Bill Torode sent these pictures and rememberance of Dick Graham from caving in TAG during the 1960s

Dick Graham on the left, Eric Steenburn on the right at the spring entrance to Lamons Cave, 28 April 1968.

Eric Steenburn, Dick Graham, and Jim Wilson (l to r) at the entrance to Indian Rock Cave, 3 March 1968.

Jim Wilson, Bob Blake (rescuee), Dick Graham (with his helmet on backwards), Bill Varnadoe, Steve Wiggins, and Leslie Powell (l to r) at Engle Double Pit Rescue, 7 December 1969.

Dick Graham at the entrance to Webb Cave AL1001, 19 November 1967

Bill Torode, Dick Graham, Pete Gilster, and Darrell Albert (l to r) at Entrance #2 of Talucah Cave, 11 March 1967.

Dick Graham at Speedway Cave entrance #2, 11 December 1966 (a precursor to dozens of tight entrance shots with Dick taken later by Ron Simmons).


Dick Graham started caving here in north Alabama with the Huntsville Grotto while he was in the army stationed on Redstone Arsenal. He joined the grotto in November 1966, and joined the NSS in January 1967 receiving number 9694. Our first trip together was Old Blowing Cave on 7 Jan 1967. Dick was very easy to get along with and we hit it off right away.

We did a lot of caving together. When Graham got out of the army in August 1967, he was going to school at UAH and was looking for a cheap place to stay. I had an extra bedroom in my trailer and Graham moved in. It was great having a gung-ho caving partner every weekend. It wasn?t weather we were going caving, but where were we going.

We mapped over a hundred Alabama caves together. Some of the classic Alabama caves that Graham helped map are: Fern Cave, Gary Self, Falling, Hughes, Neversink, War Eagle, Crossings, Limrock Blowing, Gross Skeleton, Glove Pit, Devils Dungeon, Greens Well, Horse Skull and Indian Rock. One of the last caves that Graham helped map in Alabama was AL1300 Long Island Saltpeter in July 1972.

While in Huntsville, Graham got interested in critter collecting in the caves for Stewart Peck and John Cooper. Two Alabama caves were named for Graham: AL943 Graham Pit, a big nice 130 footer, and AL964 Grahams Crawl Cave, 119 feet long. In Aug. 1972, Graham became a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, married Sherry Myrick and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, to pursue an advanced degree in mathematics.

In July 1981, Graham came back to Huntsville to host a week long caving camp for the 8th International Speleological Congress. Jim Hall found an article that Dick Graham wrote in the March 1982 issue of the NSS News about the Petzl Descender and it?s attributes. I have seen Dick only a few times thru the years, we did not stay in touch. I last saw Dick at the 1998 convention in Sewanee, Tennessee. Dick said that he was doing some deep caves in Virginia and West Virginia.
I was hiking up to Fern Cave a few weeks back and clearing the trail as I went, I remembered that Dick and I, many years ago, were clearing the trail and Dick dropped a Large tree on his foot. Strange the things we remember.

Bill Torode NSS 5013