Bill Cook died April 9th after 98 1/2 years of inventing, thinking hard, and giving. He was a skiing pioneer in the Pacific North West, skiing at Mount Rainer, Chinook Pass and Cayuse Pass starting WAY back in 1938. When he heard of Crystal Mountain opening, he bought a cabin in the Dalles in 1962. That cabin became a haven for 2 generations (so far) of CMAC racers- including my son- thanks to his generosity and foresight.
I probably asked Mr. Cook hundreds of technical questions over the 5 decades I knew him, and remarkably, he almost never failed to have a great answer for me. But I learned more from him than he knew, because I also watched how he lived, what he valued, and what he found worthless. Bill Cook valued people (especially friends and family), the mountains, simplicity, safety, and economy.... and speed. He didn't care much for snobbery, and he only barely tolerated stupidity. His engineering solutions sought to do the most with the least. Sometimes he invented totally new designs with essentially nothing- found materials only. 1 of those designs (the cabin woodshed) survived over 40 years, and only the nails in it were not sourced on sight. Mr. Cook valued nature, but he was not afraid of ruining it by using it, nor was he intimidated by it.
I probably would not be Gadget if not for Bill Cook, and it is also quite unlikely I would be a CMAC coach either.
If you have ever seen the cap I wear the most, you might wonder what "Cook's Cabin Speed Shop" is. Now you know.