[Bob Carr, the creator of Bob’s Crystal Cave near Joshua Tree, Calif., where he welcomed visitors for 15 years.]
Joshua Tree Artist Built A Crystal Cave Of Wonder
With Chicken Wire, Spray Foam
“There’s nothing out there. It’s all you. The whole universe. The etherium. It’s already in you. You’re looking out there.”
Bob could be cryptic, especially when talking about the Crystal Cave. When I asked him why he built it, all Bob would ever say was: “Just plain old unexacerbated joy.”
Despite his radiating happiness, Bob had lived a hard life. He told me he grew up as one of seven kids, to poor parents who fled the Dust Bowl.
“There was never a book in the house. There’s no kind of library, you know,” Bob said. “We didn’t have a shower or a bathtub. Poverty sucks.”
“I needed to express the uncontainable joy I built up over so many years,” he said. “That’s surrender. When I look at you, I can see you. Therefore, I am stunned by the beauty of joy of every single human I meet.”
It may seem strange to suggest that the key to happiness can be found in a spray foam cave, in the middle of the California desert. But Bob taught me that every one of us is capable of making beautiful experiences for each other. Even out of chicken wire and spray foam.
Bob died earlier this month at age 80. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and daughter Zena. Bob “died as he lived — on his own terms and with dignity and grace,” Elizabeth says.
Bob’s Crystal Cave: https://hiddenca.com/portfolio/bobs-crystal-cave/