We have all lost good friends and family. But growing up in La Jolla, those loses were a lot more. Was it the free and recklessness lifestyle of the beach where Drugs and Alcohol were a way of life, that took so many at such a young age? Or the free-spirited era of the 60s, 70s, 80s? And, why so many suicides and accidents? … and then later on, illnesses like cancer.
Or is it just paraphrasing legendary Big Wave Surfer, Greg Noll, “La Jolla’s beach crowd was the most radical. It was just another way for them to flip off society!”
Click on any photo to start the slideshow …mucho thanks to the photographers, like Buz Snips, John Foster, Brian Munoz, Doug Moranville, Sue Olney, and many more.
REST IN PEACE – PLEASE NOTE
If you like to make a tribute and/or Albert has made a mistake (e.g. date or cause of death), please email us. Or make a comment/eulogy.
FYI – Paddle Outs are usually organized and/or sponsored by Windansea Surf Club. The current President Bill Brasil has done about 80 of them. For more info, contact them on their website.
Below is memorable of those who helped changed and made a impact on lives by adding a unique character to the life-style of the “then” small and quite La Jolla Beach community in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Enjoy and “Remember the Good” of those no longer around. Mac Meda wishes the deepest condolences to the family and friends of all.
Bob Simmons If anybody was ever to get the credit of being the ‘Father of the Modern Surfboard,’” famed Santa Barbara area surfer and shaper Rennie Yater said, “I would say it would have to be Simmons. He changed board Design in a shorter period of time than anybody has before or since. But on Sept. 26, 1954, a strong Southwest swell hit the Southern California coast. Windansea was pumping better than Hawaii’s North Shore. Bob paddled out with a few friends. Simmons caught a ominous wave said to be 18+ feet at the face.. It was low tide, and inches separated the water’s surface from the reef below. Simmons got pitched off his board and went down. The plank (what they called surfboards back then) climbed up the wave and tumbled over the white water crashing onto Simmons. Then it bounced into the air. A few days later, Simmons’ body washed ashore. The surf break, just north of WindanSea, was named after the “Father of the Modern Surfboard,” Simmons.
“Dirty” Leonard Anderson? and Donna “Camel” Branghard were somewhat boyfriend/girlfriend at lease in Leonard’s eyes. Leonard was a strange dude and appear at the beach scene a few years earlier. According to a few, he got mad/jealous at Donna, and then all wasted on drugs and alcohol, walked up and shot Donna and then blew his brains out near the Pump House. La Jolla was stunned and became awake up call of what lies ahead.
Phillip G. Bent and folksinger Peter Sachse were flying a military AT-6 airplane, and decided to do a very low fly-bye at their wives sunbathing at Windansea. They dipped the wings, climbed, then did a slow U-turn downward bank but the plane did not climb but headed into the ocean and crashed. For a while beachgoers were in a silent shock at what tragedy they just witnessed. Surfers started paddling to the sinking plane. Can you imagine watching your husbands die? How devastating. Bent appeared in a few movies as “Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” and “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.” He was co-owner of Chart House restaurants Located in San Diego, Newport Beach, and Aspen, Colo.
“Fat Art” Perez died in Viet Nam in 1967 and his death was heartbreaking because he was really the first known person that died overseas. He was a regular at Red Mountain Inn.
Clare Herrick (18), and Peter Strata (17) were two of the most tragic deaths that made national headlines and put the sleepy town of La Jolla on the map. Clare was gorgeous, sweet, lovable and Peter was a free-spirited surfer who hung out at Windansea. They both were very social. But one late night, four of them opened up a bottle of Laughing Gas (that one stole from a dentist office) in a sports car with rolled up windows, at the bottom of Forward St, next to the famous South Bird surfing spot in Bird Rock. Clare and Peter died instantly and the two others survived.
David Crane (LJ class of 66) was a LJ cheerleader and hung out at Windansea and surfed. He was a likeable guy, good-looking with a great personality. He was not short of friends. Bummed out over a girl, he walked on the railroad tracks toward an incoming train. Death by suicide was what the MEs report concluded.
Moon Taylor’s (Class of 65) dad was a marine colonel and ran the house with by-the-book military discipline. It was probably why Moon and his younger bother, Joe (more about him later) were so, defiant, wild and free-spirited. The Moons lived at Little Point and both boys were always regulars at the beach. Standing about 6’3″ and lanky, Moon was an excellent volleyball player and ran the hurdles in High School track. One of the best stories about him was when he was flexy riding down the Windansea storm drain, he landed face first in a pool of about three inches of green gunge. Standing up, he laughed, whipping off the green slim on his face. Moon was not afraid to test the waters of drugs, which ended up being his demise.
Jan Bresnhan (Class of 70) and Rod Sulprizio (Class of 64) were boyfriend and girlfriend. Both died when the car Ron was driving and wasted on drugs, drove off a cliff in Lake Tahoe. Rod was a regular at Windansea, chartered member of WindanSea Surf Club and a good musician. Jan had a good sense of humor, kind-hearted, a bit frazzled at times and had that high pitch voice.
Larry Cornelius (24 ) LJ Class of 68 died in a freak Motorcycle accident on April 12, 1975 in Oregon; a place he moved to several years before. He was an icon at WindanSea, and knew how to drink and used to brew homemade beer in large trash cans. He was a regular at bar hopping in TJ and lived a life on the edge. He was one of the four that survived the Cave Street Car Plunge. Larry’s family life was also tragic. His brother (Tom) and dad (well-known LJ anesthesiologist) died in a plane crash coming back from a fishing trip in Alaska and his sister (Jane) died years later after a long history of abuse.
Lori Hanson (class of 72) was one of those cutie pies that hung out at WindanSea. A avid reader and a bit sassy and sarcastic, she died in an automobile accident coming back from El Centro..
Maynard Heathery was not really a La Jolla person, but he was the owner of Maynards of Pacific Beach, a place known to get rowdy at. He always had a cheap cigar dangling out of his mouth. He would patronize the Red Mountain Inn. One day the cops came in looking for Maynard, he ran out the back door and they chased him down Crystal Pier, he jumped into ocean and hit his head and died, so ending the Pacific Beach legend.
Bill Phanner ( 26 – Class of 70) was one of the most likeable guys of La Jolla. Good body whomper, surfer, and great athlete was regularly seen at Sea Lane and WindanSea Lot. Cruising on a motorcycle, during a Sorrento Valley Convention in 1974, he crashed into a Porsche with two friends inside. He was paralyzed from the waist down. After three years of rehab, he just could not handle, not feeling the warmth of sand again so in 1976 he ended his life by taking a handful of Valiums.
Bobby Beckwith (Class of 70) at one time lived at the Red Rest/Roost (place where a lot of parties were held across the street at the cove), and after a short stunt as a bartender on Prospect St. (where he got to know a lot more people) became a seasonal city lifeguard in La Jolla. He had a heart of gold, mellow, well-liked, and a candied sense of humor. During the off season he was a crew member on a commercial albacore fishing boat. On one fishing trip down (with a family) in Mexico, the boat was never seen again. There’s a memorable bench in his honor on Prospect St, right in front of the Old Chucks Steak House. There was also a plaque at the shores, but some asshole stole it. The plaque read: “In memory of Bobby Beckwith, a good lifeguard lost at sea, July 3, 1978.”
Butch Van Artsdalen (January 31, 1941 – July 18, 1979) There is way to much to say about this legendary big wave surfer: A prodigious athlete gifted in organized sports, Butch Van Artsdalen was one of the most colorful characters surfing has known. His ability, however special, is secondary to the legendary stories of his pranks, fights, binges, and general recklessness. Everyone who came in contact with Butch (and many who didn’t) have eccentric tales they will never forget. He moved to La Jolla, California, from his birthplace of Norfolk, Virginia. He frequently succumbed to binge drinking and died of alcohol-related causes.
Chris O’Rourke had the world in his hands. He became a famous surfer and a regular at Windansea. He loved the ocean, an found in was the arena where he could unleash his anger as well as find pleasure. He was good at almost everything he did. He was pretty much a bulldog, a daredevil. In 1981, at the age of 22, O’Rourke died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. more on Chris.
Bob Buelman (Class of 69) was one of those jack of all trades. He cut all the copper scales for the roof when Ocean Fresh did their big remodel and fished for Lobsters. His Woodward Skiff was bought by a good friend (repainted to Lime Green, who fished with him for a while) is seen in many of the Rough Drink photos. He was loved by all, not an ounce of temper and hung out at Windansea and SeaLane. He liked to have a good time. Bob had some medical problems since birth and would disappear for a while (blood disease, like leukemia?), which many speculated he had to spend time in the hospital for days/weeks, and suspected that was one of the reasons he liked to consume alcohol and drugs … then one day it just caught up with him.
Tim Ginder had a construction company called EMB (Eat My Butt) Construction and hung out at the Sip an Surp Bar in Bird Rock. And this where his bachelor party was also held at. The placed pretty much needed a remodel afterwords. He died of a sudden heart attack.
Seth Johnson’s unlicensed construction company, “Not When The Surf’s Up Construction Company” became an icon in La Jolla. You would see his white delivery truck everywhere and had a (unauthorized) permitted spot at the Windansea Lot. He was one of the best fun hogs the beach would produce. Even to this day the Trademarked t-shirts are still sold at the Branding Iron. He died in a car accident and was active around Windansea 1970 – 1985.
Mike Chicon (class of 67) also fished lobsters. For a short guy, he was pretty tough. Nobody messed with Mike. But if he liked you, you had a friend for life. Many times he would watch his traps at night at Big Rock looking out for poachers. If you poached, and Mike caught you, you probably ended up in the hospital. Later on he started one of the first anti-drug program in San Diego, Dads Against Drugs (DADs). He blew his brains out with a .357 in Pacific Beach.
Tommy Doyle and his brother, Billy (around 1970), opened up the 1st real/fresh seafood restaurants in Bird Rock, Ocean Fresh. The place took off, packed with seafood lovers that would order the die-for abalone sandwiches. Later on, after an extensive remodel, they made the place into a nice sit-down place with bar, outside patio and the upstairs office became a regular clubhouse to friends. At one time Tommy was a commercial fisherman and his skiff was parked right up the street where he lived. It was common to see local fishermen unloading the daily catch in back. There are no words to describe what a great and respectable person he was. His death, in May, 1985, from a brain tumor, was heartbreaking to those that knew him the best and to the community.
Marty Darby was a well-known old time surfer at Windansea and later on moved to Mammoth and helped make Mammoth to what it is today. He hired many La Jollans to build condos and custom homes. You could right a book about his (mis) adventures. He died of melanoma.
Roger Johnson– Roger loved W. C Field quote, “I never drink water because fish fuck in it.” But as his life grew, carpentry become just a way to make a few bucks to support his habit, drinking, and then the demons of drugs took over his life, which eventually lead to his homeless. Crossing a street, a car hit him and Roger died on the spot. Roger and Larry Cornelius were part of four that survived the 150 ft. plunge off Cave Street.
Fred Kenyon was a master in Soo Bahk Do and owned a surf shop, Surfboard West in Bird Rock in the mid 60s, then later opened up a Soo Bahk Do Studio in Pacific Beach and a auto repair shop. He and his dad raced in the Baja 1000. His dad (Fred Sr.) was one of the people who helped make the Windansea Shack. Fred was no doubt the toughest person known at the time. No one messed with Fred. The studio and a Auto Repair place are still open today. He was also an actor, known for small roles in Men Cry Bullets (1998) and The Bikini Carwash Company II (1993). He committed suicide with a gun.
Danny Krug, when it was his 21th birthday, t-shirts were made that said, “Danny’s 21st Birthday, Lock Your Cars.” He died on Jan. 12th, 1988, speedballing heroin and cocaine. There was never a dull moment when around Danny.
“Little John” Syvada — If there was ever a man that could defied the massive consumption of alcohol and chemicals, and still maintain, it was Little John Sylvada. He lived on Sea Lane St. and was always with his faithful Great Dane, Conrad, who ruled SeaLane beach. No dog was safe with Conrad around. Little John was a carpenter and always had those trademark bloodshot eyes. He could start hanging fasia board, two stories up, after drinking three plus wine cooliers at 7:00 am. He died of alcohol abuse in late 1988.
Lee Bakken hung out at Windansea and was free-spirited. He was a carpenter, surfed, fished, dove, and loved to have a good time. Then he meant a great girl, cleaned up his act, got married and had a kid. Working on a construction project, he stopped to take a break and ate off the lunch wagon. Shorty later he keeled over. Medics rushed him to the hospital, but it was to late. He died of aspiration from the bean burrito and chocolate milk he ate off the wagon.
Peter Haydyn “Scratch” Andrews was born in 1937 and died in April. His family was one of the originals La Jollans and his mom’s sister was the mother of another La Jollan actor, Gregory Peck. When his parent spit up, his dad took him to Pamana? where he learned Spanish. He than came back to LJ and had that sweet seductive tongue that women would melt when he talked. His mom wanted him to become an actor, but instead he fished. He frequent SeaLane sports, body whomping and volleyball.
David C. Freeman was a world class body surfer and lifeguard from the class of 1979 (or 1980), died in April 1994 of congenital heart failure when he drowned off of Boomers. He is remembered by the Lifeguard box at Boomers, where his named is spelled out out in an acrostic puzzle: DAVID C FREEMAN.
Steve Manns at one time was one of the hottest golfers in California and probably could have been golf-pro material. His big frame make him as strong as an ox. Steve was adopted, full blood Indian and had the nicest parents. He was a character and got along with everyone, but when he drank that Indian came out of him and that was the signal to stay way. A carpenter by trade, and common person to been seen at the Wall, he died of substance abuse in late 1996.
Peter Criscolla was a great chess player and even a better musician. He played in many local bands. He had a great personally and all the girls loved him. His body was found alongside the road on the way to Mammoth. A drug overdose was cause of death.
“Tiny Brain” Thomas was just crazy, the original fun hog and outgoing. Wasn’t afraid of anything. He is the kid you see rolling down in the barrel at WindanSea in the Surf Nazi video, stuffing donuts down his mouth and hitting the car pulling into the WindanSea Lot. He had just gotten his drivers license. Good surfer and body surfer and become a bartender at Maynards (so what does that tell you). For his size, he could drink with the best of them. He was one of the original WindanSea Surf Club members.
Billy Higgins was a natural athlete in all sports. Great personally and for a while lived on Sea Lane St. so he was a regular at the beach. When Monty Stratton went to visit friends in Arizona, Billy stayed at the house. Unfortunately, when Monty came back, he found Billy dead from a drug overdose in June.
Dick Dutton (1948 – 1997) was a musician and hung out at the Lot and Wall. He died from encephalitis. He went to LJ Country Day and surfed the Shores and Windansea.
Ron Trenton, 51, (1945 – 1997) lived in La Jolla on Sea Lane and was a pilot, Lifeguard Extraordinaire, Captain for SD Lifeguards and spearheaded the cliff rescue program that is still used today. But on Feb. 13th, 1997, he took off from San Diego’s Montgomery Field at 12:30 p.m. Faithful to his routine, the avid recreational flier waggled his wings to lifeguard station mates on the nearby La Jolla shore as he turned toward his destination: Santa Catalina Island. He was never seen again. Each year the Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays are held in his honor.
Jeff Junkins (Born in 14 Feb 1945 and died in 14 May 1999) was a Vietnam war veteran, and past president of Windansea Surf Club (1981). He was a bit crazy, strong and had a habit of fighting and loved to drink and pill pop. In Vietnam, his team was called Recon Team Idaho in the CCN area of operation (Command and Control North), which was near a village called Mi Loc. Jeff was a leader of a Special Force team along with 5 indigenous soldiers. During one mission he was shot and when being evacuated, he fell from the helicopter. His injuries (pain) plagued him way after his tour overseas … later on, he sadly took his life with the pills that controlled his life to the end. More on Jeff
“Big Al” Quintana (Class of 69) dad was one of two chemists that had the secret formula for Southern Comfort, and had a well-stocked bar with it. So, each time the parents went out of town, Al’s house became the place to go. Al had a wild side with natural strength and people sometimes thought he and Steve Manns were brothers. He was good nature and hung out at Windansea. His death was related to long-time abuse.
Charlie Broan died in La Jolla on 8/15/2000 from lung cancer. He hung out at the shores, surfed, and gradulated from LJHS in 1960. Very outgoing and had lots of friends. His brother, Mike, would take him from the Hospice to WindanSea so he could enjoy the last days of his life.
James R. “Sleepy” Mize (76) 9/14/24 – 3/24/2001. If you knew Sleepy, he was a character and more. He was a member of the Under Water Demolition Team (forerunners of the Navy Seals), La Jolla Lifeguard, and one of the best wheelers and dealers one would ever meet. If you were negotiating any type of business deal (from 10 to $1000s) with him, prepared to haggle. But once the deal was made, you could not find a more honest person and a friend for life. He died of a heart attack in Mexico. A celebration of his life was held at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla on March 30, 2001, which was attended by over 300 people who loved and admired him. In his will, he specified, “My last check will bounce!”
Mike Diffenderfer was born on October 8, 1937. He is known for his work on Muscle Beach Party (1964), Barefoot Adventure (1960) and The Endless Summer 2 (1994). He was good-nature surfboard builder from La Jolla, California, once described as the “Michelangelo of shapers”; best known in the 1960s and ’70s for his exquisitely crafted big-wave gun. He died on May 16, 2002 in Oahu, Hawaii, USA.
Rob Crosby (August 4, 1959 – June 6, 2002). One thing about La Jolla, it had a lot of good musicians, and one of those was Rob Crosby. One of his first bands was called, Mac Meda, which played at the huge 1978 Mac Meda Convention (the last one) held at the Pump House that drew 100s of people. Later on he helped form the famous glam metal band Ratt. Crosby died in from a heroin overdose and pneumonia with complications from AIDS.
Kent VanDalson (LJ Class of 70). If you went to LJHS, you knew the VanDalson House, it was right before the West entrances. Kent started drinking Red Mountain on a regular basic since he was 16 yo and there was not a day of soberness since. At break during HS, he would head to his house’s garage, and lift the gallon of Red Mountain to his lips, then head back to school. He was the harmless drunk at Windansea, and liked to play horseshoes at SeaLane, and considering his daily condition, even surfed. Finally, his liver gave out.
Chuck Hasley on a rainy Jan 2, night in Pacific Beach, died of injuries suffered in a single-car accident in Pacific Beach when his car hit a tree. Chuck Hasley was the owner of a silk screen and Broidery business, Ocean Toad, Windansea Surf Shop in La Jolla, and founder of Windansea Surf Club. He is credited of making a lot of La Jolla and San Diego surfers famous like, Mike Hynson, Butch Van Artsdalen, Rusty Miller, Joey Cabell, and Skip Frye, who were all the first members.
Rupert Fellows was one of the members of the Pump House Gang, which was made famous in Tom Wolffs book. In 1975 he became part owner of Dick Brewer Surfboards and worked with Brewer for 6 year. He died after years of longtime drug abuse on Sept 6th 2004. His Paddle Out was on Sept. 18. More on Rupert
Don Okey was the chief architect, designer and construction foreman of the famous surfers’ shack at Windansea Beach. He was a pioeer and made surfing history, He made foam boards in ’51 for Ed Cudahy, patented a board-shaping machine in ’65 and produced hundreds of boards with it, was a life-long cohort of Woody Brown’s, was an inventor, entrepeneur and raconteur extraordinaire. And a damn good surfer.
Jeff Hines was a regular at the Wall. Out going personally, dry humor and liked to fish. He was a certified captain and would take large boats back and forth to Cabo for rich owners. He died of complications resulting from years of abuse.
Raph Perry (Class of 70 – 3/10/52-4/3/06) was a gifted musician and everyone liked him. He did not have a bad bone inside of him and always had a smile like he didn’t have a care in the world. He could play anything and jammed with people like Johnny Winter and BB King. But unfortunately drugs become a way of life. He did clean up, got into religion, but by then it was to late. His wake was held at Windansea.
John Riis worked at his dad’s Sand and Gravel business in Sorrento Valley. Later on he opened up a concrete business. He lived at the house overlooking Freeway 5 and Carmel Valley and man was there a LOT of parties held at that house. Enough said. He was an excellent mechanic and loved to race cars. He was a Shores guy, but was seen at the Lot a few times. Outgoing with that redneck personally, he fit perfect in the La Jolla crowd. He died of cancer.
Julian “Cheech” Fellows. Everyone loved Cheech. if you needed help, Cheech would always be there for you. He was LJHS Class president in 1973. Many times you would see him at the Race Track selling racing forms when you first walked in. He loved the SD Chargers. He suffered from many illness that soon took his life on Jan 7th, 2007 right after watching the Charger game on TV.
Mike Croteau was a Master Surfboard Shaper and first started shaping with Fred Kenyon at Surfboard West, in Bird Rock. Famous surfer Dick Brewer said, Mike consistently created innovative, cutting-edge progressive Designs, yet freely shared his skills and knowledge with surfers and shapers on every continent. He was also a black belt in karate and survived a car crash when he ran his car off the cliff at South Bird. Mike passed away due to complications with his medication prescribed from surviving a successful brain tumor surgery on May of 2007.
Craig Campbell and Greg Fox were like bookends, best of friends and died a few months apart. Both were very intelligent, and somewhat reminded one of Professor Jennings (Donald Suttherland) in the movie, Animal House. They were both kicked back with their philosophy behavior and fixtures at WindanSea. Give them some good weed, a few grams of Peruvian Marching Powder, a few beers and the next thing you knew, they were talking about how the world’s universe is just an atom in your fingernail at 3 am. Fox died of liver abuse, and Campbell was a far more graphic. Living in Bird Rock, and very depressed about the break up of his girlfriend, he rigged a shotgun to his chest, and blew his heart out his back.
Donny Tomlinson – Legendary San Diego/La Jolla Lobster Fishermen died just three days before his 60th birthday. The “gentle giant” his friends would call him. Donny partied hard, and worked even harder. He loved going to Mexico and was one of Ocean Fresh’s top fish and lobster suppliers. His wake drew 100s of people at the Jetty in South Mission and the eulogy lasted almost two hours.
Ed Selby was just a great person and had that dry humor. He lived at the Cottages with his wife and twin kids that he nicknamed, Ajax and Comet. He was soft-spoken, nice, polite, and always had a smile. He was the one that helped organize, and got the city permits (before they were required and drinking was banned on the beach) for the 4th of July Mac Meda Conventions held at Windansea and SeaLane from 1974 to 1978. He was a regular at the Wall. He become a Oceanside cop and then later on taught Criminal Justice at one of the local colleges. He died from diabetes.
Lewis “Brud” McGowan (June 4, 1946, to October 15, 2009) grew up on the beaches of La Jolla, where he came to love the ocean through many years of surfing and was also a lobster fishermen and a hard worker. If you hired Brud, you got the work of 2-4 people. His hang outs were Windansea and best described as one of the most colorful characters of the beach. Hard working and drinking, he was another one you did not mess with. Later in life, much of his time was spent enjoying the mountains and lakes of Sand-point, Idaho, with his wife, Laurel Holmes. He died from a heart attack.
Monty Stratton was just another beach rat, surfer, and Fred Kenyon’s roommate for years. For a time he hung out at the Pump House, but the Lot was his social circle. He had a dry sense of humor with a deep laugh. You would find him at Windansea Lot hanging out and drinking. Later on he used a motorized scooters to cruise around. Eventually, his body broke down on drug and alcohol abuse.
David Calloway was a commercial fishermen on the infamous Lady Jane that was usually in the middle of the Rough Water Drink and took divers out for the Mac Meda Ab Dive. Never did you see him wearing shoes, and not one bartender or restaurant owner would kick him out for being barefooted. His big, strong built and mountain man beard wasn’t to be challenged. He had a boisterous laugh that could be heard a mile away. His Celebration of Life was held at Bobbette Krug Kalankiewicz house.
John Brower and his St. Barnard dog, Zug, were a common site cruising around La Jolla in John’s big yellow Power Wagon. John was a commercial abalone diver for awhile with his brother Dewey. He frequent Windansea and later on got his contractors license. He got married and had a couple of kids, but drugs and alcohol soon took over. His brother found him dead in John’s van on January 1, 2010, that was parked in a parking lot in Bird Rock.
Theodore Kenneth Smith, 52, (died, Dec. 31) was a surf legend at Windansea and extremely loved by all. For a while he was the bartender at El Ranchero, and then become a real estate agent. His death was an apparent heart attack when paddling in and collapsed on the beach. His paddle out was one of the biggest is Windansea history with over 100 people.
Michael Dorner in 1963 and his friend, Lee Teacher, sculpted Hot Curl a 400-pound (180 kg) concrete statue, and installed it on the rocks near the surf shack at Windansea Beach in La Jolla. He ALSo did the murals at the Hatch Cover, that later became the Sip and Surf bar in Bird Rock. He passed away at home in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California on the evening of September 10th at 20:08 PST.
Jim Bumstead (LJ Class of 70) grew up in Bird Rock and wasn’t much of a beach person. Music was his passion, and playing drums was where he excelled. If there was a local party, chances are, Jim was playing drums. He was low key until the band started playing. Many said his drummers talent was like Keith Moon of the, Who. Like a lot of others, he died of prolong drug abuse in Texas.
2013 (bad year),
Bruce Byerly was liked/loved by all. An adventurer, he moved around a lot and bought a 50 ft. boat and cruised to Cabo in it with his good friend, Kurt Stader. Bruce was also a European model with his other good friend, Bo Fellows, and sang in many bands. Bruce was a natural athlete and liked to live on the edge. He used to jump Deadmans. Cancer took his life in May, 2013. Bo Fellow had the wake at his house that drew about 100 people.
Gary Cummings passed away on 11/19/2013 from cancer up near Santa Cruz with both his kids at his side. He had some great stories of Mac Meda He was friends with Load, Anchovy, Ransom, Beale, Marty, Eber, etc. etc and played volleyball a lot at SeaLane. He so wanted to make it to his birthday which falls on Thanksgiving, but never did.
Eber Linder went to the big Meda in the sky on July 10th, 2013 from long time drug and alcohol problem. He was one of the original fish cutters at Ocean Fresh and later fished lobster. He fish cutting was an art and worked for Chesapeake Fish Market. He could fillet a 200 lb tuna in a few minutes. Eber was always in the headlines from one of biggest pot busts in California (5-tons of pot) …. to needing a drinking buddy where he broke into a medical buildings and stole a skeleton. You would see him and Donnie Tomlinson fishing and hanging out together. His Celebration of Life was held at the VFW, over 100 people attended.
Kurt “Dirty Kurtie” Stader was taken by cancer and other medical complication (like needing a liver transplant) on July 6th, 2013, just a few months after his friend, Bruce Byerly. Known for his shakey wheeling and dealing, he was just another one of the characters of the beach. His wake and paddle out was held on Aug 4th at Windansea.
Michael “Otter” Woods was a regular at the Wall and Sea Lane. Otter was sharp as a tack, and loved to fish and liked going to Mexico, but prolong abuse took Otter’s life on Aug 1, 2013 in Borrego Springs where he lived.
Bill Wilhelm (LJ Class of 70) was a regular at Sea Lane, loved to hike and a local attorney who helped a lot of LocALS get out of trouble. He died of complications resulting from a stafh infection.
Patrick Beardsley Shea (June 28, 1939 – May 23, 2013) was a professional American football player who played guard for four seasons for the San Diego Chargers. He was one of the original Mac Meda boys. His hang out was Red Mountain Inn and Maynards of Pacific Beach.
Mark Scales was a regular at Windansea and a good surfer. He surfed the Point, Windansea and South Bird and as many would say, “One of the coolest guys ever.” Mark is memorialized with graffiti that said, “R.I.P. Keeper of the Shack,” because for decades he had lead its refurbishment with fresh palm fronds. He died of complications resulting from abuse on Dec. 12, 2014. His Paddle Out was Sept 15, 2015.
Eric “The Sheik” Shelky was just another one of those great surfers that had a kind heart, and would do anything for you. He surfed just about everywhere, Shores, WindanSea, South Bird, and PB Point and rode for sufboard companies like, Gordon and Smith. At age 10, he and his sister, Liz, began riding rubber rafts in 10 foot waves at Wind N Sea and were featured in a television show “Surf’s Up” in the early ’60s. Great personality, storyteller, and not a bad ounce of blood inside. He died of stomach cancer and the Paddle Out was on May 25, 2015.
Kurt “Mellow Cat” Ledterman (1946-2015) worked for Surfer Magazine. He was a prince and he was a jester, a surfer and a philosopher, noted not only for his quick wit but his extraordinarily kind heart. His was a bigger-than-life presence in the nascent surf media, and a perfect fit for the early-’70s eccentricities that abounded in surf culture at that time. Many times you would see him at La Jolla Shores holding court near the lifeguard tower.
David Grund (06/09/1945 ~ 03/31/2015) was one of the most gifted athlete La Jolla ever had. He could have played pro in basketball or baseball. He was extremely witty, impeccably dressed (except when playing volleyball at Sea Lane) and was always working on the next big business deal. He worked real estate in an office on Prospect St, so he was a regular at Bratskeller and Alfonsos. For a while he lived in Costa Rica putting together real estate deals. He died of long time alcohol abuse.
Jerry Shine was the one that designed the Mac Meda Logo and the first person to smuggle a surfboard into Vietnam during the war. A great personality, and the type of guy that was always pulling strings and getting things as a result. If ever there was a white man’s version of Red, the man who could get anything (Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption), Jerry could have been him. He, his brother, and Daniel Monk Talbo were the first to tape flashlights to their Flexy Flyers, to take this adventurous E-ticket ride down the storm drain which started that craze and the foundation for another infamous phrase, “Surf Nazis.” Jerry H. Shine, La Jolla High Class of 1964, passed away quietly from heart failure beside his wife on February 20, 2015, in Mira Mesa, California. He was a great friend to many.
Pam Babcock (class 1971 LJHS) died of some unknown brain disease in June 2016. She was in the food serving business and worked the Del Mar Racetrack where she become the first women to work in the private Turf Club, serving celebrities like Desi Arnaz, Harry James and Telly Savalas. Sea Lane and Windansea were her hangouts.
Joe Taylor (Class of 70) the younger brother of Moon Taylor, was a skinny kid until the dad shipped him off to military school when he 17. When Joe came back two years later he was a lot taller and for a while looked like he was going to be a respected member of the community. He had a wildside with lots of friends. Unfortunately, Joe just became a controversial figure, and after spending months in jail, he appeared on the beach with tattoos and totally buffed. In jail he got respect but outside, he could not conformed and continued with his “learned” behavior where his targeted victims were tourists and later he got into heroin. Every time he got out, it seems within a week/month he was back in jail again. He died of a drug overdose.
Mason “Kit” Tilden ’ was one of the originals of the “Pump House Gang” and rode ‘his last wave’ in this life early this year. Kit was a regular at the Wall, out going and alway liked to have a good time.
Larry Strada died in May, 2017. Known affectionately back in the day as “El Needle-ito” for his lanky built, and one of original Junior Members of Windansea Surf Club. Larry moved to Hawaii and was co-founder of Lahaina Surf Design and known for his shaping designs like the 8-foot Hanalie Balsa
Debbie St. George class of 1971 LJHS died of pancreatic cancer 8/17/17. She was well-liked, heart of gold, and a Charger football fan. She hung out at SeaLane in the early days and later on was part of the gang that watched football at Bo Fellows house.
Robin (Beaver) Wood was just another regular that hung out at the wall, Windansea, and Sea Lane. He always had a smile and could cock his one eye. He lived on Cass St, and a regular at the Cass Street Bar and Grill. He would pick up “Not When the Surf Up” t-shirts from the Branding Iron and sell them at Crystal Pier to the tourists. He died of colon cancer.
Nancy Quint Hagan, (class of ’72) was a familiar face at SeaLane, and she very well should have been. She grew up right at the bottom and the Quints had the only outdoor shower – so after a day of body whomping, one could wash the salt water off. She died of pancreatic cancer.
Anne Cleveland (61) in 2004 became the oldest person to swim from England to France then back to England, died battling pancreatic cancer. Cleveland grew up in La Jolla and was drawn to the Pacific Ocean. She learned to swim in the Children’s Pool, and passed summer hours as a teenager at La Jolla Shores, body-surfing and swimming beyond the break. A Paddle Out in her honor was at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 30 at Windansea Beach.
Christopher “Kit” Ream (Class of 70) died October 31 2017 from Cancer. Kit was pretty wild, and hung out at the shores in his earlier years. He had a history of abuse, and traveled a lot down in Mexico and even lived there for a while and spent some time in a Mexico prison.
Rod Frankenberger was born September 14, 1951 and died July 18, 2018. He was a local surfer. In his 20’s, he became a professional surfer and skateboarder, and a member of the Windansea Surf Club. He was outgoing, fast talker, and always became the center of attention.
Mary and Jim Flesner – Childhood sweethearts, Jim died in 2017 and his wife Mary died in 2018. Both were fantastic people … kind, respectable and loved to have people over for Sunday BBQs. People knew of them by the “Pigs on the Roof” on Nautilus Street.
Tom Wolfe was an American author and journalist widely known for his association with New Journalism and for his book, The Pump House Gang, that helped make the WindanSea beach crowd famous. He appeared at WindanSea dressed in all white and the locals kicked him out (he was a dork and people thought he was a Nark) where he wandered down to the Pump House to a more talkative group.
Billy Andrews (BA) one of the originals who surfed Blacks Beach died at the age of 73 from ALS. He was an icon to local tube-seekers since gracing the cover of Surfing magazine in 1964 surfing Blacks Beach, which made the surf spot famous. You could write an encyclopedia on Bill’s contributions to the Surfing World and La Jolla. While he can still control his hands — used them to take his own life. He was also a well-known photographer and had a website (A Day With BA) of all his photos and beach tidbits. More at La Jolla Light-
Danny Samons (June 10, 1948-Sept 2, 2018). Anyone that remembers Ocean Fresh, knew and loved Danny. He was the original cook and made the to-die-for-abalone sandwiches and fish and chips. Danny was fun loving and had that wonderful smile he was known for.
Scott Pidd (class of 70) died what he loved, surfing. Surfing the Shores, he got hit on the head with his surfboard December 14th 2018. Lifeguards dragged him out of the water. He never regain consciences and taken off life support the 17th. Scott was low key and not a bad bone in his body. He was a Shores guy and one of the best surfers La Jolla had. He was one of the founding members of LJHS Surf Club in 1968.
Clem Harold Abrams, 78, of La Jolla, was born July 31, 1940 and died Wednesday, December 12, 2018 and lived in the Shores. In his wild days he hung out at Sea Lane where he was a regular at playing Vollyball with Jack MacPherson and had a passon to race cars. Later he became a real esate developer, where he helped sprearhead the development of Clairemont in the 50s.
Paul Bardowski (Class of 71) died on Jan 5, 2019 from Flu and Pneumonia in Colorado. Paul lived in Bird Rock during his younger years and then moved on to SeaLane and WindanSea where he is seen in many of the Mac Meda Photos. He bounced around a lot and liked to body whomp and had that free-spirited attitude.
Bear Mirandon passed around April 2nd. He was a longtime custom design surfboard shaper and a friend of Butch Van Artsdalen. No doubt one of the most colorful characters of La Jolla. Like many, his death was from longtime abuse.
Mike Doyle (3/7/41-4-30-19), was waterman known for his big-wave prowess — one of the original “hot doggers” — died in his sleep on a early Tuesday morning. Doyle, who had been battling ALS, was a champion, inventor, boardmaker — an icon in the sport of surfing. They called him “Malibu Mike,” a tall kid from the wrong side of Interstate 5 who rode the waves with a muscular aggression many on the Southern California surf scene had never seen. He filled in as a stunt double on the seminal surf flick “Gidget” and decorated his boards with images of tikis. Doyle had retreated to Mexico, where he lived along the shore, teaching surfing and painting.
Tom Ortner (1949-5/24-2019), like so many, was a legend at WindanSea and in the surfing world. He surfed with a style, grace and spiritual, one would think he was the original Aquaman. Kind-hearted and in a world of his own, he died after a long battle with cancer. Tom’s Paddle Out was one of the largest ever seen and held at WindanSea on 7/27.70 and can be viewed here
Andrew Doyle took his last breath on 9/17. He was one of the younger kids that hung out at WindanSea, SeaLane, Pumphouse and was a good surfer. He had that can kick-back cruising attitude with a sparkling personality where he got along great with the older crowd. He died of liver disease and cancer.
Dave Osborn was best known as the owner of the infamous Red Mountain Inn. He was also a talented artist who was most known for drawing the Gorilla Head for the Mac Meda official T-shirts and the artwork for some of the t-shirts for such debauchery venues as the Rough Water Drink. Dave lived in Borrego and died of a massive heart attack on Nov 7th 2019
John Pirie went to the Meda in the sky June 25th. He is the last of the original Mac Meda boys and died of cancer. He is best remembered as the one hanging out of the car from the video of the car going off of Torry Pines and cruising through La Jolla in Nazi uniforms, which helped coin the phrase, Surf Nazis. Good friends with Mac and Bob.
Abe Rodriguez passed very quickly on Feb. 11 from cancer. Abe was pretty crazy in his younger years, but mellowed out in later years. He is one of the descendant of the Pottery Canyon Rodriguez. He worked pretty regular at Carino’s Pizza for years and did various construction jobs until his death.
Steve Maitland died on April 2nd and was one of the most colorful, outspoken and extremely honest, heart of gold characters of La Jolla. Steve was indeed a partier with a gift that you either went WTF or shook your head. One thing about Steve, he called it as he saw it. I will leave it there. Years ago he was a regular at WindanSea Wall, and later you could hear his boisterous laugh a block away from his hangout at the West End.
Jerry Stirnkorb in his earlier years, he was well-known for his rascal Mac Meda behavior. Best-selling author Tom Wolfe included Jerry as a debauched Mac Meda member in the Watts Riots section of his “Pump House Gang” beach epic. Jerry was one of the first who had no kind words to Tom Wolfe and labeled Tom as a “Dork.” When the Mac Meda website was published he was a major contributor to many of the posts. adding tidbits of, been there, done that. He died on 04/30/21.
Others, that Albert has not forgot, just has not had the time to post and get all the info on them yet. So please if you have more info about the people please make a comment or email us.
Leonard Janis, 1965?
Raymond Johnson (class of 71) – was the heavyweight boxer champ in Folson Prison so that alone tells you a bit about him. He was a regular at Windansea.
Sandy McGaw, (class of ‘75) died of injuries from a motorcycle accident in 2016.
Susan Lawrence was a regular at the WindanSea Lot. Good looking, long dark silky hair, she was very free-spirited and always wore the string bikinis.
Frank Sibbett – 2014?
Sammy Brown just like to drink. He, Hawk and Juan were in their own group. One thing about being Black in La Jolla there was little or zero racism. He was a crack up, always had that smile and sense of humor. And was always welcomed everywhere. He died of long time abuse.
John Tiffany (LJ Class of 70) lived in Bird Rock. He was pretty wild, built skateboards for his buddies using 2x4s and liked to play chicken on bikes. He shot himself when on heroin.
Peter Charlton passed away in 2000, had a stroke while skiing in Bear Valley. He didn’t die from that but shortly after from lung cancer at only 67 . He was a super skier and skied with the Swiss Olympic team for a while. For a while his house was right across the street from the Pump House and was the supplier for power when bands played at 4th of July Conventions. Later on he moved to off Hillside Dr. and was a Real Estate developer and investor.
Lynn Clark 2012.
Nate Parish 1999.
Felix Guiterrez 1995.
Brian Snell 1986.
Bob Gutowski 1960.
Billy Males 1954.
Ronald Patterson 1996.
Linda Farrar Wilson 2017
Cassie Doyle 2006.
Mitch Moreno 2005.
Ricky Moreno 2002.
Mike McCartney 2008.
Tito Rodriguez 2008.
Archie Fox 2007.
Juan Gamboa lived on what was then Electic St (where the Trolly ran), and then became La Jolla Hermosa. He was out going, wild and he hung with Sammy and Hawk.
Lis Shelky was Eric’s sister and one of the few women that got Would-wide fame from surfing from it way back then. During the Del Mar fair season she was a cary, hyping fairgoers to win the big teddy bear.
Eric Carpenter hung out at WindanSea, and was a regular at Red Mountain and Maynards. He had a small construction business and would do anything from pouring small walkways to room additions in Del Mar. Hard worker, rough sense of personally and died of a heart attack.
George Martin ran a A/C firm and lived on Sea Lane St. so he was quite a regular at Sea Lane Beach. He serviced the A/Cs at just about every bar in La Jolla, (mostly Alfonsos where he was a regular fixture) then afterword became a parton. He died of a heart attack.
Pell Mell 2008
“Big” Max Ruffcorn 1989 was an La Jolla character. At 250 plus pounds, a huge handlebar mustache and boisterous voice, always dressed in loud clothes. He knew every judge in town so a lot of people inquired his services He was one of the original owners of the the Surfer Hotel in Pacific Beach and had part-ownership of a Poker House right across the street from Bullys in LJ.
Richard Ernest (Class of 64?) was a Sea Lane body whomper. Once of the nicest guys you could know. He worked at a carpet cleaning place on Draper St. He was shot and killed over some affair with some guys wife in 1967.