Friday, April 5, 2013

Celebrating The Life of Bobby Chavez

Yesterday, April 4, 2013 in the late morning, friends and family of Bobby Chavez gathered at Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier to celebrate the life of our beloved lifeguard pal, Robert "Bobby" Chavez.  Bruce Saylors told me a story about Bobby one year participating in a one mile swim from P.O.P. to the Santa Monica Pier during a south swell and swimming and body surfing inside the surf line the whole way!  I am hoping that Bruce will write this up.  Sam Bertolet said there were many Bobby Chavez stories.  He recently shared one of those stories with all of us in the separate blog post entitled, "Bobby's Flying El Camino".


Also, just heard today from legendary (in his own mind... his words, not mine!) (albeit, now retired) Santa Monica City beach lifeguard and LACo OL, Greg Jackson, and he remarked as follows about his pal, Bobby Chavez:

"Bobby coached me swimming in Jr High and was always on my case in a very good way while I was lifeguarding.  As you know, not everyone was invited to work on the boats, you had to add something.  Tom Zahn found out I was a competitive sailor, Olympic trials and all that stuff, and Bobby put a good word in for me (he also called me and told me not to screw up, he knew where I lived).

"He was such a great guy….. definitely a mentor….. when I was at SMN Tower #15 after work I’d meet up with those guys at Sinbad’s on the pier….. George Merritt, Rex, Bobby, Tom Johnson, Ando, couple of the harbor guys. All I remember is 3 or 4 screwdrivers lined up in front of me and Curt Ando sneaking out the back, and having to walk my bike home because I couldn’t ride……..

Those guys were serious… some still are….



And just in earlier this evening from none other than Jimmy Makuta hisself... here's a great little story he related:

"A quick one on Bob. When we were with Santa Monica City, Bob would be the skipper of L-1, the rescue boat, now known as BWSM, when Zahn had his days off. Nick Steers was the deckhand. We would surf SMS T-18, Chavez and Steers would come by on their patrol of Santa Monica South. When they would see us by T-18, Steers would pay out about 25yds of tow line, Bob would tow us from the SM pier to POP pier, about 10-15 knts .Some times Steers would have two lines attached to the samson post and there were two of us surfing behind the boat.  It was the best!..... all in the name of boat training...... of course!

Rest in peace Bob"


Below are some of the photos that I took yesterday at Rusty's which show many of our lifeguards, family and friends that came together to acknowledge our pal, Bobby.  I am sure going to miss his smile which said so much about his character.  He is with all of us in spirit for evermore.

"A Toast To Bobby"!...

Vaya con dios, amigo!

Rest in peace, Bobby.

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2013.)

*** And Many Thanks to Bruce Saylors, Greg Jackson and Jimmy Makuta for sharing some memories of Bobby with all of us.  



Until next time.....

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News

No comments: