Friday, July 12, 2013

"Zuma Comedians", by OL Steve Morgan

Zuma Beach "FOOD"

Zuma Beach 

Here's a real treat for all of us.  Just in from the very recently retired LACo Veteran OL, Steve Morgan.  Enjoy!

"Zuma Comedians", by Steve Morgan


Greetings Will -
One summer evening in the mid to late 60’s Walt Weaver was the lifeguard in Tower Three and I was in Tower Two at Zuma Beach. Few people were left on the beach. Most had gone back to the valley. Even with the usual bad reception, Walt and I were able to get a radio station at this time of day that played recordings of many popular stand up comedians. This included Woody Allen, Jonathan Winters, Cheech and Chong, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, as well as many others. Walt and I would get on the phone, tune into the station and laugh our heads off during the show. This particular evening was no different. After the show had been on for a while I noticed two older couples spreading their blanket on the sand about twenty yards west of my tower. I couldn’t help but notice that one of the men in the group kept making every one around him laugh. The group was just far enough away that I couldn’t hear what was being said, so after a few minutes I didn’t pay much more attention. Plus I was focusing on watching the water while listening to our favorite radio show. After awhile the two men got up and went into the surf for a dip. Since they were the only two swimmers in the water at that time they regained my attention.  Eventually a small rip current started to pull where they were floating. It was a warm balmy windless evening, so instead of whistling and gesturing them out of the rip from the beach, I decided to swim out and talk to them about their situation.  They seemed grateful for this information. Afterwards they followed me in to the beach. Once back up on the berm I realized one of them was Jonathan Winters. I introduced myself as a fan and that’s all it took for him to go into his army and Maud Frickert routines. After about 45 minutes of nonstop laughter Walt walked down from tower three to see whom I was talking to.  As Walt ambled up to us I said “Walt, I’d like you to meet my friend Jonathan Winters”.  At first I thought Walt was going to pass out. Within a few minutes we were all howling. We carried on for quite awhile.  We even got a few genuine laughs from Mr. Winters.  Of course when we finally returned to Lifeguard Headquarters no one believed we had spent time actually talking with Jonathan Winters.
About two weeks later I went back to my folk’s place in Manhattan Beach to check in on a decent meal and do my laundry. While there my mom, an avid Tonight Show viewer, casually mentioned that while recently watching the Tonight Show Jack Parr had Jonathan Winters on as a guest. Apparently that night Jonathan told Jack he had had a great time at Zuma Beach and had run into a couple of lifeguards with good senses of humor. My mom asked if I might know who those lifeguards were.

Will, I hope you've enjoyed reading this.  It's a fun memory for me especially upon hearing of Jonathan's recent passing.



L2R:  Steve Morgan and Bill Harkins, July 10, 2013, at their Retirement Party.

*** Many Thanks to Steve for sharing this great story with all of us! ***

(Story by & Copyright Steve Morgan 2013.  Used here with permission.)

Editor's note:  For any of our readership unfamiliar with the brilliance of the humor and comedy of Johnathan Winters, just check out this impromptu performance many years ago when he appeared on the Jack Parr show (the predecessor to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show).

Jonathan Winters "The Stick" Apr 1964 Jack Paar

(Photos above courtesy of and by Will Maguire.)


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

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