Friday, November 4, 2011

A "Story" of a "Dory", by Conrad Liberty

(Above photo shows the very same dory discussed in the story below. Photo by Will Maguire.)

Just in from Marla Liberty who just found this amongst Conrad's writings (Conrad Liberty, R.I.P.). A bit more about the dory we heard about in our interview of Conrad this past September.

A "Story " of a "Dory"

Once upon a time, about 30 years ago, a man named Tom Moore, came into the Lifeguards HQ at Santa Monica. He was a script coordinator for the movie business and an ex-lifeguard. He asked if anyone was interested in a "Peterson" Dory. His interest was to divest himself of the 23 foot Double-ender, but to someone who would truly appreciate it. I readily volunteered when he made a proposal for remuneration for the Dory.

A couple of years later, more or less, the refitting of the old Dory began. One of our oldest and most proficient Boat Captains magnanimously assisted in removing the old gunwales and replacing them with a very hard tropical wood called appitong. It was so hard that even wetting down the gunwale numerous times had little effect. Eventually Capt. Ed Perry figured it out, for he had used the same wood on his Peterson Dory. Ed also installed end caps on the rejuvenated craft. In order to facilitate the use of the Dory by many different people, he suggested, and installed a 2 X 4 that looked like a keel for the craft. The holes drilled through the side of the 2 X 4 were spaced evenly to allow the stretchers to be moved for various sized individuals.

Ed Perry was a great asset to the Lifeguard Service as a boat skipper and Lifeguard. Use of the boat was guaranteed for his lifetime. Since he already had a boat he didn't need to use the Phoenix he had so ably repaired until his boat had served its term at sea. He spent a few years rowing it with many different partners.

Captain Steve Saylors painted the boat after I had rented it out to a movie company for the production of "North & South", a Civil War epic mini series with Patrick Swayzee. The boat was used in a river crossing scene, during the Civil War. It was painted "Gray". The movie company agreed to pay for it to be re-painted to it's original white color.

Another participant in the first refurbishment of the Dory was Eddie Love, sanding and scraping and other menial works of labor were appreciated. At the same time Eric Liberty, at about 6 years old, enjoyed being around all the activity, on what would have seemed to him to be the "Titanic".


Many thanks to Marla and her family for allowing us the privilege to publish this story by Conrad and share it with our lifeguard family.

*** Again we challenge our readership, esp. those of you who have a story that would be enjoyed by all of us, to step up and contribute to this collection. You retain all rights and we even give you credit! We will even type it up, do the lay out and hit the "Publish Post" button! Bring 'em on!


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.

*** PLEASE forward to other Recurrents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

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

1 comment:

William Maguire said...

Just in from Marla Liberty, Nov. 5, 2011: "Hi Will: Just thought of another story about the refurbishing of Conrad's Dory. Apparently Ed Perry told Conrad about this super strong wood called appitong, from southeast Asia. It was used for the beds of steakbed trucks. Conrad called all over So. Calif. trying to find a lumbaryard that carried it. He finally found one, and when he asked them how much it cost, they said $300.00 for 30 feet. So he said, how much for 100 feet? They replied $300.00. So he said, how about 300 feet? Again they replied $300.00. So he ordered 300 feet. It sat on the side of our house for the next 20 years, in the rain, heat, fog, etc. It was used for the first refitting with Ed Perry and the last refitting with Randy Stagley(?).It was also used by some of the other lifeguards, in between, when it was needed."