Friday, September 30, 2011

This Week In Photos: Sept. 25 - 30th, 2011

(Will Rogers Tower #8, Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25th)

(Gateway to Venice Beach at Westminster, Sunday morning, Sept. 25th)

(Sunday evening at sunset, Sept. 25th, from El Medio Bluffs above Will Rogers Tower #7, with view toward Pt. Dume; followed by Clouds close up, below).

(Permitted Group at Will Rogers Tower #5 engaged in some type of 'baptismal' ceremony, late Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25th)

(WRHQ, Monday, Sept. 25th)

(Good Stuff, W.L.A., showing their restaurant locations in the South Bay and W.L.A.)

(PCH at Santa Monica Canyon, Sept. 30th)

(PCH at the Calif. Incline; In the Fisheye: Sept. 30th)



Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

(WRHQ, Sept. 26th)

*** *** ***

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PLF 15th Anniversary Party: Sat., Oct. 15, 2011 at 6 pm

Just in from Professional Lifeguard Foundation Co-Founder, Paul Silka:

The Professional Lifeguard Foundation 2011 15th Anniversary Event

You are invited to the 15th Year Anniversary Celebration!

Saturday October 15th, 2011: 6-9pm

At the Canyon Lounge - The Hideout in Santa Monica Canyon
112 W. Channel Road
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Light Dinner, Wine and Beer will be served.

Michael O’Donnell will receive the 2011 PLF Lifetime Achievement Award

Please RSVP at:

Hosted by Mark Verge! (owner/partner of The Hideout)

Donate today :


FYI/Head's Up:

*** Valet parking out front OR look for street parking further up W. Channel Road (a 2 block walk is not unusual for this venue if you choose to self park). ***

And for those of our readers interested in a brief history of the PLF, please read the following letter we received from Paul Silka, as follows:

Dear Will,

The Professional Lifeguard Foundation’s 15th year anniversary is upon us. I would like to extend an invitation to you and your readers to join us to the celebration on October 15th! All your readers may not be aware of the roots of PLF so perhaps I can offer a brief history.

In 1996, John Kim and Arthur Verge, and I with the support of seventeen original members* formed PLF (Will you were there!) . Our goal was to provide unrestricted scholarship awards to deserving Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. We were able to provide sixteen lifeguards with awards that first year. In the years that followed we have been privileged to have dozens of fellow lifeguards, and a few civilians, become PLF members allowing us to give over $50,000 in scholarship awards.

Membership has routinely included a $100 dollar annual donation, although the range of giving has been from $20 to $2000. Timing is important in philanthropy. Some years are better than others for our lifeguards to give. For PLF, membership is more about connection than contribution, so we consider all those who have provided support part of this organization.

At our 10 year anniversary, PLF capped off our celebration at the Annual Donor Recognition Event by recognizing Arthur Verge with our first ever Lifetime Scholar Award. This was granted on behalf of PLF to recognize Arthur’s dedication to Ocean Lifeguarding and education. As a History Professor he has contributed to his field with numerous publications and an unending commitment to the instruction of his students in the classroom and abroad during summer sojourns to Europe. Many of his students, of course, have been Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards.

At this year’s event, we have the privilege of once again recognizing one of our outstanding PLF members with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael O’Donnell, a veteran South Bay Waterman and Professor of Physical Therapy at USC, has inspired us over the years with immense professional success and a continued high-level of athletic achievement in various surf racing events.
In addition, he has provided physical therapy to numerous injured lifeguards and their families over the years.

Will, thank you for your continued support and membership in PLF. I hope this short history reveals a theme that makes our Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguard family so exceptional. It’s a theme of limitless service, whether we offer it to the public or to each other. I have infinite pride of the professionalism and commitment of our Ocean Lifeguards and our PLF members.

Hope to see you October 15th!


Paul A. Silka

*Original Professional Lifeguard Foundation members:

Spike Beck
Greg Bonann
Ed Bushman
Luigi Demari
Ed Heinrich
Gerry Heinrich
Dan Heitz
Andy Jackson
Val Jolly
William Maguire
Michael Newman
Tom Peters
Mark Meharali
Gene Rink
Cindy Cleveland
The South Bay Surf Club


Editor's notes:

And last but not least, some photos from the "County Recurrent" library featuring some of the lifeguards referenced in this blog post, in no particular order:

Arthur C. Verge, Phd, below, one of the Co-Founders of the PLF

John Kim, below, another PLF Co-Founder

Paul Silka, at left, below, the third Co-Founder of the PLF; the other two guys in this photo below, L2R, are Veteran LACo Recurrents, Dave Clarke and Eldin Onsgard, neither of whom is being recognized for anything on Oct. 15th... :-) 10-4

These two lifeguards below, obviously off duty and out of uniform are also not being recognized on Oct. 15th, but they are having a good time at Jake's retirement party in August 2008 below. L2R: Steve Contarsy and Dale Hast.

L2R, below, Jimmy Makuta in ceremonial tribal attire on the evening of his retirement in June 2008; shown here with good friend, Adrian Crook. Shown here just for the heck of it as two great guys and for no other reason.

Finally, below is original PLF member, Mike "Newmie" Newman of Baywatch fame.



Until next time.....

"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.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mark Thompson on Lifeguarding, Chocolate and Comic Books

"County Recurrent" readers may recall the February 18, 2009 blog post featuring Veteran LACo Recurrent (Ret.), Mark Spyder Thompson, Phd, waxing prosaic on Lifeguarding and Chocolate, particularly slave free dark chocolate:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mark Thompson On Lifeguarding and Slave Free Chocolate

We felt it was time to check in again with Mark and to see if he had any updated remarks to share with all of us on the these topics. We were rewarded with Mark's current preferences in terms of chocolate, as well as some great historical remarks of of some classic after hours, off duty field trips with the likes of fellow veteran recurrents, Terry Flanagan (aka, Flanafish) and John Thomas (aka, JT). So here goes...

"Well, since you asked, I will make the effort to offer three of my most favorite California chocolate shops.

There is no other chocolate that I would rather eat than that made at the Nevada City truffle shop. I would stop by most everyday for a treat just to keep my chocolate fix satiated. My personal favorites were the liquor-based ones, especially: the Highlander (15 yr old Scotch), the rum saturated 151 Rum, the very surprising Imperial Dragon, and the Gold Rush. DeGroot made a Chocolate Oblivion Torte that is filled with three different genres of dark chocolate: an interior dense fudge, surrounded by a layer of rich creamy and chewy truffle, and coated with hard dark chocolate. I would purchase one every two months or so for my students to enjoy, celebrating the end of quarters.

I have a personal interest in the Lake Tahoe Chocolate Factory, in that a dear close friend from the 80s daze at Kirkwood became a chocolatier after marrying a master. For more than 20 years they have been making a variety of great chocolate goodies, and by goodies i mean chocolate covered goodness. Pralines? Macaroons? Sour cherries? The list goes on and on. You cannot and will not eat just one.

Although Italian by name and Northern Italy by chocolate, this (next Chocolate shop) is a San Francisco treat all the way. This isn't your usual dark chocolate bars, but amazing deliciousness imbued with wonderful California tastes. My faves are the Sesame Nougat, the Ginger Heart, and Kona Coffee (covering two of my vices in one stunning bar).

Back in the 70s, good dark chocolate was not the most preferred choice. JT, Flanafish, and myself were avid eaters of large quantities (mass consumables as the Coneheads said). We would go to Baskin-Robbins and buy a cut gallon of chocolate chip, stop by the WineHaus (a large warehouse run by the bicycle-racing brother of the founder of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; we tested many of his first batches) and pick up some excellent Reds (I still can't believe we drank all of the Chateau de St. Michelle 1976 Cabs by 1980 {I found a bottle a few years ago priced out of my league at $800}), and then down to Bernie's Comix to read for hours. If we weren't into ice cream we would stop at San Vicente Foods and get frozen Sara Lee cherry cheesecakes to go with great early-days microbrews.

Bernie's Comix: this comic store was on the east side of 4th St., a little bit south of Santa Monica Blvd. It had a huge selection of comic books in the front area, a small office, and a reading space filled with cushions and trippy artifacts (Bernie was a world traveler and had a stunning collection of items from all over). We read everything we could get our hands on that came during the Silver Age of the art. We had Doctor Strange to help us on our way, and I suspect the three of us still have a wonderful collection."


Many Thanks to Mark for sharing some of some of his off duty stories from "back in the day." Perhaps we might also hear from JT and Flanafish about their recollections of these after hours, off duty lifeguard ice cream, chocolate and comic book store field trips.


Until next time.....

"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.

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

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hopkins & Ribera: Ocean Wet Daily!

Dateline: Santa Monica South at Santa Monica Lifeguard Headquarters

Call Car Crew, OLS' Jay Hopkins and Todd "Tex" Ribera stayin' in shape and gettin' time in the ocean on their workout, Friday a.m., Sept. 23, 2011.

10-4, Jay and Tex!

(Photo by Will Maguire.)

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

*** *** ***

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freaky Friday Weather: At the Beach

Santa Monica Lifeguard Headquarters, Friday morning, Sept. 23, 2011, including sound bites from Capt. Angus Alexander and Capt. Kirk Thomas.


Below, L2R: OLS' Jay Hopkins and Tex Ribera returning from the ocean after a morning workout, swim and body surf. 10-4!


Video #1: Freaky Friday Weather

Video #2: Freaky Friday Weather

Video #3: Freaky Friday Weather

(note: All photos and videos are Copyright Will Maguire 2011. Used here with permission. Do not reproduce without permission.)


Until next time.....

"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.

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

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"The History of the Lifeguards of Santa Monica Bay"

This blog post summarizes some of the highlights from last nite's presentation by Veteran LACo Recurrent Beach Lifeguard and History Professor, Arthur C. Verge, Phd, at the Santa Monica Women's Club.
We would be entirely remiss if we also did not mention that it was Club Member, Laurel Czer (sister of LACo Recurrent, Andrew Czer) who produced this great event. It was a packed house with well over a hundred people in attendance for this approximately one hour presentation of stories and a spectacular slide show. Following this presentation, the Women's Club hosted a reception with some very amazing homemade brownies that even the most disciplined recurrents were found to be scarfing up, including a very physically fit Santa Monica South guard who is a full time college student at UCLA...

In any event, below are some remarks that we made a note of and that we wanted to share with our readership as well as several photos of the lifeguards in attendance for this very fun and interesting event. The guests/lifeguards that attended this event included, but were not limited to: Chief Mike Frazer, Cal Porter, Capt. Nick Steers (Ret.), Arthur Verge, Sr., Phd (Ret.), Bill Kendall (L.A. City, Ret.), Paul Silka, Lacey Beattie, Elizabeth Pennington, Matthew Pennington, Nick Kartychok, Nell Regan, Pat Carey, Kicker Vencil, Will Maguire, John Baltz and others.

Here are the photos we took last nite:

(Above, L2R, standing, Arthur C. Verge, Mike Frazer, Bill Beebe, and Nick Steers.)

(Above, L2R, LACo Recurrent-Paramedics, Pat Cary and Kicker Vencill.)

(Above, L2R: Mike Frazer, Arthur C. Verge, Cal Porter and Will Maguire.)

(Above, seated and not hiding from the camera as are two young ladies, are L2R, LACo Recurrent, Nick Kartychok and OLS Matthew Pennington.)

(Photo above, L2R: Peter Marshall, Pat Carey, Bob Valandra, John Anthony Baltz, Paul Czer.)

Above, L2R: Veteran LACo Recurrent & Professional Lifeguard Foundation (PLF) Co-Founder, Paul Silka, M.D. and LACo Recurrent & PLF Executive Director, Elizabeth Glick Pennington.)


Summary of Remarks by Arthur C. Verge (as transposed in notes taken by "County Recurrent"):

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Arthur C. Verge, Phd: History of Santa Monica Bay Lifeguards

Guests identified by Arthur and introduced to the audience:

Bill Beebe, took the famous photo of JFK, Summer 1962, on the beach at Santa Monica North.

Paul Silka, M.D., LACo Recurrent

Nick Steers, SM and LACo

Cal Porter, L.A. City/LACo
Venice Plunge
writes stories from 1930's, 40's

Chief Michael Frazer
12 - 14 hours/day

Art and Margie Verge


History of the Santa Monica Bay Lifeguards:

George Freeth, 1907, from Hawaii, revolutionized lifesaving skills in Santa Monica Bay; He also brought surfing to So. Calif.

Duke Kahamoku
Tom Blake, SM Guard

Rudy Kroon, SM City/LACo

Pete Peterson, SM City - Won First Surfing Contest

Tom Zahn
Mike Doyle
Ricky Grigg

Freeth, 1907,
first worked at Ocean Park

Lifeguards were the early watermen who worked on movies - Count of Monte Cristo

Freeth worked for Abbot Kinney as a volunteer lifeguard.

12.16.1908 - Freeth rescues at least eleven (11) Japanese fishermen and guides multiple boats into shore during storm.

Freeth was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for this effort.

Within 60 days of working for Abbot Kinney he became Captain.

1918 - Freeth tragically died (35 yrs old) of the influenza epidemic

1926 - George Wolf - first L.A. City lifeguard (first professional lifeguard service)


1920's - alcohol was banned

McNulty - no, not me.

Ed Perry - regarding rumor that Ed helped out with some booz runs to Malibu - "that's all rumors", Ed was said to have told Arthur one time; and then after a couple of drinks, Ed later said, "let me tell you how I did it...."

During the Depression, Ed Perry would recycle and re-rent the umbrellas when patrons would go for a swim.

1932 Olympics - Johnny Weismuller and Buster Crabbe (both were honorary Santa Monica guards).

*** Women patrolled the beaches during WWII b/c so many men were off to war. Some beaches were closed because of sewage.

Tom Zahn
Steve Harbison

Tom Zahn's photo/slides of Santa Monica harbor in 1946 will be shown during slide presentation and were recently shown to Arthur by Steve Harbison.

Beach Lifeguard Parties - Attendees included Gov. Earl Warren - Cap Watkins - Gary Cooper - Tom Zahn - Norm Jean Baker

1960's - Mike Doyle / Ricky Grigg, both Santa Monica Lifeguards became World Surfing Champions.


Surfing Prowess of Santa Monica Lifeguards discussed:

Buzzy Trent, Pete Peterson, Tom Blake - Surfing Hall of Fame
and Duke Kahanamoku who worked as a lifeguard in Santa Monica.


Slide show:

Gold Coast - SM Pier in background - Roosevelt Hwy.

Abbot Kinney - RE Developer - he swam in the ocean everyday - he built Venice of America.

Henry Huntington - bus. rival & partner of Abbot Kinney.

Pacific Electric Railway - Victorian clothes of beach patrons.

George Freeth - with his homemade surfboard - champion diver - but
could not compete in 1912 Olympics because he had been paid as a lifeguard.

Freeth - Swimming Instructor - swimmer's physique - penmanship very good - well educated man

- organized a water polo team at the Venice Plunge.

U.S. Lifesaving Assn. had a boat rescue philosophy - 12 man crew.

Venice tried this as well - Freeth said this was too inefficient - Freeth also used

* Photo of the 1910 U.S. Life Saving Corps of Venice (with Freeth at far left in Captain's hat).

Use of ropes in the ocean so people could hold onto it.

Plunges - Bathhouses - Pools

Venice Plunge - $100K to build

water polo played here with 400 people in audience.

high dive

Photo of cannon to signal a potential drowning.

Dories - good for training but not for rescues.

Reggie Harrison - swam at Stanford -
Reggie took credit for Ed Perry becoming a lifeguard, e.g., according to Reggie, when Ed Perry was a kid he borrowed (without permission) Reggie's car and thereafter Reggie made him take swimming lessons.

Freeth had a motorcycle with a sidecar to ride around Redondo Beach and do patrols and make rescues.

Cap. George Watkins - used a metal rescue can with rope & reel - OP Park.

How Cap. Watkins became a lifeguard: In 1908, he was a bartender on the Ocean Park Pier when one of the very best customers of this bar jumped into the water and Cap's boss said, 'there goes my best customer!!!" Cap then jumped into the ocean and rescued the man. It was after that that Cap Watkins became a lifeguard. Cap would use a horse to patrol the beach.

Photos of Lifeguards with shirts/sweatshirts that were screen printed with:

Venice Plunge Guard
Venice City Guard
L.A. Guard (City)


Prohibition - The Rex - Arthur's grandfather was an attorney.

Sister Aimee McPherson Simple - she faked her drowning off Venice beach - she later reappeared coming out of the desert in Arizona.

At one time, using a plane with a high diver was a method of making rescues but this did not stick.


Lifeguards & Hollywood

Duke - made a major rescue off Huntington Beach - also worked at the Beach Club in Santa Monica between where Towers #2 and #4 are today.

Casa del mar - on Santa Monica South at end of Pico Blvd.

L.A. City Lifeguards - Tom Blake's paddleboard co.

1930-s - surfing photo at Tower #8

L.A. COUNTY GUARD photo featuring guards wearing their uniform shirts.

Another photo shows an
umbrella, at the lifeguard station at Will Rogers #18, that is still there and is now used as a snack bar at beach level, and restrooms at the parking lot level.

LIFE GUARD SERVICE HEADQUARTERS in the 1930's and 40's on the Santa Monica Pier and is now the home of Rusty's Surf Ranch.

Cap Watkins was asked to retire because of his age by the City whereupon he called Gov. Earl Warren and shortly thereafter the City officials heard from the Governor's staff and other City Officials and that retirement demand was rescinded.

1936 photo of lifeguards diving off the boat at the start of a 1,000 tryout swim.

1934 - Fred Bleeker - no shirt -


Tom Zahn's photos - SM LG boat - 1946

Zahn and Peterson at San Onofre - Classic Photo with a woodie sedan with several surfboards on the roof and Zahn and Peterson in Hawaiian shirts and straw hats.

12.12.1947 - Photo of Zahn surfing

1956 Melbourne Aus - Tad Devine

Ricky Grigg went on to earn a Phd.

Pacific Ocean Park

Nate Shargo

Dale Velzy - L.A. County Lifeguard - Surfboard shaper

Greg Noll

SM LG HQ photo, including Art Verge, Sr., Rudy Kroon, and others.



Rescue of horse by Ed Perry with another JG

Thelma Todd story by Cal Porter

1945 - 46 --- enclosed towers first used by L.A. City, per Cal Porter.

1920's - 30's - penalty boxes used by guards to watch the water, per Cal Porter.


Reception with dessert and coffee, etc.


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

We hope our readership gets a sense of the information imparted and the good time had by all at this interesting and fun event.

(All photos courtesy of "County Recurrent" and Will Maguire.)


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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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mike Moses · The Friendship Paddle 2011

(Photo of Mike Moses, above; Photo Source: The Friendship Paddle.)

*** Update, Sept. 28, 2011: Just in from LACo Lifeguard Capt. John Baker (Ret.):

"This video is really cool, some of you may have already seen it. It's for Mike Moses who has a rare form of cancer.

You can watch it here:

Thought I'd pass it along......"

John Baker

*** Thanks John ! ***


Head's up!

We just heard about this event or we would have surely announced it sooner!

From: Adam Sandler
Subject: Mike Moses - Friendship Paddle on Saturday
Date: September 20, 2011 3:54:11 PM PDT
To: Will Maguire


Perhaps you could remind folks about the Friendship Paddle on Saturday, Sept. 24th, 2011 benefiting LA County Lifeguard and Santa Barbara Fire Department Captain Mike Moses. Paddlers from LA and SB Fire Departments, and LACo Lifeguards, among others, will cross the Santa Barbara Channel this Saturday.

As you know, Mike has developed a rare form of cancer: multiple myeloma.


This summer was the first time in 34 years that Mike has not guarded the Northern Section beaches, or protected the SB community. Instead, he is facing bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy in this battle.

If folks want to donate, they can use the link below and 100% of the money raised will go to Mike and his family.




About "The Friendship Paddle":

The Friendship Paddle was created around the love of the ocean. Mike is a true waterman and exemplifies an ocean lifestyle to the fullest. Lifeguarding, paddle boarding, surfing, free-diving, and fishing are not just things he does, they are things that define who he is. Now, at the age of 53, Mike has developed a rare form of cancer, multiple myeloma. 2011 is the first summer in 34 years that Mike has not guarded the beaches surrounding Malibu. Instead, he is facing bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy.

His passion for the water and commitment to his community is a natural fit for The Friendship Paddle and with our support Mike and his family will not be fighting alone. We stand as a small portion of the community Mike has supported his entire adult life and TFP will support him and his family by raising funds and paddling the SB Channel on September 24th.


Many Thanks to Adam Sandler for the heads up on this event. We've also communicated with John McFadden with The Friendship Paddle and they are very excited to have the attention and participation of our Lifeguard group.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"County Recurrent" Interview with Conrad Liberty

Dateline: Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011; Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Woodland Hills, Calif.

"County Recurrent" visited with LACo Lifeguard Capt. Conrad Liberty (Ret.) earlier today while he is hospitalized pending further tests for a lesion recently found in his brain. He is alert and full of conversation and we were informed that visitors and phone calls are appropriate per a phone call with Nick Steers last nite.

(Photo above shows Conrad with his wife, Marla, at the conclusion of our interview as Conrad is starting to take a nap.)

Below is our interview with Conrad:

Marla Liberty: Conrad, Conrad (shake and shout), wake up, Will is here to visit with you.

Conrad Liberty (Conrad)
: Hi Will, what's shakin'?
County Recurrent (CR): Good morning Conrad. Good to see you.

.................. How about we conduct an interview for the readership of the blog? (Conrad's eyes roll and he smiles....)

CR: Any advice for the rookie lifeguard:
Conrad: Be there on time and make sure you are watching what the hell you are doing.

CR: We understand that you were part of a group of lifeguards that rebuilt a 60's era dory in the early 80's. Can you tell us about that?
Conrad: The group of guards involved in the restoration of this dory were myself, Ed Perry, Eddie Love, Steve Saylors, Hal Dunnigan and Randy Steigely. This was in the early 80's. This restored dory was recently displayed at the 2nd Annual Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race this past June 2011. Harold Dunnigan was the representative and spokesman for our group's restored dory during this event, which I believe you have a photo of during my visit to this display.

(Photo above shows Harold Dunnigan at left and Conrad, at right, next to their restored dory. Photo by Will Maguire. June 2011.)

Recently, Randy Steigely was also very instrumental in some very exceptional and expert finish work. One of the interesting facts about this dory is that it incorporates some very strong hardwood called "Appitong" for the gunnels that I had acquired.

(Editor's note: We have also been informed by Randy Steigely that Tom Snyder, Scott Hubbell and James Doman were also part of the dory restoration team.)

CR: Is Appitong termite proof?
Conrad: It is not termite proof but It is so hard that it is certainly termite-resistant.

CR: How about a funny or unusual situation while working at the beach?
Conrad: One of the funniest situations involved some shenanigans on the beach by a man and woman, both morbidly obese, standing up under a blanket engaging in sexual relations...)

CR: Any overall impressions of situations faced by beach lifeguards?
Conrad: Most of the situations were serious. Norton Wisdom was the man of the hour. Norton's philosophy was that this is hard work we do, but don't make a big deal about it.

CR: How about a memorable rescue?
Conrad: While working the Venice Pier, early one morning at the beginning of my shift, a drunk fisherman jumped off the end of the pier while fully clothed, including a very heavy pea coat. I ran down there, jumped in and had to haul him back to shore.... in his now very heavily soaked pea coat....

CR: Maybe he was in the Navy given that pea coat, eh?!... :-)
Conrad: (glares, says nothing...)

CR: Tell us about Ed Perry.
Conrad: I gave him his check out dive. Ed preferred to be on a boat than in the water as a diver but he was very good at both. Ed was a character and a story teller. Growing up in Venice as a kid, Ed and his dad would deliver ice to homes. One such homeowner who received ice once a month, one day asked that Ed deliver ice 3 times a week. This went on for 6 - 8 months until the man died. When the authorities went into his house they found out that he had been keeping his dead daughter in the bathtub on ice.

CR: We understand that you trained as an underwater dive instructor?
Conrad: Yes, I attended and graduated from UICC with Randy DeGregori and Steve Saylors.

CR: What was your favorite beach to work?
Conrad: Venice Breakwater --- was the most interesting because it had the most going on. It was also the first place I ever worked. I ended up working there for over 20 years. Bruce Kidder talked me into taking the beach lifeguard test while I was at Pierce College where I played water polo and swam for Coach (and then L.A. City Beach Guard) Bruce Kidder. Kidder was a Great Guy! He was like 6' 5" tall with an enormous wingspan. He played goalie for the U.S. Olympic Water Polo team in the 1932 Olympics.

CR: We understand that while you were in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco that you joined the historic and venerable Dolphin Club?
Conrad: In 1965, I joined the Dolphin Club and have been a member ever since, during which time I participated and completed the Golden Gate Bridge Swim 43 times and the Alcactraz swim 30 - 35 times. The Dolphin Club was first established in 1877 and is adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.

(Photo above by Will Maguire, May 2011. The Dolphin Club, the white buildings, at right in background alongside the beach.)

As a member of the Dolphin Club, I also participated in the Farallon Island Swim --- a 30 mile relay swim from the Farallon Islands to the beach at the Dolphin Club inside SF Bay --- I was fortunate to also swim the final leg of this relay and had the honor to run up the beach at the Dolphin Club to win the race. Another team missed the tide change and was not able to complete the race. This was around 1968.

I am going to take a nap now. Thanks for stopping by.
CR: 10-4, Conrad. Thanks for agreeing to this interview. We know that your friends and colleagues will enjoy your remarks.


"County Recurrent" comment: Conrad is resting comfortably in the hospital at Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills, Calif. On Tuesday, Sept. 20th he will have a biopsy of the lesion in his brain and will be in ICU thereafter for observation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact his wife, Marla, or their kids, Karena and Eric. Additionally, Conrad's Lifeguard Alumni Liaisons and Representatives include Harold Dunnigan, Nick Steers and Abby Schneider, who are each in touch with Marla and Conrad and they can be contacted as well for updates on Conrad's status.

Extra Extra! Some of our favorite Conrad shots from the "County Recurrent" photo library:

Nice socks.....

(Two photos above showing Conrad at CSHQ with his new LACOLA calendar, circa 2009. Photos by Will Maguire.)

Conrad, below, in unabomber hoodie, at Jimmy Makuta's retirement party, June 2008. Photo by Will Maguire.

Conrad and Tom Doman, below, Sept. 2007, at the Rookie Swim Test, where Eric Liberty qualified for LACo's rookie school after his top 20 finish. (Photo by Will Maguire.)



Last but not least, if you care to do so, you can join the "County Recurrent" Prayer Circle by saying a prayer for Conrad and thinking of a conversation or good experience you have had with him. Please join us and add a comment on the blog below and share a funny moment or special Conrad story as part of your prayer or contribution or you can forward it to us via email and we will post it with your permission.

Until next time.....

"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.

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

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