Bill Cruchon

Blast from the Past

This is not the way the Unlimited NewsJournal expected to introduce a new feature, but occasionally outside forces play havoc with plans. The UNJ staff decided that we should go through the decades of our past print UNJ issues and select some of the best articles we had printed in hard copy and publish them again on our Internet site. Our goal was to make this a regular feature, as many outstanding articles have only been read by the several hundred subscribers at the time they were printed and the Internet has opened a whole new audience. As we were readying this new feature, we learned that Bill Cruchon died. Those of us in UNJ leadership decided it was only fitting that our first republished article be Cruchon’s, "Look at the Evidence".

Bill Cruchon played an important part in the Unlimited NewsJournal. He and his spouse Kim, volunteered to do some of the important, but less glamorous work, when the UNJ was in hard copy; they were part of the mailing team and they folded, stamped, affixed mailing labels and taped hundreds of copies of the Unlimited NewsJournal each month in preparation for mailing. But Bill did more. He was a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in history and enjoyed boat and boat racing history. Yep, UU members would see him each year at both the Seafair and Tri-Cities races, but his passion was hydro history. He’d hang out at Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum events and looked forward to going to Lake Chelan each year to watch the vintage boats run. He confessed to me that he was heartbroken when the Cooper’s stopped racing their Allison powered boat. As a historian, Cruchon knew some stories needed to be told, even those that might be controversial. In the 1990s the Jensen family claimed that Anchor Jensen not only built Slo-mo-shun IV, but also was its co-designer. Most of the hydroplane boat community credited Ted Jones with the design. But historian Cruchon went to the Anchor Boat Company in Seattle, near the University of Washington, and went through their archives, talked with Jensen family and penned their view in the controversial, Look at the Evidence, piece.

Bill Cruchon, 59, died in late September after a very brief battle with an umbilical hernia. Our positive thoughts go out to his wife, Kim, and our thanks go to Bill for his help with the UNJ.

Rest in peace, dear friend.
Chris Tracy, President Unlimiteds Unanimous,
publishers of the Unlimited NewsJournal