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  Roger Donaldson
Friday, September 29, 2017
Dang...missed a reunion?!?  Well, I hope there's another in my lifetime.    
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  Ken Casper
Monday, August 8, 2016
At the request of many, here it is: Warning: cover you children’s eyes and ears. Some of the stories  are embellished, for fun…most of it is based on fact!   The Tiki, Giggle Crack, & Bryons Grind       Prelude:  Before you read this story, think about the fact that an average California Ocean Lifeguard in the 1960-70s, was in the range of sixteen to twenty one years old. This was the type of individual who had no desire to flip burgers at McDonalds, have a simple paper route, or wash dishes as a teenager, they wanted to try out for an exciting job and be an ocean lifeguard   The hired lifeguards in San Clemente during the 60-70s comprised a mixture of physically fit beach bums, hot surfers and collegiate swimmer types (Anaheim guys especially). To become a San Clemente Lifeguard, candidates had to compete against each other as well as to brave the frigid winter waters preceding summer.  In head to head competition with other candidates, for only a few select spots in the lifeguard service, the lifeguard’s mettle was tested.  They only needed 3-5 out of 30 guys, as there was no turnover.  The trainers had to have a “selection” method.  If the cold water didn’t break you, the stringent competition did. “In-service training” as it was called included full thirty minute pier swims in 50 degree water, run swim runs until half the squad lost their Oreo cookies from lunch 10 minutes earlier, or two story pier jumps off Zero into shallow water, and more such as under the pier piling training, first aid training and a number of written aptitude tests, given right after exhausting physical training.   “Byron’s Grind” for example, was one of many competitions used to weed out the weak, the frail, the C.S.s. Lined up like a motocross start, at the shot of a starter’s gun, a group of candidates charged for the “hole shot” running full speed toward the narrow entry of steep stairway. Sounds like an excerpt from the “Flight of the Lemmings”. This event was a competition to have candidates run down steep stairs, swim around a sharp reef, and run back up the beach access stairway at West Street Beach in South Laguna, all to worship a number on a tongue depressor    Guys were FUBAR as it was a__holes and elbows, pushing and shoving, falling and tumbling, grabbling and slugging each other down the stairs until the candidates reached the shoreline where they had to swim around a reef and then back up the stairs to the finish line.  What, OSHA? Didn’t exist back then…   Another kind of “weeding-out” training event took place at the “Giggle Crack” at South Aliso Beach.  Imagine large waves crashing into a 30’ foot long channel gouged out of an exposed shelf of reef and sharp rock, filled with five guys that were told to “jump in”, and the instructor hoping they get tossed around like they were in an Osterizer filled with razor blades.   This wild wash of wave, reef, and flesh in a narrow barnacle encrusted channel was affectionately called the “Crack” by the trainers.  “Giggle” came from the fact you’d better be smiling or laughing and showing no signs of fear as huge wave after huge wave picked you up and literally threw you into the narrow channel and toward the rocks.  With Stubbs watching above, you could not show any fear or hesitation, or you were out!  A lot of candidates refused to even attempt the “Crack”, hence were immediately disqualified. Good we all thought, better chance to get the job.  All who survived the experience quickly bonded.  We in fact invented the word bonding.   Guys who survived “Byron’s”, the “Crack”, and the pier training, and were hired, were instantly accepted into a cohesive sub-culture called the SC “Guardoz.” Rookie albeit, still “guardoz” non-the-less. The winners of the competition for the few lifeguard jobs were tough, and hard as nails, “b_lls to the wall” kind of guys.  They thought of themselves as the elite; bronze gods; cocky; confident; and fearless; very similar to the camaraderie of the Navy SEALS of today. We trusted one another with our lives.    One of the original and late founding lifeguards, along with the late Chief Hazard or call sign 5600, (“Huneret” as he was affectionately called), was Captain Phil Stubbs.  Stubbs was a tough man, who worked hard and played even harder.  He was a famous surfer, a fearless waterman, He was quick witted, a professional entertainer in local nightclubs, an emissary and a great leader. The crew adored him and many tried to model their lives after him, he was a hero and inspiration to all who worked under him. He was a tough act to follow, a true lifeguard legend; his feats are still revered today by many who knew him.  Chief 100 gave Stubbs free reign to run the department.   Stubbs used to throw parties for his crew like Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore did in Apocalypse Now; wild beach parties beyond belief, with booze, women, music, and luau style food.  The Chief tended to look the other way during these events. The parties were thrown as a way to blow off steam and end the summer on a bash, and Stubbs endorsed them as a way to honor his crew. Lifeguards were always hand-picked by Stubbs, and by guys like Lou Mathe, Chorak, Statley, Hornbeck and others; who were Stubbs select crew of lifesaver trainers that felt through proper “screening” or “vetting” by trainers, would never back out of any rescue and would always back up a fellow lifeguard.  Stubbs demanded the absolute best out of his crew.  Stubbs was fair, honest, a cool cucumber under pressure, and a great leader.  With an entertainment background, he was quick witted, and funny as heck, and kept everyone’s moral super high, with a quip here and a quip there, and was genuinely loved by all the crew. He made you laugh when you screwed up, but also let you know not to do it again, or you’re out of the club.  You had to learn fast! No one today can be expected to replace his charismatic character, and no ever has to date. Fortunately, these were the days before the words liability and litigation became common place, but soon times would be changing, and the end was coming for the world of swashbuckling lifeguarding.    It should be noted that during busy summer days, some lifeguards made thirty to forty rescues a day, on average!  One busy day at Tower 1, I logged (name, address, and phone number, where u were from) 41 actual rescues, my personal best.  Many have logged even more. Between rip currents, rescues, and indigestion, a lifeguard’s days consisted of woofing down a sandwich, a handful of no-doz, using the other hand to lather up with zinc oxide, and at the same time fill out rescue cards. Most lifeguards wanted the day to end with a beautiful sunset and an admiring girl waiting to be asked out to dinner.  But most days were very exhausting and the guards just crashed at home or in their cars at HQ.  Working long shifts, lifeguards many times put their lives on the line saving people in the surf, and/or sometimes being swept under the pier themselves and barely making it back to shore unscathed and alive.  These were the days before forty hour work limits and overtime.  Many of the lifeguards worked eighty hour weeks to pay their tuition and living expenses for college during the winter months. I looked at one payroll sheet Steve Lashbrook showed me years later, and I had 160 hours in one pay period!!! With all the stress, long hours, and energy draining sun exposure, something was always available to keep their spirits up however; and that “something” was the famous/ infamous lifeguard party at the end of the year named the: “The Banquet”.   Back in the early sixties, sixteen year old lifeguards never heard of terms such as trauma councilor, Motrin,  A.D.D., or Bill Gates.  Like the military of the day, PTSD was also unknown, but I swear some guys had a form of it.  How many used to jump at the sound of a phone ringing?  How many used to sleep walk at night and walk to the window so they could “watch” the water? Lifeguards at that age had to devise their own methods to handle the tremendous stress created by life and death scenarios. Especially after having witnessed a tragedy, such as a bloody medical aid, a train track victim, or even the drowning of a small child on an unguarded beach.    Stubbs eventually left the lifeguard service, to build a hotel in Mexico. But the tradition of the lifeguards to work hard and to party hard seemed destined to continue. The new supervisors, who were just newly hired from Seal Beach and LA County, were supposed to replace the omnificent Phil Stubbs, but had a difficult time trying to fill Stubb’s huge bare-foot-prints, left in the sand. Besides the politics of the new world order, of life guarding, lead by NSLSA, was more cautious, and the old lifeguard swashbuckling days as mentioned above were over.  Every other lifeguard department was also somewhat required to be restrained by a more litigious society.  When the SCSLSA president asked the new administration however, (names withheld to protect the innocent) if they could plan their traditional “Stubbs” end of the year banquet, the new administrators agreed to help out. What was “100”ert thinking? The administration being outsiders, tried hard to gain the respect of the crew, and didn’t want to further restrict or alienate the crew after a couple of summers without Phil Stubbs.  They were summers of political correctness, subdued heroics, and the crew was constantly nudged to improve their professional image, albeit begrudgingly, longing for the “old days”. I can only speculate on the powers involved, to decide to approve the banquet plans; maybe they wanted to help improve moral, and make the new transition to a new hierarchy successful.  Why not let the guardoz have their traditional little end of the year party, they thought…the new administration didn’t have a clue what they were in for…     TIKI, by the way, before we start, as it is translated into Ancient Bab Bal-boa-iann, means “Bunch of Animals”   THE TIKI: Stage: Imagine renting a three deck sightseeing Mississippi (did I spell it right?) paddle wheeler, used to haul sightseers around the Newport Peninsula.  The plan to rent it was approved for the big party, the grand daddy of all summer parties. It was fast approaching and the end of this year’s “BANQUET” was on every lifeguard’s mind. Everyone looked forward to it, and knew that over the year’s parties just seemed to get crazier and crazier. Why the Chief did not see this coming is beyond me. Here goes the story…buckle your seat belt…   Planning for the TIKI:  The admin tried to keep order and control as the older guards planned the event.  Music? Make it soft they said.  SLSA hired a rock band.  Booze: maybe we could serve beer? Johnny Red Whiskey and Jose Cuervo were smuggled on board, Dress code, suit and tie.  Surf trunks were worn under the suit pants. Unfortunately, the administration made the same mistake as Siegfried and Roy. Thinking they had somewhat tamed the lifeguards during the summer, they agreed to allow the lifeguard association to organize what they thought would be a coat and tie event, dubbed it the “TIKI BANQUET.”   WRONG!  BIG WRONG! I believe the new administrators thought we might behave ourselves much like other normal human beings; you know, sipping wine, enjoying music, chatting on the decks with our dates while on an evening cruise… ‘Isn’t the sunset beautiful honey”.  Yar was not to be…   TIKI MISTAKE #1   Besides, the administration asked itself: “what was so wrong with renting a forty foot plus double decker ferry boat and scenic bay cruiser called the “Tiki”, and deciding to plan a night cruise around the tranquil bay waters of the exclusive community of Balboa?  Innocent enough right?…   MISTAKE #2.   The administration didn’t realize the deep rooted, sick, benevolent, and traditional lust for wildness that lurked beneath the tanned skin of the “guardoz”.   The guardoz had issues, deep issues.  After a long hot summer, it was in the guardoz DNA to party hardy; and somewhat expected from the rest of the brotherhood, to “tear down the house”; and to “to party like it was 1969”.     Yo ho ho! The Tiki had left its berth at about 6pm. Newport Harbor, Balboa Island time. Happy hour!  The new administrators who were invited, came along, but after leaving shore were soon over powered and were considered part of the pirate crew; they soon were shell shocked as the suit and tie attire/attitude quickly degraded, and the event started to show its ugly head. The fire from within was unleashed as the music started to play on the devils harp, and the beer kegs quickly emptied one by one. Once again we became the illustrious bunch of drunken buffoons and hooligan’s of the past, hell-bent on destruction and creating yet another infamous summer “banquet”.  The administrators were like a pair of deer caught in the front headlights of a fast moving bus...  When the Captain told his staff that things were getting out of hand, and to start to shut things down, the band just turned up the volume, popped a beer in the Captain’s face, and the women started dancing the wango tango.   At about 10:30 p.m. the cage door blew off and all the guardoz were on the prowl, each carrying their own bottle of tequila, their dates with a red rose in their mouths, and hanging on to the exposed hair on the lifeguard’s backs.  As they chanted ATTICA, ATTICA, ATTICA several guardoz volunteered to remove the pre-assigned, slow pouring bartender at the over stocked open bar at the back of the boat, issuing a threat to anyone ordering a near-beer, to be thrown over-board or walk the plank. YAR! Of course booze is the root of all evil and the basis of past prohibition; but the devil’s gate had been opened at the back of the boat, and triple shots of tequila were flowing like the Yosemite Falls in spring, no more beer orders allowed, and ice was not an option. The new bartender was now using a discarded woman’s high heeled shoe as the shot glass; and it got the party rolling quickly, like a faulty emergency brake on poop sucking truck parked on a hill.  At the very least, the booze was leading the ship toward an iceberg. The Tiki, like the Titanic, was in trouble. The skipper of the Tiki who was supposed to bring the boat back safely by 10 p.m., (the harbor curfew), was bribed by two beautiful guardoz dates, armed with a bottle of Johnny Red Walker to stay out “just a little bit longer, ohhhh please!”.    The bay quickly became a navigational hazard as more and more beer kegs, empty Tequila bottles, and tuxedo jackets starting floating in the wake of the Tiki.  The Tiki’s décor was beginning to look like the party aftermath from “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The harbor patrol received complaint after complaint; in fact never in the history of the harbor patrol, had the dispatch been so overwhelmed by so many emergency complaint calls all at once! A harbor patrol skiff was immediately dispatched to stop the Tiki, which was now heading towards the mouth of the Newport Jetty entrance.   Once the Harbor Patrol officer had arrived, he tied his boat to the Tiki to reason with us, but before he could find the CEO, two gorgeous girls grabbed him, sat him down on a chair, gave him a cloth lap dance and handed him a shot of Tequila and said “just a little bit longer, ohhh please!”.  At this point one of the lifeguards (no names here, he may be culpable, and he is still living, hard to believe since he was such a daredevil), jumped into the harbor patrol skiff and started the engine and proceeded to drive the boat around the Tiki with his girlfriend holding onto his arm, her other free arm waving the American flag, while doing donuts around the Tiki with the blue emergency lights on. True stuff…   After the harbor patrolman ordered the lifeguard to return the boat to the Tiki, the lifeguard tied up the boat, and proceeded to “walk the taunt bow line” back to the Tiki and fell into the water, hanging on to the bow rope as the Tiki continued on dragging him through the water..   Meanwhile, another harbor patrol fireboat was speeding toward the Tiki with its blue lights flashing.  Thinking we were all in serious trouble, and the fireboat was coming to bust us all, the HP boat unexpectedly just passed us by and waved a hand signal to the skipper to turn the boat around, and yelled on the loud speaker for the harbor patrolman on board to check his radio. We found out later the harbor patrol fireboat was responding to a boat in distress call off of Newport Beach’s famous “The Wedge”.  Later that night “our” harbor patrol officer flipped his boat over in the surf line.   At this point someone went up to the Tiki’s bridge only to find the skipper completely lubed, driving the boat with one foot on the wheel, a woman on his lap, and the other one passed out next to him.  The Tiki was now in the exit channel going toward open ocean, and the Wedge! The low bow vessel was beginning to hit the sea swells, and the boat was only designed as a calm water vessel.  Many lifeguards were passed out, sick, or throwing up on the front deck of the Tiki, trying to get a whiff of fresh air, causing the front of the bow to go even deeper as it plunged through the swells until the Tiki started taking on water.  The decks were now awash in beer cans, clothing, confetti, and yes, the passed out bodies of dates and lifesavers everywhere.   I noticed there was a long line of people leading to one of the commodes in the front of the ship, putting even more weight on the bow of the vessel.  I stumbled up to investigate and found an invited guest (of high esteem, like Andy of Mayberry) who had passed out while sitting on the commode, and guys were trying to pee between his legs to hit the bowl in desperation.  He was covered in urine from head to toe, a sight to see.   By now one of the lifeguards had finally sobered the Tiki skipper enough out of his stupor, to convince him he wasn’t at a Grateful Dead Concert anymore, but driving a freaking boat out to sea!  After helping him turn the paddle wheeler around, they got it headed back to the docks as ordered by the HP.  As we approached the docks, however, there must have been 20 Newport Police cars with their flashing lights on waiting for us at the berth dock.  As we approached the dock, several Newport Police Officers were standing on the dock holding docking lines with serious looks on their faces.  The skipper was heading toward the dock at full speed like the ending scenes of Jurassic Park II, and hit the dock knocking one of the officers off the dock half way into the water.  Needless to say, everyone was placed in plastic handcuffs and escorted to the Winchell’s Donut House near the port and placed under arrest.  They locked us inside the Donut House, gathered information, and would not release us until we sobered up and they figured out who or what we were.   The next day when I arrived to work, everyone quickly tapped their finger to their lips in the “vow of silence” maneuver, and tippy toed around the office, trying to hear what was going on in “100”s office.  The Chief’s office door was closed for some time, and it was so quiet in the dispatch office that one could hear an ant piss.  After an hour or so, the door flung open with cigarette smoke pouring out.  Out walks the internal affairs unit of the OC Harbor Patrol, Sheriff’s Department, and other FBI looking guys. Shortly afterward “Huneret” walks out, takes a deep puff on his cigarette , pausing to look at us all standing there, and says, “well that’s just about wraps it up it for all you animals”.  Remarkably, his head was still on his neck, but his hair looked somewhat grayer…   Thirty years later the boss said to me, “Kenny, if I didn’t have a date, I would have jumped overboard and swam to shore”.    I just about lost it laughing…thinking about that comment though, I actually thought they’d have been off swimming to shore, even if his date was a non-swimmer and fully clothed.   Another great story someday, the Lifeguard Séance Party at Gene Stiver’s San Clemente Romantica Mansion in 1969…anyone? This has to be my absolute last post…got to get on with my life… my wife is pulling on my ear, ouch! Stop!Owww….
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  Ken Casper
Monday, August 8, 2016
One more post; post 85th:  Inspired by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, Legends and Lies, I have another funny story (or two) I gathered from the 85th reunion and at lunch recently with Mike Brennan. Mike “the General” Brennan: Where did the nick-name “the General” originate?  In the 1970’s, as some of us recall, the “privilege” and duty of a rookie guardoz was being “awarded” the “11 ta 7” shift, which basically consisted of a crew of lifeguards that got to guard crappy, un-crowded, beach areas mid-day, then clean up the HQ in the evening. As some of you remembered, there was also a special name assigned to that protected crew.  We all experienced the “honor and respect” of pulling that duty at some point in our rookie career, but the up-side was, the schedule lasted only two weeks and you could surf in the mornings. I truly had forgotten how the “General” actually got his name until recently when we had lunch together.  Mike starkly, reminded me in his exact words, “you a__hole” you created my nick-name. As the story goes: Brennan, after obtaining the 11-7pm shift, Mike decided as the head “crew member”, to take great pride in making sure the HQ was really clean for the next shift in the a.m. Mike said that his usual habit, was mopping the floors at the very end of the shift, which was done then because most of the guards had left the station for the evening.  Well, since I lived in my camper-van at HQ, I came in from surfing late one evening and tried to take a direct route thought the lobby area to get to my locker.  Mike caught me in the lobby and said “Stop, you’re screwing up my floors”. I was a four year guard, with attitude, and fired back “who the h_ll do you think you are”?  Mike replied, “The General” with a straight face, and held his ground without so much as a smile.  Mike said “the crew” heard the exchange from the first aid room and started cracking up, and from then on Mike was called “The General” and was made head “crew” by order of the Lord of the Flies.  True story, no lie. One more General and Covert story:  Fourth of July, mid 1970s, Covert and the General are assigned to Zero.  The “Cov” or “Coverted”, as he was sometimes called, and the “General” brought a Hibachi, some coals, lighter fluid, chicken, potato salad, and cold drinks to Zero for their own special 4th of July lunch celebration.  Around noon, the swell suddenly picked up. But heck, the coals were all ready hot, and the chicken went on the grill non-the-less.  Picture this, at exactly the same time as the chicken went on the grill, a muscle bound, 6’5”, non-swimmer dressed in his USMC issued red shorts, rents a raft from Cropleys and heads into the water between T-1/T-3;  every guardoz knows what creature lurks there. “Cov” yells at Mike “we’ve got one coming, get ready”, right at the time the “Gen” is turning the yummy chicken, licking his fingers, adding a splash of BBQ sauce here, and a dash of salt there, Mike grabs his can.  By this time USMC has ditched his raft, his eyes are now the size of sand dollars, and is yelling “oh mama, oh mama, save me!”  As a 10’ sweeper is taking him toward the man made meat grinder, Mike goes off Zero.   Landing “miraculously from the sky”, right next to the victim, the victim is astonished, but still panicking. Mike begins to reassure the victim, and place him on the can, who then starts to relax and hence enjoy an epiphany of the flag rising at Iwo Jima.  Unfortunately and unbeknownst to the USMC victim, the battle is just beginning.  As the pair is swept under the pier, the first of the 10’ waves starts to crest,  and the “General” yells “hang on”, and digs hard underwater for the South piling like he was taught; then feels a tug, then a release.  Mike breaks the surface and gasps for a breath amongst the foam and froth and finds the USMC clinging onto the pier piling about 8’ up the pole, just where the wave left him at its high water mark.  The “Gen” reaches up and yanks the guy off the piling.  Next wave, the exact the same scenario, only leaving the guy higher on the pole, this time the USMC is shredded like the cheese you put in your tacos, and the “General” has to pry him off by climbing up and using a Phil Stubbs patented head-lock maneuver. Meanwhile Zero tower shotgun guard Covert sees the crowd gathering below on the North side of the pier railing (always a bad omen), and knows from experience what is probably happening.  “Cov” calls on the radio,  “5610, you better expedite the code 3, I think we have a “clinger”.  After Mike gets the victim to the beach, and always being the consummate professional that he is (and in a bit of a hurry for a reason), he decides he “wants to share the glory with others” and promptly releases the bleeding victim to the rookie at Tower 2 to do the ding repair, patch work, and record keeping on the guy.  As Brennan quickly returns and runs up the Zero stairs, Covert says “what the h_ll happened under there Mike”?  Mike’s reply…”Is the chicken ready”; “it didn’t burn did it?” One “Bro”  ism:  speaking of Zero. I can’t help but laugh at this stuff, and I had to share it.  Bro reminded me at the 85th of the time we were painting the interior of Zero in the winter.  Very boring work mostly, until I turned to do a water check and my paint brush “accidently” brushed across Steve’s left sleeve of his new uniform jacket.  Steve then “accidently” brushed across my right sleeve of my new uniform jacket. I then “accidently” brushed across the back of his new uniform jacket.  Well, Steve turned and “accidently” stuffed a fully charged paint brush full of the Sherwin’s finest right into my smiling mouth!  I was picking white paint out of my teeth for weeks.  White paint on my sandwich at the bite mark, white paint on my tooth brush, and even white paint left on the lips of my now “ex” after I kissed her in the morning.  Ah, the fun we had…Ken Casper
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  Ken Casper
Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Tracy Sizemore Phenomenon: How do you "Size" up "More"?  Bigger than life? The DosXX "most interesting man in the world"? Colorful, charming, unique; and then also to be San Clemente's finest? A world class waterman, swimmer, lifeguard, surfer, skier? You have to choose ALL OF THE ABOVE! Tracy is one of the "OG" s of San Clemente.  Like the Metzgers, Divols, Tansey, and the other "real deal" San Clemente originals, (including Lou Mathe), Tracy is one of the "Original Guardoz" (not  OG "gangsta", you pea-brains! non of that here). I have known Tracy for over 40 years, first becomeing aware of the Tracy phenomenon at an early age while a member of the San Clemente Swim Team.  Coached by Ben Cummings, I asked Coach Cummings  "Can anyone on the team beat T. Sizemore if they worked hard enough".  "Nope" was his answer. He said "Tracy is a natural swimmer/athlete like I have never seen before"  "If he sees you coming he will just go faster, he was born for the water, he either has an enlarged heart, or this inner deep soul that won't give up, even if he is exhausted, he will dig down to beat you, every time"  Wow, I thought to myself, strong words from a world class coach. I thought, well heck, I better try to beat Steve Bro instead.  (sorry Steve, had to barb you a little; I never could keep up with you in the pool, you don't have to tell me again...makes good story right?). Tracy came from a true waterman family.  A legend. His brother Ron is also an ocean legend. Heck, even Crocodile Dundee heard about Tracy and his famous hat, 20 years later, Dundee marketed his hat after Tracy's design; although Paul Hogan added the toothed tassel and leather accent, it is Tracy's hat non-the-less.  Tracy, you need to add sharks teeth, perferably a Great White.  Lot of them spotted now-a-days. Tracy's hat should have been trademarked as "his" brand, a least before Wild Kingdom aired on TV, as that was Tracy's hat on WK. This era was all before branding became a buzz word. Has anyone noticed after going back through the reunion photos, that Tracy has not aged much, including his hat design (other than a few paint jobs maybe, but the same hat).  I think Tracy has some bloodlines from ancient Hawaiian Demigods, or Viking ski-gods like Ullr, showing the rest of us piss-ants how to become real watermen or real skiers. He just never ages, he is timeless. With this said, Tracy was one of the original California skier/surfer/lifeguard cross-over hybrids.  Bobbie Owens was also one of the front runner hybrids, to give him credit. Tracy, however, along with his trademark hat, was synonoymous with starting the ski patrolman/ski instructor gig in the winter, and lifeguarding/surfing lifestyle in the summer at San Clemente.  Hummm, sure sounded good to the rest of us minons.  Tracy influenced many, many lifeguards to follow in his footsteps, including the Lashbrooks, Covert (ed), Lewis, the General, Vick and myself .  After guarding one season with Tracy, it was enough to be convinced we needed to learn how to ski.  We would hear stories about how great it was to ski fresh powder, which Tracy excitedly proclaimed it was "better than surfing perfect 6' waves!" . He would say rave about skiing in Brian Head UT (his favorite resort).  We could not wait until winter to find out what he was talking about and we were missing.  Dave Vick and I headed to Holiday Hill in 1969 at the next snowfall, which was in the Wrightwood Area (now renamed).  "No problem we thought" "we got this", pulling into the parking lot, Dave in his usual "piece of cake".  "We don't need no stinking lessions" was muttered (like Tracy advised us to do). So being the tight-wad guardoz that we were, we skirted the lift lines and hiked up the main run, and then...pause.... "clicked-in".  Then all hell broke loose as we hit 85 mph in about 10 feet and spun backwards, sideways, forward, backwards again, yelling four letter words all the way down until we hit the side of a Greyhound bus parked along the snowbank in the parking lot.  On the way to the first aid room, we thought about Tracy a lot.  Like the b.s. line "Like surfing perfect 6' waves", or our stupidity for not heeding "don't forget to take lessons first", or his inspiring line "believe me, you will love skiing".  Then all we could think about was that "smirk of a smile" that Tracy gives you sometimes when he knows something that you don't! It seemed everywhere I traveled later, (after finally learning to ski) in the skiing and surfing circles, someone knew Tracy Sizemore and had a Tracy story. This was especially true if I said I grew up in San Clemente.  Inevitably, some beautiful woman, or plural, many women, would come up and say "I heard you were from San Clemente", I would say "Yes?", expectantly. Then they would say "then you must know Tracy Sizemore", I would say "Yes?", really expectantly.  Then they would say "Great, please say hi to Tracy for me and tell him I really miss him; oh yeah, tell him to call me too, soon!".  Well before I could on the sly say "Anything else I can do for you ladies?" ,expectantly, or "What's your phone number?, expectantly, (which of course I would give to Tracy), she would say walking away, "Gotta go, but be sure to tell Tracy to call me, ok, bye".  I thought, Darn that Tracy, he has more women than a John in Moorish Harem! Enough said, starting to sound like an obituary (sorry Tracy).  So now, I would like to personally thank Tracy Sizemore for taking the time to photograph the 85th! Outstanding job! Hence, I  was inspired and took the time to write a little tribute about the OG Sizemore phenomenon, as a thank you to him for all his photo work over the years.  As a disclaimer, a few embellishments are in the tribute, naturally, but not much! true stuff really.  However, after viewing the photos with Tracy in them, I am tempted to call him Tracy Surfmore, from now on.  I m jealous I did not get a picture with the OG himself. Maybe next year we could just set up a cardboard cut out in a special area, and have rotational photo sessions with the OG. I would also like to thank Lifeguard Chief Bill Humphreys, for putting on the 85th. I will stick my neck out and assume I can speak for all the lifeguards who attended, and say thank you! MUCHO! The great and omnifarious Allen Seymour, who we wiil all love, cherish, and despise like a nightee on a newly wedd, summed it up perfectly in his very classy submission in  2006.  Allen rightfully praised Humphrey for "single handedly" (and he meant staff too) for bringing inclusiveness to the San Clemente Lifeguard Department. Bill welcomed older guards again who originally helped build the great reputation and history of the department, to participate once again and visit "their Station 56", and then assembled memorabilia from the past, revived old friendships, fun rivalies and pranks, and established the super successful 5 year reunion plan!  It is remarkable and sensational to go to a reunion and see the commitment and work the staff put into making it a wonderful evening of fun, friendship and lifeguard story.  Bill and staff have brought back meaning and purpose, and most of all, respect for the lifeguards of the past, renewed interest in the wonderful world of professional ocean lifeguarding in San Clemente. I think after seeing all the greats, the legends, all the fun, and all the faces at the 85th, we as ocean lifeguards are all so proud to be part of, and affectionally called once again "guardoz", young or old.  Being acknowledged for the outstanding job we have all done, or are doing now, to keep San Clemente's beaches safe, is worth the all of the sacrafice we have all collectively endured through in-service training, long hot days, big south sweels, no breaks on busy days (shut up and piss in a bottle), skin cancer, cataracts, and hemroids from the captains chairs (least I got em).  We will miss our brothers who have already passed, some way too young (Mike Sampson). AND to the ones still kicking 5 years from now, don't miss it or Bro and Elwell will find you and lock you in the "trailer" and push you off the pier.  See you at the 90th,  including "Master Lifeguard" and founder, Dave Tansey! Aloha for 2016! Ken Casper  
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  Bill Humphreys
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Fellow Guardoz! I'm sorry I'll have to miss out on the fun tonight. I've double booked and am committed to a family activity with my son's birthday. Typical guardoz style, didn't look at the calendar when I planned things. My bad! Working with all of you - past and present- has been the greatest blessing I could have asked for in a job. Excitement, friends for life, and the chance to help others along the way. What more could I ask for? Please stop by HQ and say hi and don't wait for the 90th to stay in touch. You're all welcome anytime down at Station 56. Lifeguards for life! Please enjoy yourself tonight and keep on "watching the water"! See you soon, Bill Humphreys MS Chief
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  Ken Casper
Saturday, July 30, 2016
I have to thank Lisa Anne Feece for acknowledging the fun and continuing the lore. I love and hate Gregg Bunker, can't wait to see the SOB who flung parking lot debris at us in the Poche parking lot in the 70!  Come on guys, this is the 85th!!! Some of the older guys are not going to be around ten years from now.  Tell the story!: Or, lose it forever! Mike Brennan, called me today and we were lining up the "designated driver" ride from SD to SC. Hah, what a joke that  was.   We decided the "designeded drunk" should not drive., and we will be drawing depressor sticks at the reunion. That will be like the Tower 1 guard switching with the Tower 7 guard to see more action.  Lou Mathe, a legend himself, agreed to ride with us pin- heads.  Even with projected double-vision thru the checkpoint south on the way home, we will not do so. We are heading to SC to hook up with Tom Metzger for a early tailgate party at Tom's Place (not the same as in the Mammoth area).  We are (Mike and I) 65 (excluding Mathe) year old rookies that still have to buy the beer because we are still punk rookies in their eyes (Mathe, Metzger). Anyway, obviously, Mike, you piss-ant, you never wrote in about the feats yout told me about of Tom Metzger at the Laguna Baseball games as promised.  So I will do it for you...you will buy the beer when we get to SC on Saturday! Mike told me the story of Tom M. at bat during the LG/SC baseball fiasco, a match up in the 70s between the Laguna Guardoz and the San Clemente sluggers. Huge rivalry! Tom was at bat, hunched over, hitting fowl ball after fowl ball.  The first baseman from Laguna taunted Tom with chants like "hit the ball you kook SC guardoz!  Tom said, "you better move your beer , you Laguna retard"!  " I am going to knock your beer cup into the stratosphere you pee-brain." Well, the next pitch was thown, and Tom hit the ball right into the Laguna Beach's 1st baseman's heckler's plastic cup, spraying beer 20 feet into the air.  Needless to say, Mike Brennan still remembers the moment.  "The beer cup exploded, and we could not believe it, we fell out of the stands laughing." Quote:  Mike Brennan I just wish Mike would write it like he tells it,  hilarious! The General is the greatest, and has a lot of story in him.  He is one of my best friends, even after over 40 years of crazy-ness.  I urge you to tell story guys, this is the place, right here, we are not going to live forever so don't let the lore and fun stories disappear! What about the 70's: Liffeguard bus trips Bro and Elwell planned: to go to see the major baseball games like the Angels?  Do you remember the beer kegs? There was so much beer spilled on the floor, that it was the beer on the floor of the bus that was rushing to the front of the bus in a perfect wave during a stop at a stop sign.  I heard someone yell, "going left".  Needless to say, that baseball adventure also didn't end well.   Fun, fun, and more fun! Love the SC guardoz traditions of yesteryear! See you soon! Ken Casper
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  Lisa Ann Feece
Friday, July 29, 2016
Hello Everyone, I will miss this year, due to me staying to watch our 8 year old son.  Gregg Bunker is en route. We had a fabulous time for the 80th reunion. And I am so grateful for all of the lifeguards pre-60's, sixties (66 was a good year) and current life guards. I sure hope that beautiful historic museum is still there for all to View.  I would highly recommend a visit to the surf museum. Hang Ten, Stay Safe and lets get out of the drought, La Nina is here. FYI there were shark spottings near some boogie boarders between Capitola and Seascape Beach, near the large ships in the ocean.  Lisa Ann, Los Gatos, California native.
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  Ken Casper
Monday, July 25, 2016
Too much time on my hands I guess, more story, some exaggeration.  The Lashbrooks.  Steve, Mick, and Jeff.  Has to be told:  Imagine being lined up at the re-qual swim with those guys.  Trying to out swim the Lashbrooks is like out swimming a family of sea otters in an ocean full of Monster Energy.  Steve was the triad leader.  Individually they were also a force to reckon with.  Steve known as the "Slashbrook", the Slasher, Slasher La Roue, and finally just "Slash", was a lady killer, a hot skier, best lifeguard/supervisor ever, my peer, and one of my best friends.  Steve would be showered, changed into his uniform, and eating lunch in the training room when the second place swimmer was leaving the water and reaching for his tonque depressor, or his depressant, depending on one's perspective.  The "Slash" after years of heavy partying, wintering in a ski resort, lifeguarding in the summer months, met a beautiful Black Velvet model named Sue and never looked back.  Steve got serious about life and became a permanent lifeguard supervisor, one of the west coast's top lifeguards.  Today, the 'Slash" is retired after 30 years of lifeguarding, but I'll bet he can still give the young guns a run for their money in the pier swim. Not sure, but I thing Steve still holds the pier swim record? Funny, I remember Steve and Randy Davidson (now deceased) during inservice training.  They were both All-American swimming champions.  They were talking next to me about how good and how much fun it was the feel "the burn" in their muscles during competitive swimming.  I honestly thought they were nuts!  They seemed to be super humans, from a distant planet they called "Anaheim". They were part of a crew from Anaheim that brought a phenomenon to San Clemente, much like the Aussies did in Hawaiian surf competition, or "Busting Down the Walls".  Getting caught during the start of the pier swim, between the "Devils Triangle", either of Mick, Jeff, or Steve, or even worse, Slash, Covert, or Kent Lewis, you will most likely go missing.  You would certainly go missing if you tryed to keep up and party with these guys. Speaking of the Anaheim crew:  Greg Bunker was also part of that crew, a forerunner, so to speak, of an omen as to what was about to come.  I was a directionless 15 year old Poche local, enamored by the Jerry Bennette lifeguard presence at Poche.  Jerry was no longer our local lifeguard.  Tough shoes to fill. Greg Bunker was assigned Tower 12 that summer.  Greg was a handsome, sun bleached blonde lifeguard, looking cool in his Ray Ban sunglasses, had a "Crest White" smile, and woo woo'd the local lady folk.  One day at the end of Greg's shift at T 12, we were hanging out in the Poche parking lot, which unfortunately for us, was made up of pea gravel, dirt, and other debris.  Greg comes up the path to leave dressed his Khaki SC Lifeguard Uniform, carrying his can, first aid box, and a young blonde bombshell on his arm. Greg had this bitchen red TR4 Triumph convertible he always parked there.  Greg opened the door for the gal, started the engine with a rev and a roar, for which she was obviously impressed, looked at us with this big sh_t eating grin, tehn the dropped the clutch and floored it!  The TR4 slide sideways toward us and the rear tires slung copious amounts of sharp pea gravel, dirt, and old cigarette butts into our face, chipping a local hot surfer's tooth, shattering MY cool Ray Ban glasses, and dinging the crapp out of our new long boards...nice Greg! I will get even some day...hence the story...you were the PR king at Poche.  I can't help but laugh at the stuff we all did.
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  Ken Casper
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Wanted to write more about legendary SC Lifeguards...enjoy.   Richard Chew:  Funny story:  I visited Rich recently on the eve of one of his 70th plus birthdays (sorry Rich), at his home in Capo Beach.  I had to prompt him as always, after talking story,talking lifeguading, and hearing some of his hilarious jokes, to show me some of his cool surfing photos from the glory days of surfing.  As some of you rookies may or may not know, Richard Chew was the United States Surfing Champion in 1964-65, beating the best in the world such as Mike Doyle, Phil Edwards, David Nuuhiwa, Joey Cabel etc. and appeared on many covers of surfer magizines.  Rich also was the main surfer in the movie "The Performers", a MacGilvaray-Freeman version of the Endless Summer (it was never released after the death of Jim Freeman).  Rich Chew was the hottest surfer on the planet at one time, and was invited to the World Surfing Championships in South America. Rich is also in the Surfing Hall of Fame.  He rarely talks or brags about his surfing accomplishments, but believe me, he was the best in the world at one time. Anyway, as the funny story goes... I finally convinced Rich to pull out some old surf photos.  Rich decided to pull out a super rare photo of him doing his legendary Rich Chew crouch (in Surfer Mag 1964), only it was backside at the Seal Beach Pier instead of frontside. Rich said some guy just gave him this photo, out of no where, and it is the only one ever taken showing his trademark move baackside, that he practiced over and over to establish the signiture winning maneuver. He said he could do it better backside, than the frontside shot that was in the magazines.   Anyway, Rich just laid it face up one the coffee table.  It said to Rich, maybe since it is so rare, and it is the only copy on earth, you should put it away or put it somewhere safe.  Rich said "what could happen to it, we are just talking and sitting here, it will be ok for a while". Well, after some distraction, Madonna came home. Being the perfect host, Madonna offered us coffee, we said no and thought nothing of it.  Madonna came in and put her wet coffee cup right on top of the photo.  We looked at each other, eyes bugging out, and Rich managed to grab the photo by the edge and throw it on top of the breakfront before it was ruined.  We were both thinking about Murphy's Law at that point... Another quick RC:  Chew and I were on patrol one day in 5610.  Chew said stop the jeep.  He grabbed the binos and stared at the horizon.  I thoughjt he was messing with me, because no swimmers were in the water.  Chew said, Kenny, call the Harbor Patrol, "there is a boat taking on water out there".  We were looking into the sun with about 30 boats about 2-5 miles out to sea!  To me all the boats were fine; no one was waving a flag or a flare in sight.  I skeptically called for Station 54, the Harbor Patrol, to head to SC pier for a sinking vessel.  "I heard over the radio, Station 56 from St.54, we are pumping out a vessel taking on water about 3 miles off San Clemente Pier...go figure... We were very lucky to get Rich Chew.  Not sure why the administration made him do a pier swim in 51 degree water in the middle of winter, with white caps and the wind blowing so hard the sand blasted the timer in the face.  Our anticipation ran high, rumor had it weeks before that we might have the greatest waterman, surfer and lifeguard San Clemente ever seen, apply for a lifeguard job.  His reputation as a Seal Beach lifeguard supervisor was legendary, and it preceeded his application. He was trained under  the great Tim Dorsey for goodness sake, and Chew was his right hand man.Never could figure that one out.  Thank goodness he passed the swim and we got the fonz, as his is the pride of the SC guardoz, and went beyond all our expectations. Rich Chew, single-handedly created the best public relationship with all the surfers in San Clemente in one year, and ended a lot of hostility toward the lifeguards by the local surfers.  Rich Chew turned out to be the greatest example of what a lifeguard should be like, along with Lou Mathe, Jerry Bennette, and many others.  Bruce Brown started the legacy, Allen Seymour kept the history and tradition going, and of course Helen McCue, as our matriarch, kept us grounded, while we marvelled in our lore and bronzed-god like abilities, trying to fill the shoes of the greats like Chew, Mathe, Stubbs, and on and on.   P.S. Sorry about spelling errors, stupidness, and other crap.  I love to tell story about the greats. Last post: I spelled Unbeknownst, unbenounced; which when I looked it up, it said how retards spell unbehnownst. Oh h_ll, I misspelled it again.  I remain retarded.
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  Ken Casper
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Some of us are getting older, and the stories bolder.  Just have to tell a story about Hank Barnes, aka, the "Bear".  True story, could not figure out how to put it in the story section so please forgive me.  I worked under Lt. Barnes my second year.  Hank was always kind of a studious guy, sort of quiet, he paid attention to detail, loved waxing his British racing green Alfa Romero Veloce, which he parked in LGHQ garage. Hank was always in control, mild mannered, and never showed a wild side.  This was unusual behavior after being around Phil Stubbs, Tom Metzger , Lou Mathe, Bro, and Steve Chorak after hours.  They called Hank, the "Bear" for some reason.  Why the nic-name "Bear" I thought?  Was it because he was so hairy? Or did he have a jovial side like "Yogi Bear" that was unbenounced to us"  Nooooo to all of the above.  I learned first hand why he was called the "Bear" at a lifeguard party held at the Captain's Anchorage in Dana Point one evening.   Hank was so infatuated and in love with his beautiful wife Kay.  He entered the Anchorage that night all proud, hair slicked back, walking in like he was the King of Spain with the queen on his arm. Kay was dressed to kill and looking 10 .  Everyone was looking forward to fun and laughter.  However, as Hank entered the building, three drunks either accidently or on purpose, spilled a beer on Kay's head from the elevated balcony above the entrance. Hank, without hesitation, immediately charged single handedly up the stairway toward the three guys, who then ran into the bathroom and locked themselves in.  I was coming down the stairway, saw the whole thing, and said to Hank "are you ok".  Hank said "I will be very soon" and said he would take care of this himself as he charged up the stairway.  I watched in awe as Hank crashed thru three doors, the outer locked solid wood door marked "Men's", the urinal separator steel wall, and then the locked steel commode door containing the three muscle bound young punk perps.  When the three guys finally crawled out dazed and beshelved, one guy looked like he had the other guys arm attached to him, backwards.  They honestly looked like they were attacked by a Grizzly bear.  Now I knew why they called Hank Barnes, teh "Bear".  True story, honest, by Ken Casper I better stop writing, but sometimes reflecting on the upcoming reunion, I think about the strong personalities who worked for SC lifeguards over the years, and then shake my head in disbelief that this stuff actually happened.  Polically things have changed of course, and we can't write about the fun stuff anymore that takes some of the stress off of a life and death profession.  But at the reunion at least, I urge some of the young guys to ask Bro about the "trailer", Sander's about the spa boyz, the 70's crew about Monarch Bay Beach Club parties, and G. Stivers about the Casa Romantica seance with Phil Stubbs lifting a table without his hands. But sitting here, I can't help but wonder how many other guardoz have that hidden and subdued "bear" personality, ready to go the extra mile to do what it takes to protect and serve their loved ones, and the public. See you at the 85! Ken Casper, retired, Solana Beach lifeguards 2003. SC lifeguard 1969-78.
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  Ken Casper
Thursday, July 21, 2016
A few stories, part b.s., part true:  We were in-service training watching the traditional "Pulse of Life", "First Aid for Vampires", and the delightful "Emergency 'Childbirth" films.  Lou Mathe enjoyed walking in with his strawberry malt, smiling, showing the red muck and seeds in his mouth, asking if anyone wants him to make a run to Cropley's for more strawberry shakes! Then there was Tom Schubach asking whether I got my red wings yet. When we went to Byron's Grind, Stubbs said, anything goes, get your placement stick at the top.  The gun went off and Tom Metzger took two steps, into the bamboo and jumped off the cliff and tumbled to the West Steet sand below.  He swam a quarter of the way around the reef, found a nook between hugh waves, jumped up onto the jagged reef, ran accross as we were just entering the water.  We all though, what the h_ll?  He  not only placed number one on Byron's Grind, he was in a lawn chair, smoking a cigarette with Stubbs, all bloody as hell.  Stubbs told us, if someone was drowning, how committed are you? I used to see Bart West body surf 10-15' waves on the south side after work.  But he uses to like to "shoot" the pier after first shooting between the Zero pilings, then thru the "easier part"(in his words) of the quadular pier pilings on his way to the North side. Has anyone after the 80's ever heard of the "Tiki", the infamous banquet party? I gave Lynn Hughes a an eye witness account a few years back when he asked me to write my version for his wife to write a short story, including Dave Vick's famous hijacking the harbor partol rescue vessel and doing at speed laps around the "Tiki".  Lynn said, Kenny, if I didn't have a date, I would have drove off the boat and swam to shore "cause I knew it wasn't gonna end well"! I keep thinking about the wreckage, the legends, when men were men, and the women were too.  I miss Phil Stubbs, wish I could see him again at the reunion.  So many greats, so many legends.  Walt Wessel, Tracy Sizemore, Lou Mathe, Rich Chew, the Metzgers, Calvert, Covert, Lashbrook, Lewis, Sanders, Neff, the General, G. Fredicks,  and horribly lovable Bro & Elwell, Bobby Owens, Hank Barnes, Chorack, Van Arsdale, Flemming, M. Sampson, and on, and on. Looking forward to the 85th! Ken Casper 1969-78
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  Robert Gerard
Friday, July 15, 2016
Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money -- The Reunion is almost here!    RG
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  Ken Casper
Monday, July 11, 2016
Holly sh_t.   Jerry Bennette.  Now there is a legend.  Always wondered what happened to Jerry Bennette.  He just sort of disappeared from San Clemente and moved on I guess.  But he sure left some young kids with a great impression of SC lifeguards. True story:  J. Bennette worked tower 12 when I was just a 14 year old surf rat at Poche. We were trouble, trouble, trouble.  A bunch of smart as_ punks who thought we were  hot sh_t. We used to harrass Jerry because he would confiscate our boards when we went into the swimming area or kick us out of the water for the day.  We called him a kook. Wrong! One day he showed up early and paddled out into the line up with us.  He was so hot as a surfer, that we got out of the water and sat on the beach, just to watch his surfing style. Honest, he surfed way better than Phil Edwards.  We saw Edwards surfing beach road day after day, and really, Jerry was better than him.  Deep drop knee turns, perfect bottom turns, nose rides 10 seconds or more, surfing with the most incredible style we had ever seen! Needless to say, we never surfed into the swimming area again.  Plus, Jerry now had a bunch of surf rats getting him food, sodas, snacks from the Shorecliffs Clubhouse. We hung out under the tower just to be in his shadow! We all wanted to become San Clemente lifeguards after that because Jerry was so freaking cool and was the best surfer we had ever seen.  We were  the Poche Bennette Minions in oooh and awww of Surf King Jerry Bennette... Jerry is one of the greats of all time, like Phil Stubbs, Lou Mathe, Tom Metzger, Rich Chew, Steve Chorack, and so many more  that I worked under, respected, and was in absolute awe of. True watermen, true legends... Can't wait to attend if some of these guys show up. We all will be honored by their presence... Ken Casper
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  Jerry Bennette
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Looking forward to the 85th.  It will be great to catch up  with Lou, Tracey and the rest of the guys from 64 - 67 during my time as a SC guard.  Jerry
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  Tom LOng
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Guys & Gals   My wife, Valerie, and I will proudly reattend the San Clemente Lifeguard Reunion.  I was a 1961-64 lifeguard.  Good years and good chears.  Got drafted along with Ron Leichester ( Sluggo) and Bill Bogner in May of 1965.  WE all came home.  C-ya in 3 months.  OH, I still have my Lifegyard jacket and can (barely) fit into it.

Tom
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  gregg bunker
Monday, March 7, 2016
Hope to see some Anaheim high school guys at the reunion.
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  Charles S. Sommer
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
SC City Lifeguard 1983-1992. Never thought I would have to put in my middle initial in my name so lifeguards would know who I was. Very proud to be able to continue the tradition at Station "56" with my son Charles J Sommer "Chaz" who is on his 3rd season.  From what I hear from younger city guards, there is nothing like the "Old Days".  The current guards seem to enjoy the stories of the crazy & wild times of the way things used to be.

The time is now for the younger generation to bring lifeguarding to the next level. IRB's to drones and web cams. Keeping the public safe and saving lives. Enjoying everyday in the sun, sand tower and unit. God I miss those Summer parties at the Sommer house and on the beach. I for one will never forget the best times of my life - You got it, LIFEGUARDING.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the 85 reunion.

Cheers - Charles S. Sommer
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  Douglas Wray
Sunday, January 29, 2012
My name is Doug Wray. I lived in San Clemente from 1955-1966. Although I did not attend San Clemente High I remember Chach Dyer and Alan Seymore from my elementary school day...
I wanted to leave my sincere thanks to the life gaurd who pulled me in on a cold, stormy day after I was hit in the head by another board. This happend in December of 1963 or 1964 on the north side of the pier... I was knocked unconcious and was rescued and brought into shore. I never had the opportunity to thank that person but if you read this and remember me I want to thank you...
At that time I surfed a lot with Penn Decking  & Vincen Atwell who I still keep in contact with today.
Congratulations on your anniversary.
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  Skip Hornbeck
Monday, August 22, 2011
Time like the tides awaits no man.
BS, I feel great and hope to see all the old farts.  Bring your speedos and fins, tower O.
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  Cliff Bramlette
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I hope everyone is doing well and I get to see you on the 26th.  Lifeguarding was one of my greatest jobs ever...
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  James Strauss
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Worked the beaches from 72 through 79 with the PD on Beach Patrol, when it was the PD. Much enjoyed the association with guardos and all the junk we pulled together in those days. 
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  Norm Fleming
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Steve Bro was thoughtful enough to send me this site and make me aware that an 80th (my God!) reunion is planned. I look forward to attending and to returning the "false teeth" with the Bar of Zest that I was awarded when I retired form Lifeguarding to go into Corporate Life.  :-)
 
What greast memories we all have!
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  Jeff Calvert
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Hi to all the current and former San Clemente LifeGuards, I was hired in the 60's just before the new HQ was built north of the pier. Dick Hazard and Phil Stubbs were my Chef and Captian, Steve Chorak was a Lt. Alan Seymour, Lou Mathey, Gene Stivers. we had a great time back then. I was with the department for 6 years.....looking forward to the 80th reunion ( hope I can make it )
Living on the beach in Mexico now, Bahia La Choya, Sonora on the Sea of Cortez......Any of my old friends please e-mail and keep in touch.
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  James Straus
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Elwell and Bro, two of the most horribly wonderful guards working the S.C. beat, one night took on the P.D. beach patrol unit.  I had pulled a number of stunts on the 'guardos' as we called them.  Little things, like locking the train gate so they couldn't get their cars out.  Little stuff like that.  On the fateful evening I pulled the Bronco into the H.Q. parking lot.  Elwell walked out and engaged me in conversation through the open window of my unit.  From nowhere Bro came out, stuck the nozzle of a foam fire extinguisher into the car and squeezed the handle.  The entire interior of the Bronco filled with the awful gunk.  Elwell and Bro ran.  I didn't see the humor of it until I looked over at my partner, who had not idea of course, about the pranks I'd been pulling on the guardos.  He was as white as Casper the Ghost.  He blinked once.  The look.  I am laughing again, hard, right now, as I remember his shocked agonized expression, transmitted only through the mask of his foam by his enlarged enraged eyes. 
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  Jerry Bennette
Saturday, February 13, 2010

San Clemente Lifeguard from 1964 to 1967.

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  Pat Williams
Friday, January 2, 2009
I liked your site.  
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  Allan Seymour
Monday, July 31, 2006
In the short time Bill Humphries has been in charge of the San Clemente Lifeguard Department, in my opinion, he personally has been responsible for restoring the pride, history, and respect for the department. Creating a major attitude/ policy change he has reached out to all former lifeguards and welcomed them back to share the rich heritage of the San Clemente Lifeguard Department.
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  Sandy Groos
Saturday, July 29, 2006
So here is to all old and young guardoz. And to Gary Fredrichs who handed me my first beer at 16 years of age and put me on the path to fine wine, the worlds best lifestyle, and better friends that are are and will be always there. Thanks. See you all tonight. Keep that keg cold! Did I hear "pier jump" this evening :-) ? We'll label plenty of attendees of 10-10, for a 906 if needed.
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  Tom Haight 4617 beach patrol
Saturday, July 29, 2006
looking forward to seeing old friends and Binos' stunts
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  Dede Milosch
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Looking forward to sharing old stories. Best fun I've ever had at work and off. Went to the State as a Perm Lifeguard. Switched to "green" a few years back in order to stay by the ocean. It's true, Paul and I met lifeguarding at the City. He actually recruited me from San Diego City where I was lifeguarding, he enticed me with higher pay ($1.00/hr... a lot back then) and better parties. The rest is history.
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  Paul Milosch
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Fellow Guardoz, I'm now Lifeguarding at Crystal Cove State Beach in North Laguna after 18 years driving Surfwatch (State Lifeguard Rescue Boat) at Huntington State Beach. Even though I have worked with hundreds of guards and made hundreds ++ Q's over the years nothing will ever compare to the guards and rescues at San Clemente. The 10 years at St. 56 were the best years of my career and life. Best of all I met my wife Dede at work there and we are still married 20 years later. My son, Trevor, plans to tryout next year. He.s a pureblood lifeguard. I think he is tired of hearing our stories and would like to create his own. I could tell some great stories here, but i'll save that for the party. If I only had a dime for every time I had to sweep the sidewalks a HQ I could have retired by now. "It's a great day to be a Lifeguard!"
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  Eric Burke
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I really wanted to be there with all of the Guardoz at the reunion. I miss all of my bros/gals down at ol' Sta 56. 14 years of fun in the sun with lots of great memories. Have a great time and carry on the traditions i.e. naked pier jumps, fire in the/at the hole, La Siesta, kamakazies at the Fishermans, speedway, Padre games etc, blazing blenders, rookie initiations..... Ahhh the memories too many to even remember. Talk at you later. E-
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  Jane Divel Nichols
Monday, July 24, 2006
What a beautiful website. Nice job! I was reading the long list of lifeguards and got teary-eyed when I saw my father, Don Divel's name there. I think he was San Clemente's 4th lifeguard hired. Sadly, Dad passed away in March at the age of 83. His memorial in May was fittingly right there at Casa Romantica overlooking the beautiful pier. He would have loved to attend your 75th anniversary celebration. I am neither a former lifeguard nor guard spouse, so I won't be attending your party like I used to in the late 70s!! Those were some great times: Volleyball at Second Spot, the Angel games, cheering at the dory races, parties at Barney's in Laguna, Presidential Heights Jacuzzis, (I won't mention any names, but let's just say the girls behaved--it's was the guys who got in trouble), parties at my parent's Gable Road house and enjoying glorious days at the beach. I want to say hello to the wonderful friends I knew and still know in the lifeguard community: Brian Covert, Mike Brennan, Larry Moore, (can you still dominate at musical flags?), Greg "Shelley's Moondoggie" Hulsizer, Andy Reich, (abalone bbqs, UCSB visits), Rich Chew, (always nice to see you're still a familiar face in Tower 0), Steve Lashbrook, (enjoy Hawaii with Sue), Mike Samson (whom we lost at such a young age), Al Lavayen, Kent Lewis, Lynn Hughes, Scott McCarter, Bill Blackwill, Malcolm (prom date) and Duncan Wilson, Doug Percival, Karen Tantalo, Steve Barrett, Steve Diamond, Dave Vick, (who's 25th birthday party we hosted), Mike Larsen, (a roommate), Gary Friedrich, Scott Lund, Eric Gross and anyone I may have overlooked. Those were golden days and you were great friends to know. I’m a wife and mother living in San Luis Obispo now, but my family still lives in San Clemente, and always will. Have a wonderful anniversary party. I hope you don't party like you used to. That would be difficult at our ages! Post after pictures so I can see what I will be missing. Thanks for all the long hours in the sun you put in to keep our gorgeous beaches of San Clemente safe. I'd love to hear back from you. Cheers, Jane Divel Nichols
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  Dwight Hand
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Andy Reich had just finished certifying a group of us for SCUBA in the mid ‘70s at San Clemente Island. After our final checkout dive in shallow water, we anchored over the USS Butler sunk at a depth of 100 feet. My dive buddy, Doug Morgan, and I descended to survey the ship and found a large hole in the side. I penetrated the wreck and found a compartment with 3 feet of silt on the bottom and satchels piled high in one corner. Thinking that we had struck it rich, I passed three of them out to Doug before the water became so dirty I could barely see my way out. As I swam toward the hole, I ran out of air. No problem I thought, as I reached back to pull the J-valve on the regulator to get my emergency supply. There still was no air. Now I’m more than a little concerned, as these were the days of horse-collar BCs, no Spare-Air, and no octopus rigs. I exit the wreck as I really need a breath of air and contemplate ditching my equipment for an emergency ascent. I see Doug, draw my finger across my throat like Andy taught us, and we buddy-breathed sharing the mouthpiece of his regulator as we ascended safely to the surface. I found out that when I rented the gear from Black Bart’s, they hadn’t filled the J-valve’s air reserve. (They didn’t even give me a frickin near-death discount when I went back to buy all my own stuff!). Oh . . .what was in the satchels? Doug went back down and picked them up off the bottom. Inside their canvas covers were two pillows full of soggy stuffing, and an old Mae West style life vest. Hardly worth risking my life over!
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  Allan Seymour
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Allan Seymour The lifeguard test during Easter week of 1960 was cold and windy. A blown out 6 ft NW swell seemed to be the only local advantage. Growing up in San Clemente I knew the sand bar on the South side of the pier just might be my ace in the hole. Chief Lifeguard, Dick Hazard growled, “Men, the first test is the around the pier swim. Any way you can do it is o.k. as long as you go all the way around the pier.” I looked around at my competition. From Newport Beach famous surfer Boscoe Burns, from La Puente, Steve Chorak, who’s dad owned the movie theater. The rest were all locals. This was one of the last years that local kids who were surfers, skin divers, and all around good watermen had a chance of getting the best paying job for a young man in town. The other alternative was being a bus boy. Soon after, the department hired out of town bun hugger wearing pool swimmers. At the sound of the starter’s gun we all ran for the water. I jumped over the inshore hole gaining valuable distance on most of the field. Leaping like some sort of wounded animal I managed to make it out though the surfline close to the lead. The ice cream headache from the 54 degree water was hardly a factor as I gave my all. Rounding the pier I was in third place behind Chorak and Burns. Boscoe really turned it on once we were on the south side of the pier distancing himself from Chorak, me and the rest of the pack. Right about the time I started to fade, two light posts beyond the kook house I felt a large push from the first wave of a large set. Both Burns and Chorak were in the wrong place to capitalize on this situation. The second wave came and with all the strength I could muster I caught this wonderful high tide peak and bodysurfed right past Chorak and up to the inshore hole where I could almost touch Boscoe Burns. He jumped out of the water and beat me by about a foot. My first weekend working was the last time San Clemente Lifeguards were not required to wear a uniform. Our headquarters was the maintenance room between the restrooms on the south side of the pier. Interestingly, my last weekend in 1967, was the last time we were not required to wear CPO hats. Two of the most unbelievable stories I like to tell about those days are the first time I rode in the jeep with Phil Stubbs. We were on the cliff behind the old Hobie Surf Shop on PCH in Dana Point overlooking Fishermen’s cove before the harbor was built. We looked down at about 40 nuns in their black and white habits dipping their feet in the tide pools. They looked like penguins, or something out of an Italian Fellini art film. But my favorite story is about two marines who decided one late August day that it was a splendid idea to go out on their inflatable sleeping mats. They entered the water at Trafalgar Canyon. The current towards the pier was running like the Kern River after a record snow melt. The tide was really low, and the 8’ south swell came like clock work every 20 minutes. These guy were actually almost outside when the first guy panics. He sees that, A. he is going to go through the pier, and B. there is a huge set coming and C. he starts yelling for help. At this point in time I have been lifeguarding for about 2 years and am very used to this sceanerio. Our point of view was from the open bucket #0 tower. The second guy, sunburnt, with a white sidewall haircut, is so close to the pier I can see his new snake tattoo. He does not yell for help. Instead he wraps his white legs around the green mat and starts doing what I later called the “Camp Pendleton Crawl” right up the face of this huge wave. You can actually see the holes in the face of the wave he is making. At the very last second when we think he is going to make it he gets pitched backwards over the falls with the lip. It is so shallow that the wave pushes him under and back out the other side. He came up like nothing had happened with a death grip on the mat and continued outside the surf line and slowly went through the pier. We were laughing so hard we mistimed the jump to save his screaming buddy. We landed about five feet in front of him and all we could do between fits of laughter was guide him verbally throught the pilings. For two full seasons I was the “King of T Street”, with 9 year old kids like Fred Swegles sitting on the steps of my tower. I used to have an annual Easter week event where eighth grade girls would compete to make my lunches for the summer. Also, I started the Junior Lifeguard program with kids like Tom Metzger. But those are other stories. KFG592
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  ed marsh
Thursday, July 20, 2006
it was a cold dreary foggy June morning in 1962 at the depot. there was only 1 person on the beach and the surf was flat. as she approached the tower I could see she was hot. she had blond hair that was stacked a foot high in a bee hive. her name was Tanya and she was of Russian stock and she lived in east LA. things were looking up. I invited her into the tower,an open bucket at the time, and we began to snuggle. about 5 minutes later I could hear a siren approaching in the distance. as I gaze to my left i see 5610 blasting through the soft sand code 3 red lights and siren. what's going on? I then notice that I had inadvertently knocked the phone off the hook. ugh oh ! as they got closer I could see that it's stubbs driving and hazard rideing shotgun. I also notice they are dragging 2 fishing polls with the line tangled in the radio antenna and in the distance 2 fishermen are running in our direction. I sense trouble is about to descend on the occupants of tower 6. as the jeep roars to a stop the chief jumps out, his face is red as a beet and steam is coming out of both ears. stubbs has an all knowing smirk on his face. before anyone can say anything I grab Tanya hand, hold it up for all to see and utter the only thing I can think of "FIRST AID". this seems to defuse the situation and I only suffer a slight reprimand. I am instructed not to treat future first aid victims in my tower. from the memoirs of ed marsh AKA superguard
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  Charles Sommer
Friday, July 14, 2006
Some of the best memories one could enjoy. Requals, Tower 1 on a heavy swell, 4th of July, Guardoz Parties, Big "Q" days, Liofeguard Competitions, Blazing Blenders, Naked Pier Jumps, Ocean Fest, Hot CHicks, Hot days, Slow days, Water Polo vs. State, Hot showers after cold swims, Resessa Annie and the best group of guys who enjoy helping others and enjoying life. See you there!
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  Kent Sanders
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Can't wait 'till we toast to all who kept their eyes open staring into the sun for eight to ten hours and then stayed up all night at a guardo party only to get up the next morning and do it again. Ah, youth! Here's to the guys/gals who slept in their cars in the parking lot, the surf sessions after work, no breaks at Three Arch Bay, pier swims 53 degrees, great friendships, and ... Red Flags. Thanks to Sta. 56!
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  Pagey
Friday, June 30, 2006
I always hated putting out the Black Ball especially at T-Street on the good days but sure enjoyed bodysurfing out there before boogie boards were invented.
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  Ken Casper
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
While I was in the restroom, Chew put black axle grease all over the steering wheel and brake pedal of 5610. Then he yelled "906 at Tower One" over the speaker system. Halfway down the frontage road to the supposed rescue, I discovered I was covered in grease like the lube man at Lube Depot, then I hit the brake pedal and my foot slipped off and onto the accelerator, then the jeep veered right and I couldn't turn it and almost hit the picnic tables before I finally got the Jeep stopped...I looked in the rear view mirror and the guys out back of the station were on the ground rolling in hysterics! I got even with Chew though by putting a home made bomb in his locker...when he opened his locker door it went off ...the timing sucked however, the Chief was in his office. He went ballistic after hearing the blast, seeing the smoke, and smelling the gunpowder...Chief just shook his head in disbelief and walked away....never heard a word about it...those were the good old days...
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  Ron Hamilton
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Chew and I set up about a 100 mouse traps as we were closing up for the night, just inside the office door, as Steve Barrett was out in the parking lot doing something...we shut and locked the door. We had some local beach chick dial the HQ number so the phone was ringing inside. We got Barrett to go in first: SNAP SNAP AHHHHHHHH! SNAP SNAP SNAP Then there was the time Barrett threw the dead pelican thru the roof vent of Caspers motorhome...onto Caspers wife! D'oh! And how come your car was painted the exact same color as 5610, 20 AND 30, Mr. Casper? Ron H
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  Clifford "The Rescue Dog"
Friday, April 7, 2006
Chew, Myers, and Lavien should by my ticket for all the free lunches I donated to them over the years. Always appreciated the breaks until I got back... Lifeguarding, I savor the memories and all the lifetime friends I made. See ya there...
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  Jason Gardner
Friday, April 7, 2006
I wish I could make the reunion but I will be on deployment. Have a great time!
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  Jonathan Freeman
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Im writing in to offically declare that there should be a worst lifeguard award.......Bill Coffman often referred to me as " The Scarecrow". He said this was because I was about as useless of a lifeguard that has ever been seen. I though it was a compliment. I also think there should be an award for best advice given. Most of the older guards gave me some great advice over the years. The best was from John Sotter who said, " Just see a doctor and get it taken care of." Thanks for the advice. Look forward to seeing all of you guys. Rock on
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  Eric Burke
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Wish I could make it but my brother is getting married in Yosemite that weekend.
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  rich chew
Saturday, April 1, 2006
Time flies when your having fun,especially for a great cause like saving lives ,rendering first aid and helping individuals who seek help in finding direction in their lives,and finally seeing the results of your efforts years later.
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  Stephan Holland
Saturday, April 1, 2006
How can you be reading this and watching the water at the same time, rook?
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  Tanya McGarry-Porter
Friday, March 31, 2006
Loved it~Miss it! Onward...
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  John McMains
Friday, March 31, 2006
Hey Guardoz, Looking forward to the 75th.
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