Friday, May 15, 2009

A Spring Smorgasbord

(Santa Monica South T-26. Photo by Mark Holtzman. Used here with permission).

I. First up in this Smorgasbord Blog Post:

Mark "Air Wolf" Holtzman, who started his lifeguard career in 1971 with the City of Santa Monica which merged with LACo in 1974.
For many years now, Mark has been an aerial photographer and helicopter pilot. Here are a few remarks which Mark shared at our request:

"Will, I started my lifeguard days as a Junior Guard in Santa Monica under Rudy Kroon & Herb Suskin. Became a guard in 1971 in a class with Duncan Henderson, Craig Cheetham, Totti, and Mazarella. The rescue I still remember was in October with a south swell at low tide. I was at Tower 26 & Doug Smith was just north of me. The waves were so big with no water underneath that we had a really hard time getting past them. Tom Zahn on the Baywatch left the pier about the same time we hit the water and was waiting as we finally got through. I remember being scraped up, sore and not wanting to . The rest of the day was spent keeping everyone out, which was definitely the smarter way. I had a great time being a Santa Monica Lifeguard. I think there were about 60 of us.

Here are a few recent pictures (above and below) taken in Santa Monica and Venice taken from my office!!

Mark Holtzman"

(The Venice Breakwater. Photo by Mark Holtzman. Used here with permission).

*** Thanks Mark ! Fantastic Photos !

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II. Next up, Eric Shargo
, Ph.d, LACo Recurrent and Pali High and SMC Alumnus, recently shared with us a story and photo from 'way back', which some of you may recall concerning the famed Malibu Canyon tunnel and some 'scandalous' artwork that appeared almost overnite.

Story and Photo Source:

Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon

"On the morning of October 29, 1966, commuters in Malibu Canyon were shocked by a vision that seemed to appear overnight on a shear rock face. Cavorting on the cliff was a 60-foot-high, brilliant-pink figure of a joyfully nude maiden, clutching flowers. The mysterious Pink Lady became a national media sensation. Crowds came to gawk and to wonder who painted her and how. Throngs grew as the mystery deepened. County officials declared the Pink Lady a traffic hazard and attempted to remove her, but high-pressure water sprays only made her gleam more brightly. Paint remover didn't work. On the ground, her admirers became protective, heckling the county crews and signing petitions that called efforts to erase the Pink Lady "prudish, inartistic, inhuman and apathetic."

When the creator stepped forward, shock reigned again. Lynne Seemayer, a 31-year-old artist and mother who lived in Northridge, had spent nights for several months hanging from ropes in the dark drawing the outline. In one marathon session, she applied the paint then went home to make breakfast for her kids. Acclaim and proposals of marriage rolled in, plus offers to join nudist groups. She also got hate mail and a bill from the county. People read all kinds of meaning into the Pink Lady, but Seemayer explained, "I did it simply as an art piece, and that was all." Fourteen gallons of drab gray paint ended the Pink Lady's short life although for a decade afterward a faint outline could be glimpsed over the tunnel mouth."

*** Thanks Sharkman !

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III. Recently, we also received the following photo from retired recurrent beach lifeguard, Erwin "Erkie" Cheldin, and friend of the much loved and revered (and now deceased), Don Wolf.

"Dear Will: Thought you'd like to see this. It's not such a good shot, but it's all I have. Take care. Sincerely, Erkie Cheldin"

(Photo by Evening Outlook. Photo/article clipping courtesy of Erkie Cheldin (

When I inquired as to the date of this photo, Erkie replied as follows:

"Hi Will: Early 50's. As you know Don is not with us any more. He was one great guy and I miss him. Those where some great times. The Cole twins, Buz Trent Kiven Grant and so many more. Sincerely, Erkie."

Additionally, County Recurrent" inquired of Lifeguard History Prof. Arthur Verge, Ph.d as to whether he had any comments about this photo and he replied: "Will - since it is an Evening Outlook photo the original shot will be with the Santa Monica Historical Society."

*** Many thanks to Erkie for sharing this great photo of him and his dory partner, Don Wolf. Thanks as well to both Erkie and Arthur for their editorial comments with respect to this same photo.

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IV. And Last But Certainly Not Least...
just in from the Central American country of Guatemala where one of LACO's and S.M. City's Finest, albeit retired, ocean lifeguard living legends is now living, "County Recurrent" is pleased to announce that Bill Asturias.......

is now a Grandfather and the photo below shows Bill with his granddaughter Sofia, as forwarded to us on May 7, 2009. Congratulations Grandpa Bill. Please extend our collective Best Wishes to you and yours !

(Photo courtesy of Bill Asturias).

*** Thanks for sharing that great photo and great news with us, Bill !

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Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

DISCLAIMER: County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

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