The rest of the story....

Upon his retirement from teaching, Albert H. Atwood would move his family to Castro Valley, California and turn his hobby of collecting wildflower seeds into a business called  Clyde Robin Seed Company.  His principles of preserving rare and beautiful plants and minimizing environmental impact by growing his own seed in controlled environments were sound ones.  His product had wide appeal and the business thrived.  Eventually, the business would be taken over by Albert's son, Steve Atwood, who still manages the business today selling the highest quality wildflower seeds available anywhere.

In approximately 1973, at about the same time that Steve was working with his father, Steve Atwood and his family moved into Fremont, California and Steve found himself as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 131, Mission Peak District, San Francisco Bay Area Council.  I don't know if he volunteered or was strong-armed into the position but, just like his father before him, Steve was now an adult Scout leader.

I was already a member of Troop 131 when Steve became our Scoutmaster.  At that time, Troop 131 was in need of a good leader with experience, enthusiasm, and passion.  Steve Atwood had all of the right attributes and we considered him the perfect choice.  He quickly established proper patrols, a regular camping schedule, high adventures, fund-raising, and competition. The boys responded immediately and everyone was having a great time.

In the next few years under his leadership, the Scouts in Troop 131 thrived very much like Clyde Robin Seed Company.  I had the honor to serve as Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader and, for a short time, as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  I was SPL for the Troop when we won the Mission Peak District Camporee and I remember how proud we all were and how proud I was to tie the red/white/blue ribbon on the Troop flag.  My other memories of Troop 131 are all wonderful ones but I especially remember the instructions we received from Steve about how to dry Lupine seeds from the seed pods collected on one of our hikes.  I knew that he and his father ran a seed business but nothing about it.

In 2010 after an separation of maybe 35 years, I would connect to Steve Atwood again.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, Steve and his wife had retired to Southern Utah.  My parents, just by chance, had moved to an area about 1 hour away across the Utah/Nevada border.  Through mutual friends, they had earlier become aware of each other, made contact, and my devious father had started plotting.

A few short months later and during a visit to my parents in Mesquite, Nevada, my father drove my family to St. George, Utah ostensibly for dinner.  Along the way, Dad pulled into a small community of beautiful modern homes situated near a stunning ridge in the Utah desert.  From there, Dad negotiated his way through the neighborhood and then pulled into someone's driveway.  I thought this was a bit strange but there was some sort of neighborhood based art show going on at the time and there were people walking all over the neighborhood so I guess I was distracted.  It was a desert so I should have noticed the few tiny alpine wildflowers that had escaped and were growing along the edge of the concrete but I didn't.

When my father walked to and knocked on the front door, a familiar looking woman answered.  She smiled as she invited us in, turned, and called softly for "Steve".  It doesn't say much for my personal powers of observation but I was still clueless about the conspiracy unfolding in front of me.  I didn't realize what was happening until Steve Atwood came into view, smiled, and invited us all to sit down and talk for awhile.

The rest of that visit went by far too quickly.  We spent the next hour or so talking about Troop 131, a visit Steve had received from my good friend and fellow Scout Andy Theobald (in full Sheriff's uniform), my time as a Adult Scout Leader, our mutual involvement in Wood Badge, and the latest business venture for Clyde Robin Seed Company.  It was an afternoon I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.

Roll forward a couple of years...

  Even though I loved Boy Scouting immensely as a youth, had completed all 24 merit badges required for Eagle Scout, had served all of my leadership requirements, and had even started my Eagle project, I dropped abruptly from Boy Scouting and my church in 1976 at the age of 15 after an encounter with the leader of our church congregation.  No, I was not molested -- it was something much less spectacular than that and not related to this story.

Shortly after my graduation from college in 1984, I quickly found myself involved as an adult Scout leader.  The enjoyment I had in my youth was back.  By 2012, I had served as Varsity Team Coach, Asst. Scoutmaster, Den Leader, Cubmaster, and Asst. District Commissioner for more than 27 years.  I had also been a member of the 2005 National Jamboree SCUBA Staff and had led multiple high adventures.  During the entire time I had all the while regretted the decision not to complete my Eagle rank and had often taken the assignment to encourage other young men not to make the same mistake that I had.

In early 2012, I became interested in a reference to a man that had earned his Eagle Scout rank as an adult.  After using random searches on the Internet for other such men, I had found only a handful of men but they intrigued me.  I'm probably the only person in the entire world that still has "become an Eagle Scout" on my bucket list even though this has been impossible since I was 4 years old.

Resolved to learn more about adults who had made the same mistake I had -- but had been given another opportunity to become an Eagle Scout after age 18 -- I purchased a subscription to an on-line archive news service and began reading through summaries of more than 500,000 news articles that resulted in a search of the term "Eagle Scout" between 1912 and 1972.  

Eagle Scout announcements, references, and pictures are important news but they are rarely found on the front pages of newspapers.  This new hobby of mine would end up taking several hours each day for months at a time reading through thousands of articles buried in the literary bowels of old newspapers.  At times the effort was mind-numbing and then an adult eagle scout reference would appear and the effort would become worthwhile again.  I slowly collected references, names, and details until reaching the 1972 final cutoff for adult Scouts.  I never dreamed I would find more than 600 men who had earned Eagle Scout as adult.

Several months into my new hobby reading news articles looking for men who had earned Eagle Scout as an adult, I chanced across the name "Albert H. Atwood" in an article printed in the 1948 Hayward Daily Review.  I knew that Steve Atwood had lived in the Hayward area prior to moving to my hometown of Fremont so I started digging.  Within a few hours I had determined that the Scoutmaster of my youth was the son of the very same Albert H. Atwood that I was researching.  What tiny world!  

Now you know the rest of the story.

Steve Atwood
son of Albert Atwood