JOSAR Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Contact: Jeff Ohlfs, 760-367-5548
On January 13th, 60 former and current members of JOSAR, the park’s search and rescue team, gathered at the 29 Palms Elk Lodge to celebrate 25 years of dedicated service and saving lives. In attendance were three of the 357 people who’ve been rescued since 1982 – Rodica Ionasescu, Marla Joe Woods-Rubin, and Marvin Matsumoto. Charles R. “Butch” Farabee, retired National Park Service ranger and author, was master of ceremonies. Farabee expressed the dedication of JOSAR members by saying that “anyone who is in search and rescue, you are all in the same boat as far as I’m concerned in terms of being heroes.” Resolutions from the California state senate, the Riverside and San Bernardino County boards of supervisors, and Friends of Joshua Tree were presented to superintendent Curt Sauer in honor of JOSAR and its many accomplishments. A PowerPoint presentation covering JOSAR’s history and 306 missions was given by Tom Patterson. Concert violinist Marla Jo Rubin, who was nine years old when rescued, played for the attendees and expressed her feelings about JOSAR by saying “I admired them so much because they saved my life.” The celebration concluded with a cake cutting by the oldest member in attendance, Dr. Bill Clem, and the newest member in attendance, Bruce Baughman. A SARBQ was held at the conclusion of the ceremonies. Exhibits celebrating the 25th anniversary were on display at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center and the 29 Palms Old Schoolhouse Museum. A history of JOSAR written by Tom Patterson and Jeff Ohlfs was published in the winter 2006 edition of the 29 Palms Historical Society’s Old Schoolhouse Journal.