Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"County Recurrent" is er, well... Snowed in !

Dateline, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Wed., Dec. 29, 2010

Forget the surf report, bring us a shovel!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Rained Out!"

(Friday Nite, Beverly Hills, Calif. Dec. 17, 2010.)

(Saturday, Dec. 18th. Dockweiler.)

(Sunday, Dec. 19th, Pali High.)

(Monday morning, Dec. 20th, PCH along Will Rogers.)

(Tuesday, Dec. 21st. PCH at Temescal Cyn. Rd.)

Has it been six or now seven days of rain, straight, non-stop... Blue skies, sunshine. Can't remember it.

Rain and LOTS OF IT!

Just ask the Mayor of Lower Topanga, aka, "Baretta", below, who we caught up with last nite holding court and a container of raw ginger (from the sushi counter) at Gelson's market in the Palisades.

Baretta: photographer, poet, writer, and the (unofficial) Mayor of the Lower Topanga community. The consummate medicine man of malibu with his fingers on the pulse of all that goes on between Gladstone's and Las Tunas. If it's local lore you are after, Baretta's your man. Keep up the good work, Baretta.

(Photo by Will Maguire, 12.21.2010. Used here with permission.)



Saturday, December 18, 2010

El Segundo, Calif: Mission Accomplished!

Hey Now !

As we suspected... NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY at this lifeguard residence, albeit, under construction...

Hey Now!
Dec. 18, 2010


"County Recurrent" News

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 2010 Minus Tide Alert!

(Photo above shows a recent minus tide at Will Rogers State Beach on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 in the late afternoon, sun shining and no wind... it is with these conditions that "it is said" voices can be heard out to sea... Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire. Used here with permission. All Rights Reserved.)

Wow ! Check out the Minus Tides (below) coming up in a few days on our local beaches in the afternoon! Dec. 18 - 22nd, inclusive, will all have minus tides in the afternoon and before sunset !

(Source: Bruce Jones Surfboards, Inc. High & Low Tides 2010; Published by Wilkins Printing.)

If the weather is good, try to check one of them out! It is said that if the weather is clear and the air still, you can hear mermaids, dolphins and ancient mariners conversing and laughing.

So make plans, if you can, to check one of them out.



Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

("County Recurrent" branded G Wagon, courtesy of Jay Butki... woo hoo !)

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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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Laniakea 1969: A Tribute to Eddie Aikau", by Bill Powers

(Map Source: Shark's Cove, North Shore)

"LANIAKEA 1969: A Tribute to Eddie Aikau", by Bill Powers
(Copyright Bill Powers 2010. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.)

The local knowledge tip for LANI was that it was normally bigger than it looked from the beach. If you were trying to decide which board to use, take the bigger one. LANI was one of the most fickle spots on the North Shore. The rumor about LANI was that when every place was kind of a wrong direction, check LANI. If its ON, you will never forget it.

So one day some of my friends came up from Haleiwa to check Sunset. They said that LANI not only had the best shape but it was twice as big as the other spots. I knew then that this was the day to leave Sunset and check LANI. I loaded up my new 8 foot Gun and headed on down to LANI. I get there and my friends were right. For some reason it was Twice as Big as any of the other spots. I see three people out and they're sitting in a different spot than I had ever seen. Then I saw a full set was just outside of the three guys out. Turns out they were in the right spot as all three of them got a wave. The size and length of the walls were impressive. These folks were running for their lives to get across The Big Walls that went all the way to the very large Rip that separates Laniakea from Himalayas.

After watching it some more I jumped into the rip with my new red gun. After several minutes, I was close enough to see that the three guys out were Eddie Aikau and his brother Clyde, along with another Hawaiian. They did not know who I was, but everybody on the North Shore knew who they were. They were Legends and I was about to find out why! Just then a full set took over the horizon. I was still clear of the impact area. The Hawaiians were inside and just off the peak. They all moved at the wave. Eddie lets the first wave go and paddles over to the second wave and he suddenly pivots and buries his tail in the trough and gets fed (backwards) up the face of the wave and then he goes to his feet while still talking and laughing with the other two guys. Next thing you know, Eddie pulls off one of the most radical no paddle take offs I had ever seen and on a wave big enough to bring the look of fear out in anyone that owns a surfboard.

To see the casualness of the Hawaiians in such large surf is something that is still clear in my mind over 40 years later.


For more information on Eddie Aikau, see the wikipedia article online at:

Thanks Bill! Keep writing and we will keep on publishing. Maybe some of the other retired O.L's will step up now and share their stories of and about the ocean.

(Photo above shows Bill looking over his notebook of stories at home in Mammoth Lakes with his golden retriever, LR, December 2010. Photo by Will Maguire.)

(Photo above shows a Classic (L.A.) City Guard Secret Handshake and City Guard Rules; Author unknown. Use here courtesy of Bill Powers.


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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.

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bill Powers on "Velzyland"

(Photo above shows Bill Powers with his golden lab, LR, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010 at 1600 hrs, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire 2010. Used here with permission.)

LACo OLS, Retired, Bill Powers, has submitted another gem of a story from his recollections of the North Shore, circa 1969 - 1972.

"Velzyland", by Bill Powers (Copyright Bill Powers 2010. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.)

VLAND as it was known to my neighborhood could be checked by walking 20 yards to the end of the road from my house. We surfed it ALOT. It was different than any other break on the North Shore. A Right Hander with a lesser quality left. It seemed to be best at slightly overhead. It had an outside break that was a little to the left as you looked at it from the beach. As you sat in the line up at VLAND, the outside reef would break and roll white water at you from the outside. Next, it would hit some deep water just before it got to you and reformed into a Green Water Swell. A moment later, it would hit the VLAND Reef and fire off one of the prettiest right handers will will ever see!


There's more stories comin' from Bill Powers, so stay tuned folks !

Thanks Bill ! Keep writing and we will keep sharing. The one about your last girlfriend we will have to decline, however...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

L.A. City & LACo OL, Bob Chambers, R.I.P.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This morning we said goodbye to our lifeguard buddy, Bob Chambers, at Cabrillo Beach at 9 a.m. The Master of Ceremonies for the beach venue memorial was none other than LACo Lt. Retired, Conrad Liberty, and an outstanding job he did organizing this memorial. Many thanks to Conrad for his hard work and rallying the troops. Below, Conrad addresses the crowd with his opening remarks about Bob.

Below is the group photo we took under the exceptional direction of LACo Ocean Lifeguard, Ed Butts, at far right in uniform. Thanks Ed for rounding us all up to acknowledge, honor and remember our pal, Bob.

Just after we took the group photo, the Baywatch rescue boat, in the photo below, made it's pass along Cabrillo Beach after the family (onboard) scattered Bob's ashes at sea.

And to Bob:
We miss you alot, pal, but you will always be with us in our thoughts; your big smile, your laughter, your integrity, your commitment, your dedication and your friendship. Thanks for being such a great mentor and example and for being there for so many of us.


*** Update re Memorial Service For Bob Chambers ***

From: Lifeguard Alumni
To: Lifeguard Alumni
Sent: Mon, November 15, 2010 8:46:44 AM
Subject: Memorial Services for Robert Chambers

Fellow Lifeguards,

Bob Chambers, one of our longtime lifeguards has passed. His impact on lifeguarding has been felt by many new lifeguards by mentoring them during their rookie year. Bob spent most of his years at Cabrillo and Venice beaches.

The memorial service will be at Cabrillo Beach, on Sunday Dec. 5th at 9:00am.

Address: Cabrillo Beach

3720 Stephen M White Dr.

San Pedro, California 90731

Reception with buffet lunch will follow at 11:00am at the Elks Club in San Pedro.

Address: Elks Club San Pedro

1748 Cumbre Drive

San Pedro, California 90732

*** We need an estimate of the number of lifeguards who will be attending the lunch at the Elks Club. ***

Please RSVP to: Marla and Conrad Liberty @ 310 640-1085

Yours in lifeguarding,

Nick Steers

--- --- ---

(Photo above shows Bob Chambers competing in an open water event. Photo courtesy of Richard Mark.)

(Photo above courtesy of Bill Asturias, shows Bob at far left, on scene on Venice Beach when a small plane crashed on the beach, circa 1980's.)

(Photo above shows Bob Chambers, Summer of 1978 in Europe. Photo by Will Maguire.)

Dateline: Saturday Evening, November 6, 2010

Just in via the Lifeguard Grapevine, we regrettably inform our readership that we have lost another of our most Energetic and Larger Than Life Recurrent Beach Lifeguards, namely, Emeritus - Retired, L.A. City and LACo Ocean Lifeguard, Bob Chambers, who passed away early this morning, Nov. 6, 2010. Bob's beach lifeguard career began in 1954 until his retirement in 1988.

Earlier this evening, Karena Liberty Gurr (daughter of LACo Lt. Ret. Conrad and Marla Liberty) posted the following notice online:

"RIP, retired LA Co Lifeguard & longtime friend to the Liberty family - Bob Chambers. You will be missed!"

Karena also posted the following this evening: "He passed away at 3am this morning... Dad spoke to Mickey Gallagher today about a memorial... I think they are planning something at Cabrillo beach in a few weeks - to give the extended family enough time to get to California."

Also, in a phone call with this evening with LACo OL (Ret.), Harold Dunnigan
, Bob succumbed as the result of chronic heart problems.

*** More details will follow and according to Harold the Memorial has yet to be set but the plans are to have it at Cabrillo Beach. We will be sure to update the readership on the exact time and place as soon as we hear of it.

In the meantime, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Gail, Bob's children and grandchildren, and to his extended lifeguard family.


Lifeguard Remarks and Eulogies In Remembrance of Bob Chambers:

From Retired LACo Lifeguard Chief, Bob Burnside: "Will... I am saddened to hear this. Bob was a great tiger... Years working with him and racing together in all the fun stuff... he will always be part of my fondest memories. His Big Grin... I can see still. He's with some of the best now I am sure. I was also just thinking about Bob as the sun set tonight and recalled how he many many years ago, when I was finishing a dory race when my partner Larry Hanes bailed out early... leaving me alone on the stern, bouncing as hard as I could to pop the bow up from stemming or perling into the sand bow first... alas, no luck! The dory nosed in a flip with me trapped underneath the gunwale. Bob immediately sprinted down, as I was later informed, and literally flipped the dory off of me and it landed around 5 feet away from my body... He was Amazingly Strong... and Always Alert! So tonight a toast to my pal. Bob"


From L.A. City & LACo Recurrent, Scott Hubbell:




tillsammans i himlen



The undersigned was fortunate to get to know Bob many years ago, circa 1975, shortly after L.A. City merged with LACo, when Bob, Conrad Liberty, Harold Dunnigan and Rudy Geitl organized the "Recurrent Lifeguard Association" when it became clear that recurrent lifeguard issues were not being adequately addressed by the "powers that be". I was in attendance at the first organizational meeting at the old Venice Pavillion. It was at this meeting that I first got a very positive impression of each of the aforementioned veteran beach lifeguards.

A few years later, on a day off in the summer of 1977, I took a bike ride from Will Rogers to the Venice Pier. It was at the Venice Pier that I saw Bob on duty at the Venice South Tower on the pier. I said hello and we struck up a conversation and Bob, as it turned out, was an avid cyclist. He was checking out my Schwinn Continental 10 Speed and mentioned that the following summer that he and his wife, Gail, were leading a month long bicycle trip tour of Europe and he invited me to join. I said I would think about it. I had alot on my mind as I was just about to start my first year of Law School the third week of August 1977.

It turns out that this Europe Trip helped to get me through that challenging and all consuming first year. The summer of 1978 finally arrived and off we flew on Freddy Lakers Airway to England, a ferry to Holland, a train to Austria, and then Germany and France. Our last two days were in Paris where most of the group chose to visit the museums of Paris, while Bob, Gail and I went to the Palace of Versailles. Bob was out tour guide that day. In each of the countries we visited we rode distances of as few as 14 miles to as many as 100 miles a day.

Bob was a true character and an amazing athlete. He was by far the strongest rider of our group. Full of energy, enthusiasm, and an enormous zest for life, I am forever grateful to have known him and to have been blessed with his friendship.

(Photo above shows Gail and Bob, at the end of another long day of cycling and getting the group set up at the evening's lodgings and everyone fed, enjoying a beverage. Shown here at a youth hostel in Holland. Photo by Will Maguire. Used here with permission.)

(Photo above shows Bob having fallen asleep (on the train from Amsterdam to Salzburg, Austria) while writing in his journal and while telling "The truck ran right over my head" story for about the 10th time already just 5 days into the month long Europe Trip he and Gail led in the summer of 1978. Photo by Will Maguire.)

(Photo above shows Bob standing up, with Gail sitting on the grass on the grounds at (the Palace of) Versailles, in France, in late August 1978. Photo by Will Maguire.)

p.s. Last but not least, and certainly, not the last story to be told about Bob, is the tongue in cheek lifeguard manual he penned upon his retirement, circa 1989, as shown in the two photos below (excerpts only):


Will Maguire, Editor
"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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