  UNBELIEVABLE!!   This guitar was a goner as last rights were being read,  NOT!    Lyman,  "mr. gadget!" If it ain't in my garage,  you don't need it!" ----calmly summons a team to gather drift wood?, several cam straps, twine, and breaks out a tube of 'crazy glue'  he just happened to have with him a 100 miles from civilization,  J  Needless to say,  Lyman proceeds to set up a remarkable clamp system that only he could resourcefully devise (invent?) on the spot.  Wooden music would ring throughout the canyon at campfires for the duration, but guess we'll have to run that class VI rapid in order to boat and sing with him again someday....Paulie  


Derrick W:


We did an ICO trip on the T at high water, back in the early 90's.  Lots of flips, lots of stress, lots of words. At the campsite, there was a great creek with some teacup waterfalls.  A few of us hiked up to the upper waterfalls. At the top pool, there was the wonderful scene of a nekkid Lyman, fly-fishing away.  We warned him that it could be dangerous for his junk, but he was unconcerned and at peace.
 
Lyman--may you forever enjoy nekkid casting in that pool beyond!


Anneke:

I think I was on that trip!
 
I have another great Lyman memory: It was the Kings river, and after a long day of stress filled rafting we went to some hot springs for some r&r. After a few minutes of resting in the warm pools, we noticed that we were crawling with leaches. Everyone jumped up and out of the pools, but I had been soaking a little too long and the leaches had made their way into my swim suit. Lyman, ever the gentleman, poured cold water on me as I stripped down screaming as I tried to remove leaches from my nether regions. Lyman was oh so calm and helpful, happy to help me in my distress.
 
I can't believe he is gone.


Harold S:

Yes, Anneke, you were on that trip; we shared a boat. That was also the trip that Lyman cobbled together a slant board out of some flotsam found on the shore at put in, a couple of cam straps, and a spare ensolite pad. I don't know what he cut the plywood with; maybe his teeth or a stone axe or something, but it came out the perfect size and shape, and saved the day since the "real" one was still in the shed in San Leandro. He helped me patch up a burst power-steering line in my truck one time when we were on the Stanislaus with the same kind of innovation and inventiveness. The guy was amazing.

All these stories really bring me back, and help me remember him even better; thank you everyone, and it's special to hear from some folks who were an important part of our community those many years ago.

More of my own memories: One warm, full-moon evening at Lotus, Lyman got the idea to take all the kids for a walk in the graveyard.He had them all fired up, joking around about spooks and ghosts and just in general loving every moment, but at the same time he managed to impart a great respect for, and dignity to all the folks lying underground, and the kids caught his attitude and went along.  At the closing circle, not one of those kids mentioned "rafting" as the high point; nearly all of them talked about that walk in the graveyard instead. People here have spoken of his gentle and joyful sense of humor, his love of the outdoors, his generous nature; to that I want to add his tremendous dedication to sharing what he had with the folks we take out. He loved those kids; he was pretty much one of them himself, and while he was never one to be tempermental or too divisive, for him the kids always, always came first, and he was THERE for them - in his usual, humorous, unflappable and humble way.

I'll miss him

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