Ed Grothus Memorial

February 15, 2009

Remembering Ed…

Filed under: unclassified — edgrothusmemorial @ 3:19 pm
January, 2005.  Photos by Fran Hogan

January, 2005. Photos by Fran Hogan


  1. The photo of the truck needs a comment – The old red dodge truck was rolled outside of Bernallio by Charlie B who was working for Dad at the time. I don’t recall how it got back on the wheels, but it continued its’ journey with dents and broken windows and mirrors for many years. In 2007, Charlie B came back by the BH, and thanked Dad for getting him on the track to sobriety, where he was celebrating 10 years. When the engine in that truck stopped working, Dad sold that truck to a guy that helepd him out from time to time. I believe the plan was to take the dented body off that chassis, and put an older body on as part of the restoration. A year or so later, I was headed to LA. Dad was not doing well in the hospital, and I was concerned about getting to LA in time to be with Dad. I came down from Colorado via Taos (not my usual pathway) and decided to stop for an apple at Alsups (not my usual stopping place) and was surprised to see that dented red dodge truck in the adjacent parking space. Seeing the truck gave me relief that Dad would also be “running” when I got to LA. I asked the clerk who owned the truck, and she indicated that the man that bought it from Dad got it running and gave it to her. She asked me to ask Dad why the Check Engine light was on. Dad was not big on equipment maintenence, and had no idea why the light was on. Every time I drive down to LA via Taos, I look for the dented red dodge. I have not seen it again…

    Comment by Mike Grothus — February 17, 2009 @ 12:13 am

  2. I enjoyed growing up as a neighbor to the Grothus family. As a kid, I did not understand Ed’s passion but now I do. We just had a great time checking out all of the cool stuff he collected. We would ride with him on day trips to Santa Fe to collect stuff. Sometimes on the return trip, to save gas, he would kill the engine at the top of the hill headed home and coast. Ted or I being of experienced elementary school driving age would take the wheel on his lap and steer for 15 minutes while Ed took a nap. Those good old days are no longer and I miss them and will miss Ed too.

    Comment by Eric Blevins — March 4, 2009 @ 2:30 am

  3. As I read this memorial to Ed Grothus, I am brought back to my own childhood memories of living on Arizona Street and going to the “Piggly Wiggly” store to buy candy as a very young boy. I remembered knowing Ted at Cumbres Junior high school as a bully who picked a fight with me because I seemed too meek to him. Shortly after the math teacher pulled me off of him we actually became friends until high school when we lost Ted. I can still remember my feelings of that experience as if it were yesterday. During that time I was on my history teacher Marylou Williams’ Environmental Awareness Traveling Group where we went to schools and reservations to promote environmental awareness through a one hour multimedia skit. Ted would sometimes join in on trail runs, pinecone wars, bull hopping and spelunking in the canyon behind the high school and in White Rock canyon. We were what might have seemed like pretty wild kids back then.

    Years later as an adult I went back soon after the great fire had burned my neighborhood and sanctuary of a mountain playground. We stumbled upon the Black Hole and the church. I was stunned and impressed to see such a display of whimsical enlightened thought in the middle of the “insanity” that I saw was the culture of Los Alamos having grown up there. I still have the photos of the church. Thank you Grothus family for making your powerful impacts on the Los Alamos Community over multiple generations.

    Comment by Christopher Martin — April 2, 2009 @ 12:20 am

  4. So sad to hear about the Lab’s resident thorn in its side departing this Earth. I’ve been wanting to make time to get back to LA and say hi to him, and now it’s too late.

    I lived in Los Alamos as the child of two LANL scientists in the 70s and 80s and remember Ed’s many letters to the editor and his presence at the Lab salvage sales. Prior to the sale opening, he’d be covering his shirt with pieces of masking tape saying “SOLD: EG”, ready to slap on as many goodies as possible as soon as the gates opened.

    I didn’t initially agree with Ed very much, but his antics did make me think and are probably one of the reasons that despite my background from the heart of the military-industrial complex, I turned out an anarchist and anti-militarist.

    Every company town needs its Ed.

    Comment by David B. — July 8, 2009 @ 1:57 am

  5. just today i found out that a person
    ed grothus existed. who knows about
    his ancestors as i am a genealogic researcher in germany. our name is from german origin, may be his children barbara,tom,susan or mike could answer.
    best regards from germany

    Comment by Harry Grotthuss — January 24, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

  6. I met Ed a couple of times back around 2001, when I still lived in Santa Fe. He made such a strong and vivid impression on me that I was determined to visit him at the Black Hole again if I could. Unfortunately, my choice of places to live prevented this. My own students of English in Germany informed me that he’d recently passed away (after an internet search) after I showed them a clip from Ellen Spiro’s film as part of an English language teaching debating exercise on nuclear weapons and atomic energy. I was so shocked that I had to cut my class a bit short.

    Comment by Michael — February 13, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  7. That was last spring. I passed through Los Alamos again last summer, and I only wish I had returned sooner.

    It’s strange how much of an imprint complete strangers can leave on us. I was only 19 when I first encountered Ed Grothus, and I can only say now that he really made me think.

    Comment by Michael — February 13, 2010 @ 1:01 am

  8. I visited Ed and the Black Hole many times each year over a twenty year span. What a priviledge it was to get to know and laugh with him. Not sure I could have actually worked there, but it sure would have been fun to try.

    Comment by jamesgstuartJi Stuart — January 22, 2015 @ 5:26 am

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