Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween: "Trick or Treat ?"

(Artwork above shows The Nocturnals™ in a rare visit to the So. Calif. Coast, at Santa Monica South Tower #24. Copyright Dan Brereton. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.)

It's upon us again, Fright Nite, The Night of the Living Shred, etc. et al.

(Photo source: San Diego Comic-Con 2008. Photo by Will Maguire.)

Happy Halloween, Recurrents !

In honor of this festive occasion and holiday, we present to you the very
First Annual County Recurrent Halloween "Trick or Treat" Quiz.

Each photograph hereinafter will pose the obvious question, is it a "Trick" or is it a "Treat" ? You alone will be the judge. Is the photo legit or doctored. Is the subject legit or a trickster ? Is the answer to the question "True" or "False", as the case may be.

Here goes:

Trick or Treat: Is this guy really wearing a Sylvester the Cat Costume on the beach in 85 degree plus heat on Labor Day ?

True or False: The occasion of this shot was Bill Wilson's Wedding.

True or False: These two lifeguards are Recurrents.

Trick or Treat: Is this photo the real deal ?

or is this photo the real deal ?

True or False: This LACo Rookie Finished First In His Rookie School.

Trick or Treat ?

Trick or Treat: Is this Jelly Fish Warning the real deal ?

Trick or Treat: Is that a great Halloween Costume on the right or what ?

Trick or Treat: Are these girls for real ?

Trick or Treat: Is Arthur Verge really married ?

Trick or Treat: Is there really "no surfing allowed" when Larry Raffaelli wears this shirt ?

Trick or Treat: Is this a real lifeguard tower or just a scaled miniature ?

Trick or Treat: Was this LACo Recurrent Tom Overmire's third or fourth Medal of Valor?

No Trick Here, Folks! Johnny Joseph is the real deal !
Shown here with a group of his 60's era SMC Varsity Swimmer Alums, at the annual JJ Scholarship Dinner held every June at Rusty's on the Santa Monica Pier.

Trick or Treat: Is Eric Shargo's wife absolutely hammered in this photo during the reception at Arthur and Marianne Verge's Wedding?

Trick or Treat: The artist used the physique of Warren Rigby to sketch out this lifeguard competitor on the back of this t-shirt ?

Trick or Treat: These two lifeguards were once swimmer and coach at Venice High School?

Trick or Treat ? True or False: Is this the SMS Crew in Las Vegas, Summer of 1987 ?

Trick or Treat ?

Trick or Treat: These two lifeguards finished in First Place in their respective brackets in the recent Catalina Classic ?

Trick or Treat: Central Section Lifeguard Fish Taco Booth ?

Trick or Treat: Is that really Johnny Depp dressed up as a Pirate ?

Trick or Treat: Recurrent, Permanent or Retired ?

Trick or Treat: Is this pizza for real or was it absolutely unreal ?!

True or False: Coffee and Donut, TOP POT DONUTS, Seattle, Washington.

No Trick Here ! LACo Central Section won the Taplin Relay for the third year in a row this past Summmer 2009 !

*** If you have any photos to contribute, please let us know.

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.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Friday, October 23, 2009

"County Recurrent" Presents: A Mixed Bag

Dateline: Friday, October 23, 2009

So much has happened over the course of the past two weeks that the only way we could even approach it all is to simply throw it up here on the Blog and let it ride ! "County Recurrent" took a trip to Southern Section earlier this week, and frankly, it was such a beautiful day in Manhattan Beach that this life long Central Section recurrent paused and said to himself, "Wow ! Why am I not working here !?"... You can see for yourself in the two photos above from this past Tuesday, Oct. 20 at noon..... The reason for the trip was a business lunch scheduled at LACo Recurrent, Chris Bredesen's Manhattan Beach Restaurant, "Memphis At The Beach." Which is highly recommended ! Just check out the special Calamari Salad and the Bison Burger (as opposed to Moose, no relation to Jay Butki...).

So, take a breath and have a seat.... Here goes:

1. We recently heard from LACo Recurrent (ret.), Bradd Schwichtenberg, who was just posted permanently to Wash. D.C. with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, which prompted "County Recurrent" to ask when his outfit was going to make good on its decades old promise of rebuilding the Santa Monica Breakwater. The Jury and the Corp are still out on that one ! Woo Hoo ! In any event, here is what Bradd has to report about this recent move from the shores of Jacksonville, Florida to our Nation's Capital:


By the way, don't know if I told you I am working permanently here in Washington DC at Army Corps HQ (todays my first day on new job). My new job is to help coordinate coastal, navigation, and flood control projects in the southeast US between the folks doing the work at the state level, our Division office in Atlanta, and folks here at HQ where the decisions are made. Got some interesting studies I am helping with including Savannah Harbor (big harbor deepening study), ACT/ACF (involves 3 states sharing water), Florida beaches and harbors, etc.

It's a big move for the family from Florida I can assure you. We are busy settling in, kids in their new school, moving our stuff to DC, fixing up our Florida house, etc. Taking the subway to work is a change - do miss the beach - a lot. Nice hiking and kayaking, here. Nice to be back in a big city except for the housing expense and commute. All trade offs!

Hope you are doing well - keep sending the lifeguard related emails - I love em!"

Take care,

Bradd R. Schwichtenberg, P.E.
441 G Street NW, 3H81
Washington, DC 20314

desk (202) 761-4552
cell (904) 910-4068

2. Cal Porter reports that there are a couple of new stories he's written on his blog. Per Cal, the best way to find him online is to google his name. Strange thing is when I try that with the name "Phil Topar" all I find are references to "Vegetarian" restaurants and "Skin Moisturizers"... but that's another story. In any case, go see Cal's blog !

3. Arthur Verge, Phd,
a Central Section recurrent now working southern section.....sent us the following b/w photo of a group of paddleboard water polo players back in the day, which according to Arthur's dad, Art, was a big time sport amongst the beach lifeguards in the 40's and 50's.

4. Kip Jerger has sent us some more great recent surf shots from Bali. Just check out this sequence of photos showing Kip rippin' it up!

It's not all good news from Kip in Bali, though, as he shows us what happened when a friend borrowed his board on a Big Day recently...

(Photo above Courtesy of Kip. "Troy borrowed my board on the big day and broke it. Cost to fix it $ 60.00. Kip")

5. Bob Burnside has a short monoski video
that features some great footage of Utah powder. Contact Bob at: to see this video.

6. LACo Capt. Angus Alexander gave us a heads up of an online YouTube video of "Jack The Rescue Dog", wherein a very talented Lab rescues a guy who should not be in the ocean... woo hoo ! You can see this video by searching "Jack the Rescue Dog" at

7. Joel Gitelson recently reported the profits
earned at the recent Manhattan Beach Home Town Fair from the South Bay Surf Club's annual "Fish Taco Booth", which "County Recurrent" recently blogged about.

According to Joel:



WE SPENT $1,817.77 ON:



*** Congratulations to Joel and the whole crew who worked so hard toward yet another successful mission accomplished ! ***

8. File under "On the Verge of Another Coincidence.
The undersigned Editor of County Recurrent bumped into Art Verge, Ph.d (Senior), Prof. Emeritus, History, Santa Monica College and former Santa Monica City beach lifeguard yesterday morning at Callahan's Restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. As the photo below shows, Art stopped by for his morning breakfast routine of a bagel, cream cheese and coffee and had in his possession a b/w reprint of the Naval Ship he served on during WWII, which he is going to use as a prop in an upcoming Kiwanis Club presentation. (Caveat: We think Nick Steers goes to these 'boondoggle' drink fests too).

And then this breakfast of yesterday takes another coincidental turn. The guy at the next booth sees the photo of the ship and takes some interest in it and mentions that he was in the Merchant Marine. I think, "Dennis Wells", the former S.M. City and LACo Recurrent, Class of 1974, who left lifeguarding to pursue a career in the Merchant Marine. Turns out this gentleman diner, Achim Huber, knows Dennis Wells, and furthermore, Achim's stepfather was our own Wally Reeves, (R.I.P.), the famed L.A. City and LACo Boat Captain for many years. Wally has since passed away and Achim is hoping that we all can locate any photos any of us may have of Wally so that Achim can give them to his mom who still misses her husband Wally very much.

9. The Professional Lifeguard Foundation (aka, PLF), has just announced its annual Donor Recognition Event, set for Thursday, November 12, 2009, as follows:

Please join us for the 2009 Professional Lifeguard Foundation Donor Recognition event. We welcome all previous and future donors.

Thursday November 12th 6 pm to 9pm at:

Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club
13589 Mindanao Way
Marina Del Rey, CA
Please RSVP with Ms. Elizabeth Glick at:

10. And Last But Certainly Not Least, in a new segment we present to you: "Lifeguards: Missing In Action" (aka, LG:MIA). In this sequence, you will see shocking and dated photos of Lifeguards who are missing in action and otherwise unaccounted for, or for that matter, acknowledged. If you know the whereabouts of any of these recurrent lifeguards, please contact the authorities...

Until next time.....

Will Maguire
"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.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Monday, October 19, 2009

Part 2: The 1967 USA Tour "Down Under" Featuring Spike Beck

(Photo of USA Team "Down Under" in 1967. Photo courtesy of Bob Burnside.)

( Continued from our earlier Blog Post entitled, "The 1967 Australian National Lifesaving Championships", by Bob Burnside, which can be read at: )

(Photo of USA Team "Down Under" in 1967. Photo courtesy of Bob Burnside.)

Part 2: "The 1967 Australian National Lifesaving Championships", by Bob Burnside:

"The final story of interest and of Historical fact was during the National /International Championship finale.
Although the boys were doing quite well in open water ocean swims, they were getting beaten repeatedly in the belt race. The belt race included one swimmer putting on a belt, attached to 300 yards of cotton line...he would then swim to a buoy, with the assistance of three other team members on the beach. They would feed the line out carefully to their swimmer as he raced seaward. The First swimmer to his buoy would raise his hand...declaring his win. I had two outstanding junior swimmers… Spike Beck and Bi Gerold. Rudy had alternated between each...with no success from either of them.

(Photo shows the 1967 USA Belt Race Team with Spike Beck, second from left. Photo courtesy of Bob Burnside.)

A week before the Championships, we were in Queensland.
An old Lifesaver approached me on the beach as we were training for the belt race. He looked at the reel and belt...fingered the line and said, ”Mate, you Yanks have been had! Your line has never been waxed, no wonder you’ve lost every race” He then explained that lines needed to be stretched and waxed so as to better float with ease. Salt water soaking into the cotton line made it sink and become very heavy to swim with. He also informed me, if not stretched...the line would bow in the current while racing. He then made an offer to me saying... “If you’ll trust me with the entire reel, I will have it properly stretched and waxed and have it ready for the Championships for you.” I accepted his kind offer.....and it was ready for us just before the final championship in South Australia.

Rudy and I discussed which of our juniors would race in the Championships...Bi was fast, but I argued, ”Spike is all upper body strength and is a fighter...and he’ll give his all to beat these Aussies”.
Rudy agreed...and we went with Spike Beck in the finals.

As we strained our eyes to see his lane and if his hand would rise first...a roar from our team went up... Spike Beck had won the National Australian Junior Belt Race... Something no foreigner had ever done...and to this day that feat has never been duplicated.

(Photo above shows Spike Beck at far right after his victory in the Belt Race. Photo courtesy of Bob Burnside.)

Below are three photos of Spike's First Place Medal in the Belt Race, courtesy of Bob Burnside:

And below, Spike at left, with Central Section Chief, Micky Gallagher, in August 2008 at Jim "Jake" Jacobson's Retirement Party.


While being hosted by The Victorian State in Melbourne
, we met a wonderful man who spearheaded the states lifesaving movement. His name was George Nutbeam. He was a self-made millionaire, which loved his early lifesaver association and continued to support its movement. With a sense of humor, unequaled by none...They called him the “Silver Fox”...for his shiny white hair and keen insight. George was not fond of the aristocratic National Body, calling them “The Old Farts.”

George loved his Victorian State Lifesavers...and one evening after dinner, Bud Stevenson and I listened to the Silver Fox propose an exchange competition between our “Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association” and his Victorian State All Star Team. He stated, ”If we stay away from each of our National Boards, it is acceptable that separate exchanges can be formulated between individual Lifeguard associations.” Bud and I agreed that this could easily be accomplished. We would set up a Race similar to that which the County of Los Angeles put on annually called “The Taplin Bell"... a relay of four swimmers, four paddlers and finally four dory teams.

Our Taplin Race had been named after a Hermosa Beach Judge “Judge Taplin”, so “The Silver Fox” said, ”Great mates! Let’s call this event between our two Associations “The Weiland Shield”, after the Australian Ambassador to the USA...a close friend of Nutbean. We would drop the dory segment of the race and in its place put the Australian Surf Ski...It was perfect and today “The Weiland Shield” is hotly contested every two years...either here on the California Coast or in Victoria, Australia.

The next year, the first Victorian Team arrived in California and was hosted by us. Since then every other L.A. County all-star team journeys to Victoria, Australia, and they...every other year come to the United States. Today this exchange remains the highlight of competition between the two countries. "The Silver Fox” has since passed on, but he left behind a legacy and an exchange program, for “His beloved lifeguards...both Aussies and Yanks", who will enjoy it for centuries to come. Hopefully, he and I will again tip a “Schooner” of beer together...on yet another beach somewhere beyond...and discuss other exciting projects.

We had had a tremendous tour...and cemented a lasting friendship with our “Down Under Counterparts.” In the years to follow, many tours have been exchanged, to the benefit of all the past, present and future young men and women now part of the International Family of Lifeguards.

“The 1967 American Lifesaving Team”

We had been gone for over two months!
Visiting, Auckland New Zealand, and all the States in Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania and now were on our way to Hawaii for a short relaxing vacation before returning home to California."

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Burnside

*** *** ***

On behalf of "County Recurrent" and its readership, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to Bob Burnside for sharing these great lifesaving competition stories and photos with us !

Until next time.....

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

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

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

***** ***** ***** ***** *****