Monday, April 5, 2010

My Friend, Bud Stevenson, by Bob Burnside

"County Recurrent" is pleased to present another great story from Retired LACo Lifeguard Chief, Bob Burnside, that includes the likes of Bud Stevenson and Paul Matthies, both legendary LACO beach lifeguards, that we know you will find both hilarious and profound.

---

"In 1972, a popular woman’s magazine called “Cosmopolitan” placed in its center fold the nude photograph of an up and coming Hollywood Star by the name of Burt Reynolds, a spoof of the men’s “Playboy" magazine's center fold of nude beautiful woman. The Cosmo magazine photo spread was viewed internationally and drew many varied comments from around the world. It was the first such “woman’s rights” statement of its kind. I had just gone into production of the newly designed plastic rescue can and formed a company to produce them called Surf Saving International. Additionally, the National Surf Life Saving Association had been formed and was just starting its first quarterly, “OCEAN LIFEGUARD” magazine.

Sitting with my dear friend, Chief Bud Stevenson and LACO lifeguard Paul Matthies, at the “MERMAID BAR” in Hermosa Beach (a favorite lifeguard hangout) we were enjoying far too many late afternoon cocktails. Discussing?...what else...”LIFEGUARDING!"...when the subject of the “Cosmopolitan” photo came up. We roared laughing about it and continued our conversations of the day's issues.

Suddenly it hit me!... Hey Bud, wouldn’t it be hilarious if we got a photo of you in the Nude and put the rescue can in front of your “Little ULLY"... just like Cosmopolitan did... and I would buy an ad in the new "Ocean Lifeguard" Magazine center fold”.

Paul and I urged him on “with a few more bourbons and coke”, his favorite. A few hours later, carrying Bud home, Paul with camera in hand. We propped him up on his fireplace and took the photo below.



When published in the next edition of the magazine, lifeguards around the world, who so loved Bud for his many years of battling for them all, laughed with glee...passing it from one hand to the other. An added note: Buds wife Millie, my favorite gal... wouldn’t speak to me for a month after it came out... but later laughed about the whole thing...as she was as much a lifeguard at heart as any of us!

We are an unusual family, we lifeguards... We love each other, love life, laugh, protect and care for the public... and most of all love what life guarding is all about... giving!"


Bob

p.s. Also attached below is a one of a kind...1931 photo of Chief Stevenson as a young lifeguard in Hermosa Beach.


(Photo above courtesy of Bob Burnside. Used here with permission.)

*** *** ***


Many Thanks to Bob Burnside for sharing this great story and photos with all of us, and especially for your closing statement which we fully embrace, e.g.,

"We are an unusual family, we lifeguards... We love each other, love life, laugh, protect and care for the public... and most of all love what life guarding is all about... giving!"



Until next time.....


"County Recurrent" News
http://CountyRecurrent.blogspot.com

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.

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

1 comment:

Terri said...

Bud and my Dad, Jack Wise, were very special friends. He was and always will be my "Uncle Bud"! Dad and I miss him a lot. Dad especially..Thanks, Michael, for sending this to me. And, thanks to Bob B, for the initiative. I guess I was too young to have seen this photo, but I can just picture you guys doing it......AND Millie's reaction. LOL!!!!