by nathan oster
The memorial to Donald J. Ruhl in the cemetery that bears his name moved a step closer to completion on Wednesday afternoon when an apron was installed around the granite monument that stands as a tribute to Greybull’s only winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
“The shape of the base was part of the design from the beginning, and it was always intended to be red,” said Paul Linse, who coordinated last week’s project, just as he has the entire development of the Ruhl monument site. “It became clear very quickly that there was no granite source for a blood-red base.
“A call to a high-performance concrete testing laboratory, Blue Concrete, started things off. I asked the engineer, Julie, if her product would handle “110 degree heat in the summer, minus 40 degree cold in the winter, wind-blown sand at over 60 miles per hour, and alkaline irrigation water more caustic than lime?”
Her response: “It will still be there after the granite monument has blown away.”
Thomas Designs, located in Salt Lake City, was the determined to be the nearest fabricator.
Blue Concrete developed a red dye just for the concrete and donated it, and other materials, to Tyler Thomas Blaine to fabricate in his shop in Salt Lake City. Linse said Tyler did the project at a very low price, including delivering and installing the piece, so he dictated the timeline for the installation. It occurred Wednesday on a swing through the area on his way to Yellowstone National Park to see the changing fall colors.
“The cemetery board is very grateful to Todd Zeller, who volunteered to operate the high-lift loader volunteered by Riverfront Construction,” said Linse, adding that his friends from the coffee group at the Sugar Shack volunteered to lower the base onto its mountings by hand. “My gratitude is extended to all who helped.”