Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Who Am I #2", by Cal Porter

Drum roll........

   WHO AM I ?      

The Clues

My daughter will probably have no problem identifying this dashing, young Los Angeles County Lifeguard who worked the local beaches some years ago since she had quite a crush on him.  Lucky for me she was only ten at the time otherwise I would have been in big trouble.  He was a fine surfer and is seen above in one of his favorite positions, a squat or crouch of sorts that had a name like semi-quasimoto or something.   This could be Rincon or maybe Little Point Dume where he lived and surfed most of the time.  One day I was surfing there with a friend when further out we saw him disappear under cover of a nice-size tubular wave.  As he emerged from the tunnel and shot out into daylight we heard him scream with unconcealed delight, “I’ve Been Born”!  Ah, now there’s something new I thought, but my friend said, "oh he hollers that all the time."  And I’ve heard this shout from others since but I like to think it originated with this popular, outgoing, mystery lifeguard who spent many a summer at Zuma Beach, and was even at Tower 4 during the infamous beach riot of 1961.

Besides my daughter has anyone else guessed yet?

There are many stories to be told about this prankster, surfer, lifeguard and the one to follow I believe to be true and not just apocryphal.  It was at the Malibu Surfing Association’s participation in the Huntington Beach paddleboard relays and surfing contest, 1964 or 65.  It was a pretty rough day and our lifeguard and friends were standing on the berm watching the competition on the south side of the pier.  A young girl was suddenly caught in a lateral current and being dragged inexorably into a nasty riptide while the local guard appeared unaware.  With incredible reaction and speed, our hero grabbed the guard’s red rescue tube, raced into the water, and proceeded to affect the rescue of the girl in front of the large group of spectators there for the contest.  After he safely released the girl on the beach he returned the rescue tube to the local guard with this retort, “That rescue was courtesy of the Los Angeles County Lifeguards”.                                                                                            
Well there are many other tales that could be told about this lifeguard, but if his identity is not yet apparent the following should just about wrap things up.  His uncle, with the same name as his, who was a fine surfer and longtime Santa Monica Guard, moved to Hawaii long ago and started his internationally known and successful company, Surf Line Hawaii, Ltd., turning out the first pair of “Jams” on December 25, 1964.  His nephew, our mystery lifeguard, moved to Hawaii some time ago himself and lives there happily to this day with his wife and family.  And for you who know him and just happen to be on his e-mail list you know that this guy sends you about two dozen or more e-mails a day mostly about surfing and the beach but also about all kinds of other crazy but interesting stuff from around the world.  And his name is ---------.


(Copyright Cal Porter 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  Photo courtesy of the subject mystery man.)

*** Many Thanks to Cal for another installment in his new series, "Who Am I".  And thanks as well for the consent of our mystery featured lifeguard.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Will Rogers State Beach, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire 2013.

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