Beach Magazine August 2016

cbudman

August 11, 2016

Volume 47, Issue 1

Easy Reader 46th Anniversary Writing & Photography Contest


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GRAND PRIZE

PHOTOGRAPHY

COVER and 17 “Serenity”

by Homer Hernandez

August 11, 2016

20 “Hermosa Happiness” by Ute Roepke Lorenz

30 “Hazel Street” by Dave Siemienski

32 “The Little Man in the Cabinet” by Nancy Skiba

34 “Naughty Maggie” by Nicholas Gustavson

38 “Zika” by J.E. Marshall

42 “Bar Hopping’s Glory Days” by Pete Whalon

48 “Marriage, Houses and True Love” by Mori Biener

50 “Business 101: The Paper Route” by John Cody

52 “1 Ocean 20” by Don Ruane

STAFF

Volume 47, Issue 1

PUBLISHER Kevin Cody, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Richard Budman, EDITORS Mark McDermott, Randy Angel, David Mendez and Ryan McDonald, ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT Bondo Wyszpolski, DINING EDITOR Richard Foss, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Ray Vidal, Brad Jacobson and Gloria Plascencia, CALENDAR Judy

Rae, DISPLAY SALES Adrienne Slaughter, Tamar Gillotti, Amy Berg, and Shelley Crawford, CLASSIFIEDS Teri Marin, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Daniel Sofer /

Hermosawave.net, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tim Teebken, DESIGN CONSULTANT Bob Staake, BobStaake.com, FRONT DESK Judy Rae

EASY READER (ISSN 0194-6412) is published weekly by EASY READER, 2200 Pacific Cst. Hwy., #101, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254-0427. Yearly domestic mail subscription $100.00; foreign, $175.00 payable in

advance. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EASY READER, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. The entire contents of the EASY READER newspaper is Copyright 2016 by EASY READER, Inc.

www.easyreadernews.com. The Easy Reader/Redondo Beach Hometown News is a legally adjudicated newspaper and the official newspaper for the cities of Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. Easy Reader / Redondo Beach

Hometown News is also distributed to homes and on newsstands in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and Palos Verdes.

CONTACT

Endless insights

If the Grand Prize cover photo looks familiar, it’s because the underside of the

Manhattan Beach pier is a magnet for photographers. If this month’s stories

sound familiar, it’s because bars, crime and nostalgia are magnets for writers.

But no matter how many times photos are reshot and stories are retold, if skillfully

executed, new insights are possible.

If that were not true, reporting on the cities, schools and businesses for 46

years could get tiresome, as would reading about them. It never does.

Each anniversary issue, we celebrate the reason for a newspaper by inviting

readers to offer their insights about our community. The Easy Reader staff thanks

this issue’s contributors and apologizes to those whose submissions we did

not have room to print.

– Kevin Cody, publisher

GRAND PRIZE WRITING

24 “Thank you, Mira Costa” by Spiros “Steve” H. Mikelatos, M.D.

HONORABLE MENTION WRITING

n Website www.easyreadernews.com Email news@easyreadernews.com n Mailing Address P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 Phone (310) 372-4611 Fax (424) 212-6780

n Classified Advertising see the Classified Ad Section. Phone 310.372.4611 x102 n Email displayads@easyreadernews.com

n Fictitious Name Statements (DBA's) can be filed at the office during regular business hours. Phone 310.372.4611 x101.

SECOND PLACE

PHOTOGRAPHY

16 “Calla”

by John Peterson

THIRD PLACE

PHOTOGRAPHY

17 “Falcon Family Hour”

by Tim Tindall

HONORABLE MENTION

PHOTOGRAPHY

20 Crystal

by Gus McConnell

25 Old Souls

by Steve McCall

30 Redondo Pier

by Edward McClure

32 Barrel envy

by Paul Roustan

34 Windy sunset

by Joe Carson

37 Tower sunset

by James Boyd

38 Fire in the sky

by April Reppucci

40 Waves and firelight

by Beverly Gates

43 Talking seagull

by Jerry Averill

44 Solstice moon over the Roundhouse

by Joel Gittelson

46 Fireworks Landscape

by Daniel Sofer

48 Cloud waves

by Jeff Wright

50 Reflections

by Kathy Miller-Fujimoto

BEACH FEATURES

3 Beach Calendar by Judy Rae

20 Growing Great

54 Home Services

6 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 7


10 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


S O U T H B AY

CAL ENDAR

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11

Search for the Perfect Wave

Surfer Magazine writer Kevin Naughton and photographer

Craig Peterson discuss Search for the Perfect Wave, their book

about their exploratory travels through Mexico and Central

America during the 1970s and 1980s. The talk is part of the

Hermosa Beach Historical Society Happy Hour with History

series. Peterson will present a slide show of his now iconic

photos. 6 p.m. 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach. For more

information visit Search-For-The-Perfect-Wave.com.

Redondo Pier blues

Tonight’s Redondo Pier concert features bluesman Darrell

Mansfield. 6 to 8 p.m. 100 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo

Beach. Redondopier.com.

Surfer Eric Penny at Petacalco in Mexico, a break that writer

Kevin Naughton and photographer Craig Peterson discovered

on their way back from Central America while writing

for Surfer Magazine in the 1970s and 1980s. Naughton

and Peterson will talk about their new book, based on their

travels, at the Hermosa Beach Historical Society Happy

Hour with History Thursday, August 11 at 6 p.m. The museum

is at 710 Pier Avenue. For more information visit

Search-For-The-Perfect-Wave.com. Photo by Craig Peterson

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12

Baking bread for your health

Cancer Support Community-Redondo Beach (CSCRB) hosts

cancer survivor Pam Braun, former chef, restaurateur and author

of The Ultimate Anti-Cancer Cookbook. 1 - 2:30 p.m. Attendees

will make dough and bake bread to take home.

Advance registration required. 109 West Torrance Blvd, Redondo

Beach.Call (310) 376-3550 or visit the website at cancersupportredondobeach.org.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13

The Endless Summer, in the sand

Hermosa Beach Friends of the Parks and the South Bay Art

& Film Festival present a free screening of “The Endless Summer”

on the sand, south of the Hermosa Beach pier. Fun begins

at 6 p.m. Movie begins at 7:30 p.m. sharp. “Goonies”

screens August 20 and “Top Gun” on August 27. Bring blankets,

picnics and beach chairs. Refreshments, tee-shirts, caps

and blankets will be sold on-site. The event is free. Donations

welcome. hbfop.org.

12 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

Get funky

The Fab Five present “The old and the

new, a different kind of revue.” Free. 3 p.m.

Joslyn Center, 1601 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan

Beach. For more info contact Warren

Rohn at (310) 372-8453 or

mrktplnwjr@aol.com.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

Venice plays Hermosa

David Crosby called Venice the best vocal

group in America The group performs on the

beach south of the Hermosa pier as part of

the the Hermosa Beach Summer Concert Series

presented by St. Rocke and Subaru Pacific.

5 p.m., on the south side of the

Hermosa Beach Pier. The next three Sundays

will feature Venice, Robby Krieger of The

Doors and Moustache Harbor. Best to bike

or walk. For more information visit HermosaBch.org.

Semper Fi Car show

The 9th Annual Wounded Warrior Car

Show benefitting the Semper Fi Fund features

pre-1974 show cars, trucks and special

interest vehicles. Gates open at 7 a.m. Cars

parked by 9 a.m. Limited to the first 250 entries.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Redondo Beach Performing

Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach

Blvd, Redondo Beach. For show information

call (310) 343-9634 or email

threenthre@yahoo.com. Or visit woundedwarriorcarshow.com.

Concert in Polliwog Park

The widely acclaimed duo of keyboardist

Lao Tizer and violinist Karen Briggs bring

their melding of classical, jazz and rock to

Manhattan Beach popular Concerts in the

Park series. 5 to 7 p.m. Concerts continue

Sundays through September 4. Polliwog

Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan

Beach. Citymb.info.

Sunday market day

Riviera Village’s new Farmers Market

gives followers of fresh fruit and produce a

place to celebrate on Sundays. Triangle parking

lot along S. Elena Ave, Riviera Village. 8

a.m. - 1 p.m. redondo.org.

MONDAY, AUGUST 15

Get connected

"Triumphs and Tragedies: A True Story of

Wealth and Addiction" by Karl B. McMillen

Jr. and Bill Hayes will be discussed by the

authors at Pages bookstore. McMillen will

distribute free copies of the book, the chief

benefactor of the Thelma McMillen Center

for Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Torrance.

The event will be moderated by Karl and

Carol McMillen and Moe Gelbart, PhD, Executive

Director of the Thelma McMillen

Center at Torrance Memorial. Visit southbayfamiliesconnected.org/book-club

to RSVP

and reserve a spot.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17

Summer nights

The Point’s open-aired plaza will be filled with the

tunes of a different genre of music every Wednesday

through August to ring in summer nights. Tonight it’s

Gold Rush Country, contemporary country. 6 - 8 p.m.

850 S. Sepulveda Blvd, El Segundo. thepointsb.com.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19

Outdoor movie in Manhattan

Manhattan Beach and Nikau Kai Waterman Shop

present “The Incredibles” at 6 p.m. in the Manhattan

Beach Library Courtyard. Bring beach chairs & blankets.

Come dressed to impress and win the Super

Hero Costume Contest. All proceeds go to the Mira

Costa Surf Team. 1320 Highland Ave, Manhattan

Beach.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20

Jester Benefit Tennis Tournament

The Jester & Pharley Phund’s 4th Annual Doubles

Tennis Tournament will help kids suffering from cancer

to receive “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle” book

and Jester & Pharley Dolls. No need to find a partner.

Just come and enjoy a day of great tennis. 8:30 a.m.

at Alta Vista Park,. Silent auction, raffles, prizes, and

giveaways. 801 Camino Real, Redondo Beach. Call

(310) 544-4733 for more information. Entry forms

may be printed out from thejester.org.

Grammy award winning saxophonist and the

biggest selling instrumental musician of all time Kenny

G makes a repeat performance at the “30th Annual

Honda Evening Under the Stars For Children’s

Healthcare.” The food and wine festival will be held

Saturday, August 27 at the Honda North America

headquarters in Torrance. For tickets call call 310-

517-4703 or visit

torrancememorial.org/Giving/Foundation_Events

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27

Kids under the stars

The “30th Annual Honda Evening Under the Stars

For Children’s Healthcare” combines two of the South

Bay’s most popular food and wine events -- “Evening

Under the Stars,” benefiting Torrance Memorial’s pediatric

department, and “For our Children,” benefiting

Providence TrinityKids Care and Vistas for Children.

Tickets are $200. American Honda is at 700 Van Ness

Avenue, Torrance. For tickets call Call 310-517

4703 or visit torrancememorial.org/Giving/Foundation_Events.


14 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 15


S E C O N D P L A C E W I N N E R

Calla

by John Peterson

July 5, 2016. South Coast Botanic

Garden. Taken during the

Creative Photo Academy First

Annual Foto Fest. Nikon D800

16 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


G R A N D P R I Z E W I N N E R

Serenity

by Homer Hernandez

May 20, 2016,

Manhattan Beach

pier. Photographed

using a dark, neutral

density filter that

allowed a 15 second

exposure. This

caused the waves to

blur and give the

peaceful serene look.

Nikon D810

T H I R D P L A C E W I N N E R

Falcon family hour

by Timothy Tindall

June 15, 2016, Palos

Verdes. A lady asked

me if I saw the family

of falcons in the cliff

area and I said no.

Then I saw them.

Canon T3

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 17


Welcome to the South Coast Botanic Garden -

an enduring community treasure for the South Bay area and beyond.

The South Coast Botanic Garden is an

urban refuge, encompassing 87-acres

and offers a wide variety of blooming

trees, shrubs, and flowers all year.

Visit SCBGF.org

for details and more events.

We provide a place of beauty, serenity,

and learning for thousands of visitors

each year. There are also many fun things

to do throughout the seasons: plant

sales, community celebrations, concerts,

art exhibits, movie nights and much more!

18 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 19


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Crystal

by Gus McConnell

January 2016, El Porto. El Nino surf created giant sandbars, which created a powerful backwash. Canon 7D

H O N O R A B L E

M E N T I O N

HERMOSA HAPPINESS

by Ute Roepke Lorenz

Dedicated to Turner, Ty, and Kalea Conrad

Hermosa is a lovely place.

For some it is a perfect space

Enjoying work and play each day

Where ev’rybody wants to stay.

Let’s go to see Hermosa Beach!

Here’s a town in easy reach

For surfing, volleyball, and fun

While some enjoy a ‘Greenbelt’ run.

The Strand is busy ev’ry day

With bikes and strollers on the way,

And standup paddlers in the ocean

Delight the eye with perfect motion.

For just a couple weeks each year

There are tall dunes beside the pier

Kids of all ages slide and play,

While parents have a lovely day.

Swimming along the beach is fine –

Especially in summertime.

A whale might join you any day

While going southward faraway.

Enjoy your fishing at the pier –

And meet with friends from far and near.

Then watch the dolphins going by

And all the seagulls flying high.

Lovely sunsets bring peace of mind –

And take away the daily grind.

When sailboats drift across the sea

It’s happiness for you and me.

Let’s not forget Hermosa Fair —

Or race excitement in the air.

At Christmas time with lights so bright,

Pier Plaza is a joyous sight.

The Plaza sparkles by day and night –

An evening out is a true delight.

Old friends – new friends – enjoy the food

Which is so plentiful and good.

A million thanks, Hermosa Beach!

I’m glad you are in easy reach.

For sports and fun all through the year,

And memories so grand and dear. B

20 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


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22 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 23


G R A N D P R I Z E W I N N E R

Thank you, Mira Costa

My English became the responsibility of

Miss Jean Swain, my English teacher.

She was young, cute, sweet, and innocent.

by Spiros (Steve) H. Mikelatos, MD

Lt. Colonel, USAF, M.C. (Ret.)

It was August of 1952, I was 15 years old and

close to enrolling in Mira Costa High

School. My school name was Steve, my

Greek name Spiros.

Mira Costa, its teachers and students taught

me to read, write, and speak English. They gave

me an education above and beyond my expectations.

The young high school was opening its doors

wide to welcome students for only its second

year. The students were anticipating some difficult

classes but were also eager to have some

fun. My sister Helen and I were new and a bit

different. I did not speak English. Truthfully, I

spoke 2 words “yes” and “no”. English conversation

was not possible for me.

My sister, mother Angeliki and I had recently

joined my father Harry and older brother Jerry

in Manhattan Beach. My father and brother

had left our Greek Island of Kefalonia to come

to America five years earlier. In Manhattan

Beach, my brother assumed responsibility for

our reunited family as my father was over 65

years old and my mother did not speak English.

Before entering Mira Costa, Helen spoke

some English from lessons on the island. The

money was not enough for my lessons. I tried

to learn some words by myself from a dictionary.

Soon I realized self-taught pronunciation

may sound ludicrous. I decided to postpone my

English learning until I reached America.

In Manhattan Beach, Greek-American ladies

advised my mother and brother not to place

Helen and me in a regular high school. My 20-

year-old, macho brother Jerry was a man who

could think for himself and was fluent in English.

He decided to talk with Principal Lloyd

Waller and Vice Principal Carl Fisher face to

face.

When Jerry returned home, he told Helen

and me that we were enrolled in Mira Costa, in

the same grade we were enrolled in when we

left our Greek high school. Helen was a junior

and I a sophomore. Classes would begin in

three days. Jerry did not forget to mention how

cute and smart Mira Costa boys and girls were.

I did not ask any questions. I had some faith

that “The Lord is my Shepherd…”.

The administration tried to make my life easier.

They gave me a class in woodshop, one in

Glee-Club, and one in Algebra. There was less

need for words in these classes. My classes in

History and English would certainly, expose my

ignorance of words.

For the first day of school, my mother gave

us the Greek equivalent of a brown bag lunch.

She gave us a piece of bread, 2 tomatoes, some

olives, lettuce leaves, and a piece of feta cheese

that looked like a bar of soap.

During lunch break, Helen and I sat together

on the green grass to eat. Our class impressions

were positive and the food tasted good. In a

brief interval, a pretty blonde girl came to sit

with us. Her name was Maureen and she was

a stranger. She asked to be excused by her

friends, then asked permission to join us. On

that day and ever since, I could only believe

that Maureen’s lovely face was a reflection of

the beauty of her soul.

My English became the responsibility of Miss

Jean Swain, my English teacher. She was young,

cute, sweet, and innocent. In the beginning, it

was difficult for her to believe that my English

did not exist. She was more interested in making

learning fun and interesting. She gave me

an elementary school book to read about cowboys

and Indians. She was amazed that I had to

look up every word in the dictionary.

That approach was very, very slow. Miss

Swain quickly changed strategies.

She decided to teach the whole class for 45

minutes, and then gave the class 10 minutes of

work in the room. During those 10 minutes, she

asked me to sit next to her by the class window.

There she introduced her audiovisual method

without an instrument:

“The wall is white”,

“The grass is green”.

She pointed to the object, spoke slowly, and

asked me to repeat every word. From that moment,

I began to learn English. In retrospect, I

was not sure if Miss Swain’s new method was

miraculously effective. Perhaps, it was more the

inspiration of her presence next to me.

As I struggled with English in school, no student

laughed at me or bullied me. No student

complained that I was a burden on a class. Perhaps

this helpful, positive attitude stayed with

me until time came for me to give society some-

thing in return.

When homework allowed, I helped in the family

business of growing and selling flowers. There was

still agricultural land around local cities. Flowers

were beautiful and they made so many people happy.

Early in the fall of 1952, I began looking for school

sports. There was no soccer team, but there was a

track and cross country. Coach Ryan and later Coach

Ray accepted my modest ability. I did some running

and some long jumping too. I began running barefoot

on the uninhabited hills around Mira Costa. Some of

my fellow runners had more speed and grace. I participated

and did my best. Though I was realistic

about my ability, I was often daydreaming about the

immortal runners Louis Zamperini, Emil Zatopek,

and Paavo Nurmi.

I had some good luck in the long jump and the 660

yard run in a meet in Beverly Hills High School. I

was not sure if my effort that day was motivated by

Coach Ryan or was inspired by the Beverly Hills

beauties watching on the track infield.

I also recall my barefoot race on the traditional

Cross Country Course of Mount San Antonio College

(MT SAC) in Walnut/Pomona. I still feel the hard

earth under my bare feet.

Two years after I graduated from Mira Costa,

Coach Ray and his runners won the State Cross

Country Championship. I can only imagine the spirit

of Zamperini, Nurmi, and Zatopek leading their

steps.

It has always been a pleasure to know champions

bloom in Mira Costa and in the South Bay.

My sister Helen did not participate in sports, but

did well in Mira Costa academically.

In my three years in Mira Costa, my English improved

but did not become fluent. I could not hold a

long conversation to my satisfaction. The Greek at

home did not help my English.

Schoolmates, teachers, and administrators showed

support and understanding.

Mr. Waller, Mr. Fisher, Miss. Swain, Mr. Brigham,

Mr. Roy, Miss White, Coach Ryan, Coach Ray, and

others were there for me.

Schoolmates and teachers asked me what was my

family’s relationship with America before I left

Greece. I would have said my father was a naturalized

American citizen before 1930. I was born and

raised on the Island of Kefalonia when Hitler and

Mussolini were preparing for War. I lived in WW II

and have known the hunger and suffering that a war

can bring. I was 7 years old when the Americans

stormed Omaha Beach and Normandie to bring the

peace.

After the War, the US State Department located my

father in our small island village. They invited the

whole family to America.

Schoolmates and teachers asked me to talk about

my island Kefalonia. I could have said the natives

love this island and its nostalgic songs. They adore

the high mountain, the magical landscapes, the idyllic

seashores, and Santorini sunsets. The natives love

the poet Homer who wrote in the Iliad: Legendary

“Ulysses was leading the great-hearted Kefalonians”

to rescue beautiful Helen in the War of Troy.

Sometimes, schoolmates and teachers asked me

about my trip from the island to California and to

Manhattan Beach. My English did not allow me to

24 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Old Souls

by Steve McCall

April 2016, Ruby’s Redondo Beach. My daughter and her two friends in Ryan Jensen's classic car at the Ruby's Car Show. Canon T3i

tell them then.

I left my island with tears in my eyes but an

optimistic spirit. Loved ones wished me a

brighter future in America. I sailed the Atlantic

Ocean for two weeks. Then, I gazed at the Statue

of Liberty with the torch held high. Someone

read the inscription: “Give me your tired, your

poor…”.

My brother Jerry traveled from Manhattan

Beach to New York to meet us.

My mother, sister, and I were happy to see him

there. From that great city, we traveled by train

over the mighty Mississippi, across the Great

Plains, and the Wild West. We reached Los Angeles

and in Manhattan Beach, it was a joy to

meet my father and see the family reunited.

Schoolmates and teachers had asked me how I

liked Manhattan Beach and the South Bay. I

could have said, I often walk The Strand. The

ocean reminds me of Homer’s “Odyssey.” In the

Odyssey, Homer describes the Elysian Fields, the

paradise of the Greeks: “A place where no snow

falls and very little rain. In the afternoon, the gentle

breeze comes from the sea to refresh the people.”

This description of paradise best fits

Manhattan Beach and the South Bay.

In my junior year in Mira Costa, a counselor

made appointment for me to discuss my field of

interest. I was not prepared. I thought of becoming

a priest, a monk, an actor and a life science

teacher. Finally, I thought of helping people in

pain and suffering applying medical skills. I had

a feeling the counselor could have hinted that the

study of medicine is long, difficult, and expensive.

Instead, counselor Bernardi said, “Medicine

is a nice choice.” Relatives were supportive. My

orientation was set. I did not broadcast my

choice.

Before graduation from Mira Costa, I was

happy to be accepted by UCLA as a premedical

student. I was also happy to receive two substantial

monetary scholarships. One came from the

beautiful people of the Bank of America. The second

came from the beautiful humanitarian group

Sandpipers and Sandebs. A few years ago, I had

a chance to thank the Sandpipers and Sandebs in

person. I was impressed how they walk in style,

grace, and beauty and have compassion in the

heart.

One evening in June 1955, an idyllic sunset appeared

on The Strand horizon. It was graduation

day for Mira Costa High School. It was time for

me to say a silent “Thank you, Mira Costa”.

Many people were at the school to see students

receiving diplomas. Some of my loved ones were

far away but vivid in my memory.

My loving family was present.

Schoolmates, teachers, administrators, friends,

and well-wishers were there for me and for others.

The beautiful people of the Bank of America

and the beautiful Sandpipers and Sandebs were

there in person or not far away.

Some people wished me the best.

Some wished me good luck at UCLA.

Someone simply said, “Vaya Con Dios!” B

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 25


Hermosa Beach Sidewalk Sale August 13 - 14

Join us for small bites and wine

50% off

Select Spring

and

Summer Apparel

beach food

GROWING GREAT FARM TO TABLE GALA

G

rowing Great, the non-profit that teaches gardening and nutrition in local

schools, held its annual “Farm to Table” gala on May 2 at the ad agency

72andSunny’s Playa Vista campus (the former offices of Howard Hughes).

More than 200 people attended the event, which featured celebrity chef demonstrations,

a live auction, and a locally sourced, farm-fresh dinner.

321 Pier Ave.

Hermosa Beach CA

Summer Hours 10:30-6:30

Mike Tiva of Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill prepares an octopus salad before a

somewhat startled audience.

• Serving the South

Bay for over 35 years

• Full Service Contractor

• Complete Installation

• New Construction

• Remodeling

• Second Floors

• Additions

• Cabinets

4203 Spencer St., Torrance, CA 90503

(310)214-5049 • www.pevelers.com

Appointment Recommended

Showroom Hours: Monday Thru Friday 10-5

Closed Saturday and Sunday

License #381992

Visit Our

Kitchen &

Bath

Showroom

Growing Great

gala chair Peggy

Curry and Chef

Diana Stavardis

of Manhattan

House. Stavardis,

whose restaurant

includes a garden

and an emphasis

on farm-to-table

cuisine, also gave

a cooking demonstration.

Photo by

Mark McDermott

Ellen and Mike

Rosenberg, cofounders

of

Fresh Brothers

Pizza, received

Growing Great’s

“Green Fork”

award. The couple

have been

key contributors

to the non-profit

since its founding

in Manhattan

Beach in 1999.

Photo by Mark

McDermott

28 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 29


H O N O R A B L E

M E N T I O N

Redondo Pier

by Edward Mcclure

November 26, 2015,

Redondo Beach. Early

morning sunrise at the

Redondo Beach Pier.

Canon 5d Mark ii

On our block, everybody knew everybody.

That’s the way it was in the 1950s. I never

had a key to my house. We never locked

it. The kids played in the street or in the backyards.

We went to the park without supervision.

People were like extended family up and down

the street. We knew all the names, and we knew

all the stories.

Nobody moved in, and nobody moved out. I

loved engaging in conversation with the oldest

residents on our block. I would soak up their wisdom

as if it was from Aristotle himself. My neighborhood

had the most profound and brilliant

philosophers on the planet at just the right time

for me.

“Ole Man Shannon” was a crotchety old guy

who pulled no punches. He told me secrets most

people never knew, and I never shared with anyone

else. Mr. Chapman knew the whole history

of the goat farms that existed before our homes,

and Mr. Clemens knew where “all the bodies

were buried.” Mrs. Zink gave us perspective

along with lunch on a tray of sandwiches, and

Merton told us how all those animals became

30 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Hazel Street by Dave Siemienski

My neighborhood had the most profound and brilliant

philosophers on the planet

pets hanging around his yard. Old Charlie Coyle

and I argued who was better, Stan Musial or Ted

Williams.

Mr. Nicholson gave me the most joy. Although

he had his own son, he treated me like his second

one. And he was like my second father. His boy

was always gone (being seven years older than

me), so he reserved a lot of his wit and wisdom

for me. I first began mowing his lawn when I was

only 8 or 9 years old. That was my first job.

As my work ethic emerged with this new responsibility,

so did my appreciation for money

and the satisfaction of a job well done. Mr.

Nicholson taught me many things about working

around the property. I got to know his garage as

well as I did my own. We lived right next door to

each other.

I remember the first day I saw the small little

wood “treasure chest” on his work bench. It was

no bigger than a box of Kleenex, and it had a

small lock on its latch. The lock was so small that

it looked like one hard pull would break it apart.

I asked Mr. Nicholson what was in it?

“The thing that means the most to me, Davey.”

He always called me “Davey.” Nobody else did.

It was always Dave or David to everyone else.

“Can I see it?” I naively asked.

“Some day” came the reply.

Irvin Nicholson was an exceptional man. He

worked as hard when he got home as he did

while at the lumber yard where he earned his living.

He had a great sense of humor, and always

made me and everyone else laugh. He loved his

wife, and always put her priorities first in his list

of duties. Although he had a fine relationship

with his son, their busy schedules seldom

synced. I would fill that void when the occasion

called for it.

I learned from Mr. Nicholson that my work for

him gave me credibility in our neighborhood.

Soon I was cutting almost every lawn on the

block, and my business model was booming. A

dozen years later I would buy a new sports car

with the cash I made mowing lawns on Hazel

Street.

No matter what other responsibilities I had, the

jobs for Mr. Nick were always the top priority.

We enjoyed spending this time together, and the


apport was a natural extension of the relationship. He always expressed

his appreciation for this time I spent with him, but I just thought he was

being nice.

The lots on Hazel Street were exceptionally long for the residential properties

of that town. Our yard had gardens and fruit trees in the back, but

the Nicholson lot next door was much more barren. Since our families

were so close in every sense of the word, I was able to use both yards as

my private playgrounds. This included almost every sport, including golf.

The Nicholson yard provided enough open space for me to really work on

my golf game, and Mr. Nicholson did not fail to notice my passion. One

day he asked me, “would you like a putting green in my back yard?”

Before I could even comprehend what I was hearing, a dump truck deposited

two tons of dirt and gravel in his back yard. Then Old Nick proceeded

to show me how to construct a real golf green, and I was forever

in debt for one of the best gifts in life I was ever given. My friends came

from everywhere in town to play in our back yards, and this just amplified

the incredible euphoria of growing up on Hazel Street. This was heaven

on Earth for young boys of that era.

As I got older, my tasks included every variety work imaginable. If a

family locked themselves out of their house, and I was called upon because

of my notorious skinny body (even as a teenager). In the ‘50s, some homes

had small milk passages on the outside wall, where the milkman would

deliver the bottles. I could slip through that tiny opening, to the always

amazed onlookers. I did whatever was necessary to get a job done.

The work ethics learned in my neighborhood lasted a lifetime. There

were no better teachers on the planet than my mom and dad, Mr. Nicholson,

Mr. Chapman, Mr. Shannon, Mrs. Zink, and all the rest of the great

generation which populated this country in the middle of that century.

I moved away from Hazel Street in my early twenties. My parents still

lived there, and so did the Nicholsons. Whenever I would visit my folks, I

would make sure to go see Old Nick next door. Nothing seemed to change

much, but it was always good to see him and the old neighborhood again.

On a phone call one day, Mom mentioned that Mr. Nicholson had not

been feeling well lately. I told her I would probably stop by soon to see

him. Sadly, that would never happen. Two days later I was told that Irvin

Nicholson had a heart attack, and died suddenly. I regret not going to see

him immediately to this day. That was another lesson learned, and in the

most difficult fashion.

After the funeral, we went over to the Nicholson home. It was hard for

me to speak to anyone, as my emotions were still raw, and the place was

crowded with relatives. When I eventually exited through the garage, as

was my custom, I noticed that little wood treasure box was gone.

Three days later, I received a package from a familar address on Hazel

Street. Inside, was that small wood box with an enveloped attached. With

great trepidation, I opened the letter. It was from Mrs. Nicholson. It read:

“Irvin asked me to mail this to you if he died before me. I have taped the

key to his box here on the bottom of this letter, and I trust you will know

what to do with it. I have not opened the box myself, and I feel no need to

know what is inside. I only know that he wanted to make sure you had it

after he was gone.

Thank you for all you always did for us, and I know Irvin greatly enjoyed

having you around.

~ Warm regards, Bernice”

My hands trembled, and I had to dry my eyes before even removing the

key from the letter. I held the box in my lap, and paused to think of what

might be inside. When I finally opened the box, there was just a Thank

You card inside. I opened it and read:

“Davey, I want to thank you for the time you spent with me. It meant so

much, and it was the most important thing I wanted you to know. Nick.”

My eyes were now swelling, and the emotions uncontrollable. It took

me a while to assemble my thoughts, but they became more coherent as I

calmed down.

The fact that Mr. Nicholson attached the most importance to spending

time with me would never be forgotten. I was always thinking in those

early years that the elderly folks I was spending time with were teaching

me, and giving me great gifts of wisdom. It never occurred to me until now

that I might have been giving something back to them. B

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 31


H O N O R A B L E

M E N T I O N

Barrel Envy

by Paul Roustan

January 8, 2016,

Hammerland,

El Segundo. Surfer

Cassio Pereira and

friend watch Tyler

Hatzikian plow

through a giant wave.

Nikon D70

The little man in the cabinet

He had been an odd, mysterious sibling of her mother's,

long separated from the family

Katie looked around the hillside beach

view house one last time. Her stained

glass lamps, paintings, cook books, potted

plants and the rest of her clothing were

packed in her white Rover in the driveway. It was

good timing. Jared was at his job site at his latest

renovation project. She didn't need another unpleasant

scene. It was over. She was relieved as

she drove away.

The Victorian mansion in South Redondo was

an oddity. As peculiar a curiosity as the belongings

and its former owner, her uncle Seaghan O'-

Doyle, the magician. It was beautiful yet

somehow forbidding. He had been an odd, mysterious

sibling of her mother's. Long separated

from the family, he passed away a while back,

and surprisingly had left the home to Katie, a

niece he had only met as a child. One of the provisions

in his will was that she live in the home

for a year.

It would take that long to sort through all of his

strange memorabilia.

As she brought her things into the home she

had the sense of not being alone. The interior was

dark. Dark wood, dark floors, dark Oriental rugs,

32 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

H O N O R A B L E

M E N T I O N

mahogany antiques everywhere.

And tall paintings of Uncle Seaghan in his various

magician poses, all peering down at her.

There were bronzed figures of ravens and Egyptian

cats, cartouches, magical paraphernalia of all

kinds. Closets filled with costumes. And many

shelves of books on the occult, magical arts, secret

societies, clairvoyance, and the Egyptian

Book of the Dead.

Katie ran a bath, and sank into the soothing

aromatic herbal water, lighting a scented candle

and sipping some Chardonnay. To new beginnings.

She thought of the old song lyric......"when

a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes...."

And how.

Katie carried her wine glass as she walked

around the house in her cuddly robe. She wandered

into her uncle's study. A huge antique desk

and chair, more magician's collectibles. Celtic art.

An old gramophone. An old family album was on

a shelf with pictures of relatives in Ireland. Old

homes, farms. Uncle Seaghan as a lad, and later

as a young man with his arm around her mother

Rose, and as a man in a severe black suit, standing

with a little girl looking very very sad.

by Nancy Skiba

It was a cemetery. There was a picture of her

mother's headstone. She set the album aside, and

looked around the room. There was an antique

cabinet about five feet high, with a beveled glass

door. It was locked. She yawned. She'd have to

find the key but for now was tired and went upstairs

to bed. There was a full moon. The only

sound outside was the ocean's rolling roar.

An antique grandfather clock ticked somewhere

in the parlor. The cabinet door softly

clicked open. Inside the cabinet stood the small

figure of a man, perhaps three and a half feet tall,

dressed in dark pants and an old-style jacket and

a flat cap. He appeared lifelike, with ginger hair

curling from beneath the cap. His rough features

were Gaelic.

A black Dodge Ram pickup was making its

way down the hill. The pickup inched along, the

driver looking toward the house and the white

Rover. The driver parked halfway down the

block, got out and walked quietly toward the

Rover.

He was visible in the moonlight, a handsome

man of 35, muscular, with a determined look on

his face. Looking around, he pulled a folding


knife from his belt, and deftly jabbed the tires on the Rover. The man was

Jared, Katie's ex-fiancé, and for him it was not over. The tires had not satisfied

his anger.

The little man in the cabinet opened his eyes.

Jared quietly made his way to the side of the house and peered in

through the windows and found them to be locked. He walked around to

the back of the Victorian, until he reached the garden outside the study.

As he reached for the window pane, his light jacket opened and a larger

knife was visible in a sheath on his belt.

The little man's eyes moved toward the sound.

Jared inserted the knife into the window jamb. But the lock held. He

looked up toward the bedrooms.

The cabinet was now empty. The little man was not in sight.

Jared was outside, looking in the beveled glass front door. There was

murder in his eyes. The little man stood in the darkness to the side of the

door, unseen. Finally Jared, frustrated, left but not before he stomped on

the flower bed for good measure. He moved quickly toward his truck, and

got in.

The door of the Victorian was open a crick. The little man was standing

under the shadow of a tree, watching as Jared started the engine and slowly

rolled past the manse. He began walking after the truck. Then began jogging

after it. The truck stopped at a stop sign, and continued left toward

the hills.

The little man followed, unnoticed. He continued following the truck up

the hilly twisting roads all the way to its own driveway. He stood in the

darkness as Jared went into his hillside home. The little man watched him

through the window, on the dark side of the house. He watched Jared

throw framed photographs in a trash basket, breaking the glass. Jared carried

the basket outside and dumped it in a recycle bin at the curb, then

went back inside.

The little man peered at the broken picture frames -- pictures of Jared

with Katie.

He stared after Jared as he went back inside. In a few minutes the lights

were turned off. The little man waited.

Jared was asleep in his bed. The house was silent. Suddenly he awoke,

at the sound of running water. He picked up a baseball bat on the way and

headed toward the bathroom, where the tub was filling up. There was no

one in sight. He turned off the tap. A moment later, he heard the television,

but when he crept toward the den, it turned off. He looked around nervously

and waited. He heard the microwave in the kitchen go on. He went

to look. The microwave dinged. He saw no one. He opened the microwave

door, and found nothing inside. There was a soft rapping at the front door.

He peeked out through the peephole. No one. He pulled the door open and

looked around the porch and front yard and into the street. He heard a

scratching sound.

The little man was walking around the pickup, scratching the paint with

a shard of the broken picture frame glass. Jared raised the baseball bat and

rushed after him. When he got to the other side of the truck, the man had

vanished. He stood there in astonishment, looking at the damage. He

turned in time to see the little man rush back into the house. Jared ran

after him. He switched on the lights. No sign of the little man. He heard a

singsong voice from his bedroom. The voice was speaking Gaelic. As he

stepped into the room, the little man leapt down from the top of a dresser

and clung to Jared's back. He tried to shake him off. But it was useless.

The little man was strong. He held Jared tightly, and would not let go. Jared

dropped the baseball bat, and tried to pull the man off him. He tripped

and fell, and the little man was on top of him again. Jared saw the wicked

shard of glass in the man's leathery hand.

Neighbors thought they heard a moaning sound in the night but went

back to sleep. One of Jared's crew came by when he did not show up at

the work site, and saw the evidence of what had been a terrible struggle,

and a futile one.

That morning, Katie went outside and got in her Rover, and left for work.

Her tires were fine and the paint of the Rover as perfect as it had been the

day before.

The cabinet door was closed now. The little man was back in his place,

still and life-like as before, eyes closed.There was the slightest of a smile

on his lips. B

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 33


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Windy Sunset

by Joe Carson

January 31, 2016.

Strong onshore winds

at the Manhattan

Beach pier.

Nikon D800

Naughty Maggie

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

by Nicholas Gustavson

Things got sloppy. A spilled drink. Chip wearing the trucker hat askew, the girl tossing it on the bartender’s head.

After his flight home, Chip decided to get

sloppy drunk. Teenagers could treat each

other this way, he reasoned, breaking up

via text messages, but grown-ups? Specifically

Trina, texting him about a trial separation? Have

the decency, he’d typed, to talk in person. Her

reply?

You’re never home.

How was that an excuse? He’d been busting his

hump all year, frequent flying Sunday through

Friday to Chicago. For what? To pay their Manhattan

Beach mortgage and finance her South

Bay lifestyle. He explained it again. She didn’t

reply.

Trina wasn’t home when the Uber dropped

him off. He checked their garage. Yup, she’d

taken her yuppie cart somewhere. She couldn’t

have gone far, he figured, not with the cart’s maximum

distance of 30 miles on a full charge. Probably

SoulCycling class, or busting out thrusters at

that outdoor gym on Harbor Drive. That made

him chuckle. Trina obsessively purchased

Groupons for new exercise classes; CrossFit,

Bikram Yoga, Contemporary Pilates, G.I. Joe

Bootcamp. Hell, she’d probably join Stroller

Strides if she could borrow someone’s baby.

Baby?

There’s a word he hadn’t spoken since forever.

He said it again. Still sounded bad. It hadn’t

sounded good since last summer, when they’d

spent a hot Saturday night in the emergency

room at Little Company of Mary. The waiting

room sucked, crowded with nightlife casualties,

and their hysterical friends in party dresses and

blood stained blazers, no one anticipating this

conclusion to their night. When the nurse called

Trina’s name, they went in and listened to a harassed

physician read out Trina’s dropping HCG

levels like a sailor sounding out ocean depths.

4600 yesterday. 68 today. Mark goddamn Twain.

What happens, he’d wanted to ask, when she hits

bottom?

He knew the answer of course. The egg breaks.

And after the egg broke, after they’d driven home

to their immaculate house, where they’d presumptively

assembled an heirloom-style crib

from Pottery Barn (stupid, he knew, stupid) he

heard the shell around their marriage cracking

too.

He left the house on foot, not bothering to shed

his work clothes. Half hour up the Strand, sweating

through his slacks, he turned uphill. Time for

that drink. He spotted a trucker hat lying on the

curb. It looked new. What the hell, he thought,

and picked it up. The hat fit nicely over his thinning

hair.

He didn’t realize he’d reached El Porto until he

surfaced on Highland and saw the Beach Hut

across the street. Except it wasn’t the Beach Hut

anymore, just some hair salon. Funny how things

change. He used to inhale loco moco there after

surfing, back when he was single.

Single?

He hadn’t used that word in forever. Last summer

they were destined to become a smiling trio.

But now? He’d been on board for trying again,

for a rainbow baby, but she wouldn’t have it.

Eighteen weeks in, Chip. What if it happens

again? He’d told her he was willing to take that

34 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


chance. She couldn’t bear it, she’d told him, before disappearing into her

phone.

He headed south. Sharkeez was gone, replaced by a fish restaurant undergoing

construction. Still open during remodel! the sign said. Sorry, he

thought, don’t want sawdust in my beer. He forgot how much El Porto had

transformed itself. Then he remembered Sharkeez, where he’d cruise girls

with his friends in that low ceilinged, pirate ship of a building, had sailed

across the street and commandeered Harry O’s.

Harry O’s! They’d elbow their way to the long rectangular bar, Joe’s

Band playing, and the women’s bathroom door opening on the dance floor,

offering up embarrassed girls straight from the toilet. Then he’d stumble

down Harry O’s steps and run to Hillary’s Hole in the Wall for a last drink

before stumbling home.

Chip wanted to try Hillary’s for old times, but he remembered it was

now Bora Bora steakhouse. No, that was gone, replaced by Four Daughters,

a breakfast place he loved walking to with Trina on weekends.

Then it hit him.

Pancho’s.

Pancho’s hadn’t changed. There was a bar, and entertainment too. He

walked through the rustic doors, into a dim lobby and felt a thrill. He’d

celebrated so many birthday dinners here, and danced to the house band,

what was its name, Day After Daze?

The cantina was mostly empty. He took a seat at the bar. Crossfit Games

played on mute (maybe Trina had tickets). The bartenders looked the same,

maybe with whiter hair. He removed his new hat and placed it on the bar.

He ordered a Corona, nice and cold. The bartender chatted with an older

couple at the end of the bar. They looked like regulars. He downed his beer

and ordered another.

When the Crossfit stuff ended, the bartender switched on the Dodgers.

The bar began to fill with the evening crowd, and Chip felt embarrassed

— he was that solo guy at the bar. He checked his phone. No messages. He

texted Brian. Brian responded, something about a babysitter and he and

Kathy had reservations on Abbot Kinney. Chip texted Alex, but Alex didn’t

respond. He ordered another Corona and a lobster taco plate. Alex texted

back, something about working. Great. He almost texted Trina. She hadn’t

texted him, so forget it.

He heard giggles. He swiveled around, his loafers catching on a girl’s

purse. She glanced his way. He realized she was mid-selfie, arms around

her best friend, a stick raised with a mounted miniature camera.

“Hey girls,” he said, louder than he wanted, “I can take your picture.”

“That’s what my selfie stick is for,” she said. “So I don’t have to ask you.”

Rusty. What’s it been? Twelve years, since he’d asked out anyone besides

Trina? He finished eating. The crowd filled in behind him, elbows and

purses pressing against his back. He decided to close his tab. Walk home.

You can’t go back, even though Pancho’s menu, with its glorious history

printed on page one, says you can.

He needed the restroom. When he finished, he made for the lobby. Then

he remembered the trucker hat. He’d left it on the bar. Forget it. But he

wanted to go home with something tonight, some memento. He squeezed

passed shoulders. His old seat already occupied — the hat gone. He

scanned the crowd, spotting a girl wearing it cockeyed, her ponytail poking

through the back.

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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 35


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SM

“My hat!” he said, pointing.

“No, my hat!” She clutched the bill. “I lost it

today.”

“I found it. But you can have it back.”

“I already haves it back.”

He realized she was slurring. Not drunk, but

getting there. She looked youngish, maybe midthirties.

Pretty eyes, but peeling skin, and he

wondered how many sunburns she had left before

skin cancer. “Hat thief!” she shouted, poking

his shoulder.

Someone cheered, and the opening chords of

“Jessie’s Girl,” ripped through the cantina. Chip

saw the band, the drummer tapping the hi-hat,

the guitarist launching into the first verse about

Rick Springfield’s changed friendship with Jessie.

The crowd bubbled. Normally Chip turned off

Jessie’s Girl, but when the band reached the chorus

and the crowd joined in, Chip decided he

loved it. And the hat girl was still watching him.

“Want to?”

He didn’t know how to ask.

“Maybe I should thank you,” she said.

He took her hand and they forged a space for

dancing. Her ponytail whipped him and he liked

her hands on his shoulders. She didn’t seem to

mind his awkward feet. The Outfield’s “Your

Love” followed and Chip sang all the lyrics.

When the band covered “Little Red Corvette,”

Chip watched in amazement as the guitarist

burned up the fretboard.

“He’s good,” he shouted.

“He should be,” she replied. “He’s Eric Dover.”

He didn’t know that name. Maybe he could tell

Trina—

After “Boys Don’t Cry,” the girl needed a margarita,

and not a skinny one. He led her to the bar

and ordered Naughty Maggies — Pancho’s version

of the Cadillac.

Things got sloppy. A spilled drink. Chip wearing

the trucker hat askew, the girl tossing it on

the bartender’s head. They ordered more

Naughty Maggies. He remembered leaving with

her, skipping out the door, down the hill. Once

barefoot in the sand, the darkness blanketed

them and the waves roared louder than the Pancho’s

band. Her mouth tasted like Margarita salt.

He didn’t get very far before the thing pressed

against his back. A man’s voice in his ear.

“Get down, face in the sand.” Strong hands,

pushing him down. “Don’t look up.”

Sand in his eyes, Chip didn’t dare move. Stupid

cops. Busting them for indecent exposure. Hell,

they didn’t even get indecent yet.

The girl screamed. The man hissed. Struggling

sounds. Something seemed off. The cops

wouldn’t do this, would they?

He felt lopsided. Spinning. He stole a glance

and saw a guy, more like a boulder crushing the

girl. Didn’t look like a cop. Bulky jacket. Chip

shut his eyes, heartbeat hammering in his ears. A

wave crashed. She screamed again.

Something popped. He felt sobriety clawing

back. Wait. He’d heard about this before, in the

news. Didn’t the bad guy escape?

Chip sat up. The man wasn’t watching him. He

figured he could run away. He might even make

it. Trina. Gotta stay alive for her.

But the girl. He couldn’t just leave her, could

he? The man looked like he was crushing her, and

that’s when Chip reacted. He lunged, clumsily,

and the man caught him with a cocked elbow.

Chip’s nose spurted, but the motion whipped the

gun hand from the man’s pocket, and Chip saw

the barrel-shaped index finger, and the hammer

was the guy’s stupid thumb.

Embarrassed, enraged, Chip swarmed him,

hammering sloppy punches on the man’s head,

kicking him with stockinged feet. Chip’s middle

finger snapped. The girl landed a kick against the

man’s jaw. He had enough and scurried away.

Chip wanted to follow but the girl needed help.

He crawled to her, but she kicked him. “Don’t

touch me!” She took off running down the beach.

Chip chased her but she was fast. She reached

the Strand and disappeared up a side street. He

tripped on something. Lying on the sidewalk, he

dialed the police with a shaky thumb. He shouted

details into the phone, but the dispatcher only

wanted his location and the victim’s name, and

he realized he didn’t know her name.

“She’s got a trucker hat,” he said, before passing

out.

When Chip regained consciousness, he found

himself in the waiting room at Little Company of

Mary. This time in a wheelchair. Someone pushing

him outside into the sun. When he squinted,

he saw Trina’s yuppie cart parked arrogantly on

the sidewalk. Trina, in her Lululemon, sitting behind

the wheel. She helped him into the passenger

seat.

“Nice parking job,” he said.

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36 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Tower Sunset

by James Boyd

June 7, 2016. Taken on

Redondo Beach Esplanade

with global filters used, but

no spot manipulation.

iPhone 6+

“Nice face.”

“You should see the other guy.”

Despite the nose brace, he could

smell her body butter. He decided

he liked it. Smelled like breakfast.

“The nurses say you’re a hero.

Did you really save that girl?”

He felt weird talking to her

about it. He didn’t know where to

start.

“Look, about last night—”

“Save it.” She started the cart’s

motor. “Let’s talk later. You need

sleep.”

Sleep sounded good. But, breakfast—

“I’m hungry. Let’s get breakfast.”

She seemed sympathetic. An

outpouring of sympathy before she

turned him out?

“Okay, sure,” she said. “Where?”

“Hillary’s.”

“Who?”

“Bora Bora.”

“Huh?”

Naughty Maggie. Hospital

Drugs. The open cart, sun baking

his immobilized arm, his finger in

a brace. Eric Dover.

“I mean that breakfast place—

Four Daughters.”

“You want four daughters?”

“Yup.”

“How about we settle for one?”

Jessie’s Girl. What was she saying?

Trina removed her sunglasses.

She’d been crying.

“Look, after this, I—” she said.

“Maybe, okay?”

She drove off the curb, jostling

his broken nose and finger. Chip

didn’t feel pain. The fluffy wind

blew like powdered sugar through

his nose brace. The cart’s electric

motor purred. Magic gas, he

thought, maple syrup and honey

butter. B

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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 37


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Fire in the sky

by April Reppucci

July 2, 2016,

El Segundo. An

LAX flight soars into

the smoke from the

Santa Clarita Sand

Fire, 45 miles away.

Canon T5i

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Zika by

Sage was under Darling’s skin. It wasn’t supposed to go

down this way, but Sage was in control, completely.

J. E. Marshall

July 1, 2016, MANHATTAN BEACH MARRIOTT, Room 431

Special Agent-in-Charge, Roy Starky reviewed the profile of suspect Jacob

Sage with Special Agent Francis Darling.

“You know why you were selected?” Starky didn’t look up.

“Because I was lead singer in my high school band, sir,” Darling replied.

“Correct. What we want from you is swagger. You’re a barfly. You sing

karaoke with attitude, but you sing badly.” Starky looked up and smiled.

“How bad, sir?” She was amused.

“Fingernails on chalkboard bad. You will butcher every note. Special

Agents Scott White and Daniel Dorsey have established cover as lounge

lizards. You will be fawned over. You will mooch off everyone. Sage hates

karaoke. He complains because his band has to endure it while they set up

their equipment at the Starboard. Sage hates barflies. He especially hates

people who can’t sing but think they can. Special Agent Thomas Dufay has

been living undercover in the same El Segundo flop house as Sage for six

months and the only thing he learned was by accident last night when Sage

got his hand sliced open by a junkie who tried to steal Sage’s Gibson Les

Paul. Dufay drove Sage’s van to the emergency room. Sage didn’t say a

word. No ‘thank you.’ Sage takes off without giving Dufay a ride home.

What’s your take, Agent Darling?”

“My impression, sir, is maybe Sage didn’t say much because he has nothing

to say. He’s a loser. His roommate may have hacked into the CDC during

their dorm days but Gabriel Tyler’s skills did not rub off on Sage. With

all due respect, sir, if Jacob Sage had been paired with a different roommate,

I don’t believe he’d be on the watch list today. He flunks out of Harvard.

He alienates his rich parents. He can’t maintain a relationship. His band

has different members every week. I’m amazed he can complete the task

of performing an entire song. He’s a drug addict, just end-stage-Elvis-damaged-goods,

sir,” Darling gave her opinion.

“Well then, it might surprise you that he drove to his gig right after they

sewed up his hand last night and played a hell of a set. What might surprise

you even is more what Agent Dufay did find.” Starky pushed away his

lunch, took a swig of cold coffee and grimaced. “We got a blood sample. I

wish my blood was so pristine,” Starky shook his head, “All the footage of

Sage shooting up under the pier, all the meetings with his dealer, all the

squalor…. staged. Find out what he’s up to,” Starky tossed the coffee in the

trash.

“Yes, Sir,” Darling ate the pickle from Starky’s plate.

“I was going to eat that,” Starky grumbled.

July 2, 2016, STARBOARD ATTITUDE, REDONDO BEACH PIER

Agent Darling roller skated around the pier at King Harbor all afternoon.

She climbed the stairs to the Starboard Attitude Cocktail Bar when her partners

signaled that Sage’s van had pulled into the pier parking lot. As Sage

and his band were setting up their equipment, Darling sang the worst ever

rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ after midnight.” Agents White and

Dorsey clapped and whistled. Darling beamed with pride. Dorsey demanded

an encore. Not to be outdone, White gave Darling a standing ova-

38 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


tion.

Sage was not afraid to deliver a mean comment to anyone who earned

it but bit his tongue when he got a good look at Darling. He trusted his instinct

to keep his disgust to himself.

Dorsey bought Darling drinks and left with her just before Sage’s gig

was up. Sage didn’t bat an eye.

July 2, 2016 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL, REDONDO BEACH

Darling waited in Dorsey’s hotel room until Agent Scotty White finally

ambled in.

“It’s about time,” Dorsey blurted.

“You two are a sight. Why so glum?”

“When you sober up you might realize we didn’t exactly make an impression

tonight,” Darling sighed.

“I wouldn’t say that. After you left Sage said some pretty nasty things

about ‘Patsy Cline’” White smiled.

“Really….” Darling leaned in. “Tell me every word he said.”

July 3, 2016 STARBOARD ATTITUDE, REDONDO BEACH PIER

Darling sat on Scotty White’s lap while she sang Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”

as off key as possible. Once again Jacob Sage ignored her.

Darling’s rear was jutting out of her daisy dukes. She leaned on the bar,

shifting her weight from one foot to the other so that her see-sawing butt

cheeks hypnotized every man in the bar except Sage.

“This is the martini James Bond really drinks,” Darling rudely shouted

over Sage’s rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Tightrope.” Darling dragged

White to the dance floor and upstaged Sage so seductively that Agent White

blushed in spite of himself.

Sage made his Gibson squeal like a pig and transitioned from “Tightrope”

to a jacked up rendition of the opening riffs of “Immigrant Song.” He nearly

ripped the strings off his guitar. His normally deep, buttery voice gave way

to an earsplitting falsetto as he called out at the top of his lungs: “Ahhhhhh

ah Ahhhhhh Ah!”

“Mother of God!” a startled drunk fell off his stool.

Sage looked at his frozen band as if they were stupid.

“What the f...?” The new drummer was pissed.

“Roll with it. It usually works out,” the bass player said, kicking the

drummer’s foot.

Sage just kept ripping the opening riff from of his Les Paul until his band

caught up with him. When everyone was on the same page, Sage tore into

the body of “Immigrant Song” like a jackhammer. Sage’s guitar was so terrifying

that everyone stopped dancing. Sage jumped off the stage and spun

in circles on the empty dance floor, screaming in the incredible high octave.

His guitar made sounds no one had heard before. He used his teeth as a

slide. He blew on the strings so that his breath caused magical sounds. His

grip on the neck tightened and the stitches on the palm of his hand burst

open. Blood gushed down his arm.

Sage stomped out of the bar. He abandoned his band and drove off without

them.

Agent Darling heard Sage mumbling under his breath, back in his sweet

and low buttery voice, “Dance to that, bitch!”

The bartender mopped the blood off the dance floor before anyone could

slip and break their neck.

July 4, 2016 STARBOARD ATTITUDE, REDONDO BEACH PIER

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re early tonight so you can enjoy the fireworks,”

Sage purred in his deepest, sexy voice as if nothing insane happened

the night before.

Agents White and Dorsey were called away suddenly. Darling was on

her own. She sipped her trademark James Bondish martini that the waitress

gave her before she could even order it. The waitress nodded towards

the band. Sage bought her a drink. Sage never bought anyone anything.

Darling was excited. She wished White and Dorsey could see this.

Sage’s band kept repeating the opening riffs of “Zombie” by the Cranberries

for a long while to create more tension in the crowd.

“Alas, no karaoke tonight,” Sage grinned. “Ya’ll know what karaoke

means to me. But hey, I’m not mean. I won’t deprive you of your darling.

Darling, don’t disappoint your fans. Come up here and help me sing this

song.” Sage stared over the crowd into Darling’s bewildered face.

Darling fought to stay in character. Did Sage call her “darling” or did he

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 39


H O N O R

Waves and Fire Light

by Beverly Gates

July 23, 2016,

Redondo Beach

The red glow was

caused by the

Santa Clarita Fire.

Sony Mirrorless A7RII

say her name, Darling? The crowd squished together to clear a narrow

path for Darling. Mercifully the loop ended. The song began.

Sage was under Darling’s skin. It wasn’t supposed to go down this way,

but Sage was in control, completely. Without warning he handed Darling

the mic. She picked up the next line. It did not come out bad. It felt good.

It felt like when she was young and the world was hers. She belted out

“Zombie” with the force of a volcanic eruption. Sage chuckled and nodded

to the band. “Let’s see what she does to Adele.”

Sage yanked a chair from a customer and put it on stage because Agent

Darling was soon going to fall on her ass from what Sage put in her drink.

He didn’t hate her enough to let her suffer that indignity.

Darling’s rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” had the crowd bouncing in

place like a single organism. The new drummer stopped bitching and let

all hell break loose. The old timber of the Starboard Attitude creaked.

Drinks bounced off the bar like lemmings leaping into the sea. Young girls

wept. Outside the crowd completely blocked all passage surrounding the

bar.

Sage glanced up at the police station across the way and saw White and

Dorsey waving their arms in the air, shouting. They were trying to fathom

what happened to the East Coast and the Midwest. All the information

was coming from drones and automated feeds. There was not one person

left who could answer any of the questions White and Dorsey were frantically

screaming. Sage knew they must be watching the Times Square

loop of Sage performing “Purple Rain.” Yep, they saw it. They both looked

up and glared at him with hatred in their eyes. They would never make it

through the crowd in time.

“Ok, Darling, let’s try some hellacious harmony, ‘Don’t Call Me Up,’

Mick Jagger,” Sage purred.

Sage pulled Darling to her feet and kicked the chair into the crowd. Sage

and Darling sang “Don’t Call Me Up,” as if they had practiced it together

a million times. The crying girls began blubbering when Sage and Darling

crushed the lines, “I will hold my head high and just gaze at the sky. I was

under your spell! Ya took me to hell!”

40 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


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“We’ll be back after a short break,” Sage dragged Darling to the bar’s

tiny restroom. The band played an extended all instrumental version of

“Purple Rain.” Sage and Darling made mad love. Afterwards their lips

softly brushed for a moment. Darling couldn’t help herself. She pressed in

for a deep kiss. Sage stabbed her in the neck.

He plopped her outside on the narrow balcony.

“White! Dorsey!” Darling cried out, panting into her no longer hidden

microphone.

“Two thirds of the country is down” were the crackling last words she

heard from Dorsey.

“I made you when you showed up with that ridiculous sunburn trying

to pass yourself off as a wharf rat. You people put the wrong guy in prison.

Gabriel Tyler took the fall for me in exchange for immunity. I just gave

you immunity.” He pulled the syringe out of her neck and flicked it into

the ocean.

“Thar she blows!” Sage pointed to the purple fireworks in the sky. The

crowd suddenly started milling about aimlessly. “I call it ‘Purple rain,’ but

marketed it as “Purple mountain majesties’ to be patriotic. I undersold

competitors and gave away the firecracker and sparkler forms in every

neighborhood across the country. The coastal eddy and fog make a nice

extended delivery.”

“What does it do?” Darling cried.

“It’s a weaponized version of the Zika virus. It doesn’t kill. It doesn’t pass

on to the next generation. It only affects those exposed and reduces them

permanently to a two year old mentality.”

The next firework launched directly through the crowd and into the

parking structure where it caused cars to explode.

“Ok, it doesn’t directly kill but if you are driving a car when you inhale

it, it’s probably not going to end well for you,” Sage corrected himself.

“I’ll be back, Darling,” Sage went back into the Starboard. Everyone had

wandered off to find their ma-ma. The new drummer was sitting on the

floor playing with a tub of maraschino cherries. Sage took up his Les Paul

and played “Purple rain” while civilization fell all around him. B

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 41


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Bar hopping’s glory days

by Pete Whalon

For those fortunate enough to have lived

through those hazy, booze-filled glory

days, I’ve got a serious question.

How many of these joints did you

frequent back in the day?

Travel back in time with me for a nostalgic journey to the ‘70s and

‘80s in the South Bay. The classic beach cruise in the ‘70s and ‘80s

began at 45th St. and Highland Avenue, dipped down to Manhattan

Avenue and then to Hermosa Avenue, which turned into Harbor Drive,

culminating at the Redondo Pier. I received my honorable discharge from

the Army in 1971 after spending 22 months in Vietnam. I had just turned

22 and for the next two decades that hallowed stretch of pavement would

be my “adult playground.” The bars, clubs and restaurants offering music

and dancing littered those streets of the three beach cities. For a young single

male on the prowl, it proved a mecca for meeting nubile, perky, suntanned

chicks (yes, that’s what we called them before the invasion of

political correctness). And for most of that period the Red Onion on Harbor

Drive was, hands down, the quintessential stop for achieving that goal.

If you arrived at the “O” after 9 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday evening

you would find a line of enthusiastic young mavericks zigzagging out the

front door and down around the mosaic water fountain near the parking

area. Ladies, however, were never turned away and never had to wait in

lines. The whole process reminded me of fishermen throwing chum into

the ocean to attract fish. As the guys stood anxiously in line waiting their

turn, a steady stream of hotties in body-hugging shorts and skin tight tank

tops sashayed into into the restaurant. A high school friend of mine

worked as a bouncer and allowed me immediate access anytime he was

working. Of course, whenever you mix alcohol, macho men with raging

hormones and desirable females, chaos occasionally ensued. Over the

years I did witness some of the most vicious and brutal fights in barroom

brawl history. They usually involved a damsel in distress.

The most notorious bouncer working the front door during those years

was a mammoth, fierce, callous looking Hawaiian dude with an impressive

Fu Manchu moustache, shoulder length black hair and arms the size of

telephone poles. One evening as I sat outside at the fountain talking to a

hot blonde chick with perfect teeth, Fu Manchu appeared from the building

dragging an unfortunate drunk by the neck. As he shoved him to the

ground, Fu demanded, “Stay the f- -k outta here asshole!” As the Hawaiian

returned to his position at the front door the drunk awkwardly arose from

the brick walkway and made a painfully costly mistake. “Who the f- -k is

gonna make me ass face!” Fu turned around as the ill-fated idiot staggered

toward him. One swift, powerful punch and Mr. drunk hit the bricks like

a sack of flour right in front of Blondie and me. He was out cold. A few

minutes later three of flour-sack buddies came out looking for him. By this

time the drunk was mumbling and moaning simultaneously. His pals

began asking about who had hit him. Between spitting out blood and attempting

to balance himself he agonizingly replied, “Bouncer dude with

the whiskers.” His clueless toadies started talking tough. “Let’s kick his fu-

- -ing ass.” Since they were only a few feet from where I sat and I wanted

to impress what’s-her-name, I attempted to do the humanitarian thing by

offering some sound advice. “Hey dudes, if I were you I’d just go home

now. I’ve seen guys challenge him before and it did not go well for them.”

Now, you’d think they would be grateful…they weren’t. The three stooges

started flipping me off and firing f-bombs at me as if I had decked their

comrade. So much for impressing blondie. I just sat there silently, questioning

my poor decision to get involved as the trio scooped up their dented

playmate and began carrying him toward the parking lot. Of course they

42 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


maintained their verbal assault toward me. I took away a valuable lifelesson.

Discretion is the better part of valor. In other words, keep your

trap shut.

Besides the Red Onion there were a variety of hangouts close by the

Redondo Harbor. One of the all-time classics, The Flying Jib, was only

a few blocks away but light years removed from the clientele at the “O”.

The Jib was on the corner of Broadway and Catalina, which today is

part of Dive N Surf. It was a rendezvous point for hardcore druggies

and alkies. The born losers. They were the wayward souls of our first

generation of serious drug addicts. Inside the Jib the scraggly, motley

crew were either in search of drugs, passed out on narcotics or selling

the stuff. I did have some druggie friends and visited the Jib five or six

times. Frankly, it proved too depressing for my taste and smelled like a

pile of moldy, dirty laundry. Everybody knew that it was unwise to

drive too close to the Jib on the weekends since most of the burnouts

were totally wasted when they staggered out of the bar and they were

usually driving ratty looking, banged up cars. It was truly an accident

scene waiting to happen. On Friday and Saturday night it was commonplace

to see cop cars, fire trucks and flares as you drove up or down

Beryl Avenue or Catalina Avenue in Redondo.

If you grew weary of the crowd and loud music at the Onion or just

wanted to go somewhere less jam-packed for a short break, you didn’t

have to look far. Across the parking lot from Red Onion was Castagnola’s

Lobster House. I swear, almost every time I walked into that place

the house band was playing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. I had

nightmares with that song pounding in my head. The crowd at the Lobster

House was older (boring) and more subdued (boring). Although I

enjoyed the atmosphere, after a short stint I would get bored and return

to the raging party next door. One of the best parts of visiting the Lobster

proved to be the free gifts. Their drink glasses had a cool Lobster House

logo on them, so every time I left the building I would grab a glass or

two off of a table and put them in my car to later add to my growing

collection at home. Although the glass was cheaply made and would

crack if you played loud music, I still have one intact glass. At one time

I possessed over 30 collectables of their faulty glassware.

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 43


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Pier Roundhouse

and the solstice

moon

by Joel Gitelson

June 20, 2016.

Got up early,

hoping for a clear

moonset. Not until

2062 will there be

another solstice

full moon. Canon

5D Mark III

On the other side of the “O” was Beach Bum Burt’s (now the Cheesecake

factory). With its tiki décor and their retractable roof, Burt’s was a classy

place and perfect location to take a date. However, their Sunday afternoon

beach parties were out-of-control with bikini-clad bombshells everywhere.

If you arrived too late chances are you wouldn’t get in. Unfortunately,

Burt’s closed in the early ‘80s, probably because it couldn’t compete with

its big brother the Onion. Around the corner from Burt’s was Ruben’s (now

Joe’s Crab Shack) and the Portofino Inn (still there). Both offered decent

bands with ample parking, however, much like The Lobster House, a little

too laid back (boring) for me.

Another bygone treasure, the Blue Moon Saloon, sat just behind the

rocks at Redondo’s breakwater. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a splash-wall.

In 1988 it was wiped out by a violent storm. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons

in the summer you couldn’t find a better place to party in the

South Bay. If you enjoyed chicks in bikinis, reasonable drink prices and

promiscuous women, it proved the perfect spot. Due to my notable work

ethic, I often pulled a triple shift on weekends — Friday night until 2 a.m.

at the Onion, then up for my second shift on Saturday from noon until

around 5 p.m. at Blue Moon, then home to take a nap, shower and return

to the scene of the crime, The Red Onion, for the Saturday night debauchery.

44 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


One afternoon while drinking at the bar in the Blue Moon with a friend

we noticed the bartender snorting cocaine in the far corner of the bar area.

He returned at least three times within 20 minutes for a quick blast. A few

minutes later we observed him in a heated argument with an irate customer

a few seats down from us. The snorter began dropping f-bombs as

he stormed away from the agitated barfly. The bartender was clearly pissed

at something the dude had said and he looked ready to explode. We were

laughing thinking he was putting on an act until suddenly he grabbed a

glass and hurled it into the sink shattering it into hundreds of pieces. A

split second later I felt a slight pinch to my chin. I touched the spot and

came away with blood on my fingers. There was a tiny sliver of the glass

buried in my chin. The bartender never noticed that I had been hit by

shrapnel. Twenty-two months in Nam and never wounded — now I’m hit

by friendly fire at The Blue Moon Saloon. The manager, standing nearby,

noticed that I had been injured. Before the manager confronted the cokedout

bartender sulking in the corner he stopped to apologize to me. He asked

me what had happened, although he already knew. The boss then offered

me and my buddy free drinks for the day. However, the absolute best part

of the fiasco was that he forced my goofball assailant to apologize to me,

which he begrudgingly did. A few weeks later at the Blue Moon I asked a

waitress if the short, stocky bartender was working and she informed me

that he had been fired.

There were so many fantastic nightspots to party at during those memorable

two decades, I can’t begin to recall them all. For those fortunate

enough to have lived through those hazy, booze-filled glory days of the

South Bay, I’ve got a serious question. Including the above mentioned establishments,

how many of these joints did you frequent back in the day?

Critters, Orville and Wilbur's, The Lighthouse, The Attic (Santa Monica),

The Bull Pen (still standing), La Paz, Tequila Willies, Shellback Tavern (still

standing), The Rain Tree (Torrance), Pancho & Wongs, Cisco's, Buccaneer,

Besties, Pier 52, The Flagship, Ercoles (still standing). My apologies for the

classic haunts I’ve omitted, due to my severely fading memory. B

August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 45


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46 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 47


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Cloud Waves

by Jeff Wright

June 2, 2016,

below Del

Cerro Park,

Rancho Palos

Verdes. Taken

after sunset

with low

clouds over

the ocean.

Canon 5D MkIII

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Marriage, houses and true love by

Mori Biener

SAs she yells, she opens the drapes and points to the balcony. The tour must go on!

48 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

o I’m entering a better than average house on a bad street in a nice neighborhood. That would be Realtor talk. I’m here on

a listing appointment with Gracie, who was referred to me. She’s a very nice lady, short, thin, attractive but I can’t understand

half the things she says because she has a very thick accent and she speaks in broken English. But I can tell Gracie

is sharp. I sha you hos…I bild it, she says proudly. I follow her as we tour the lower floor and I try not to say, what is that?

too many times. The feture fo sal too; is ver spensive, she says. What was that?, I say. It took me three times to understand

that the furniture is for sale too. Why are you selling the house? I ask. Husban no good bum get divos, she says. I’m sorry

to hear that, I say. I like to think I’m pretty good in divorce situations. I’m quick on my feet and have handled warring

parties in the past with aplomb. We go upstairs and she opens the master bedroom double doors. We step into darkness.

She turns on the lights. Up pops a man from under the blankets dressed in pj’s, night mask and an attitude. He tears off

the mask. Squinting intensely he yells, I sleap why you tun on light?! I freeze. My heart stops. I bring Retor, show bedroom,

sell hos, she yells back. I want out in the worst way but I’m frozen. He blurts out a barrage of foreign words and she

counters with her own. As she yells, she opens the drapes and points to the balcony. The tour must go on! You go see masa

bath now, she tells me excitedly. But I’m frozen! You go! she commands curtly and I unfreeze. I take a quick look and rush

out of the bedroom fearing to cast an eye toward the bed. Gracie’s behind me, words unknown to me flinging out of her

like poison arrows toward whom I presume is her husband. She slams the door behind her, big breath and slowly turns toward

me. I’m at a complete loss for words, red in the face. She apologizes, gives me the listing and I sell the house without

ever seeing him again. Gracie handled everything. When the house went into escrow she decided to buy a nicer house

where she now lives happily with that very same no good husband she tangled with in that bedroom. Go figure. Sometimes

sharing an uncomfortable situation with a stranger can be a bonding experience, which can result in a sale…or two. B


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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 49


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

“Reflections

by Kathy

Miller-Fujimoto

December 27,

2015, RAT Beach. I

decided to go to

RAT Beach and was

blessed with a

spectacular sunset.

Canon 5D Mark III

In our small town there were about 10 paper

routes. Only one or two would turnover annually.

Typically, paper boys, only boys,

would start around 11 years old and quit when

they started high school. To get the job, one hung

around the drop off area. The drop off area was

a central point in town where the circulation

manager would drop off bundles of the newspaper

each afternoon. The aspiring paper boy

would help rubber band and bag the papers

Eventually, he would help carriers with delivery,

get to know the manager and hopefully be given

the route of a departing carrier.

Mondays and Tuesdays, when the paper was

thin, the paperboys boxed the papers, folding

them without using rubber bands. They had to

buy their rubber bands. The downside to boxing

was the papers did not always fly straight when

tossed. On a long toss, boxed papers tended to sail

into the bushes or on to rooftops.

Capital expenditures and

operating expenses

Capital expenses were minimal. One needed a

bicycle with high, butterfly handlebars. Butterflies

allowed the paperboys to drape their heavy

carrier bags over the handlebars. A bicycle with

drop handlebars would not work. The large bags

were able to carry 70 to 100 papers. The bags had

front and back pouches, with a hole between

them. Some carriers preferred to wear the bags

like a poncho, pulling papers from the front and

back to keep the bag balanced.

Since most routes were five to six miles long

and the papers were delivered six days a week,

50 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

Business 101: The paper route

the paperboy would incur operational costs, such

as bicycle brake pads and bicycle tires.

Operations

Routes had 90 to 95 subscribers, so carriers had

to memorize which houses to deliver to and

which to skip. About 40 percent of the houses on

a route were customers. Carriers quickly learned

all their names. Carriers rode down the middle

of the street, tossing papers with either hand. It

helped to be ambidextrous. There was little traffic

to worry about, though occasionally carriers got

hit. Some customers insisted their papers be

porched. Extra papers were always carried and,

if not needed, brought home for our folks. If a

customer complained that their house was

missed, or their paper was thrown in the bushes,

or soaked by a sprinkler, the circulation manager

would phone us at home and we would hop on

our bike, ride to that customer’s house and hand

deliver one of the extra papers. Too many complaints

were the main cause for dismissal.

The paper had to be delivered daily, except on

Sunday. If you were unable to work, it was your

responsibility to find a substitute.

Receivables

At the end of each month the paper boy would

go to each customer’s house to collect. My paper,

the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, cost $1.50 a

month. Since I had 90 papers, I paid the Outlook

$90 at end of each month and I kept $45. I collected

in the evenings and never worried about

my safety. The customers would usually give me

$2 and expect change. Only during Christmas

Everything I needed to know about business,

I learned on my paper route by John Cody

would I receive tips, often as much as $50 to $60.

We carried the cash, no checks, in a pouch and

paid the circulation manager on the first of each

month. No exceptions, which meant we had to

be diligent in collecting from our customers.

Marketing

Because only about 40 of the people on a route

subscribed to the evening paper, the circulation

department was constantly encouraging us to get

more subscribers. Every year, the newspaper

would hold a circulation drive and reward the paperboys

who increased the number of customers

on their routes. The most effective motivation

was not money, but an outing or a trip. For us, it

was usually an all expenses paid Sunday at Disneyland

with the other winners. We learned that

recognition and trips are stronger incentives than

plain cash. Failure to increase market share was

also grounds for dismissal.

Conclusion

One can see why a paper route was a great introduction

to business. The barriers to entry were

low capital and investment costs were minimal,

as were operational costs. Efficient distribution

was the responsibility of the paperboy and required

memorization and logistical skills. Increasing

circulation was stressed, so constant

marketing was important. Collecting receivables

was necessary for survival. I’m sure not all successful

businessmen of my generation had paper

routes as boys, but I’ll bet many did. I learned

more business skills as a paperboy than I did during

two years in MBA School. B


PEDAL YOUR CRUISER

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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 51


You’re Invited

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

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The sound of burning rubber,

tires peeling, and engine belts being

pushed way beyond their limits,

could be heard

that? Never seen them before."

Hermosa Sgt. JD Clements mumbled to himself as he

"Who's

drove North along PCH, past the Four Star gas station and

repair shop, "Lemme just have a quick look."

Clements did a quick right turn and blacked out, no interior or headlights,

killed the engine and rolled down the driveway of the all night filling

station.

August 6, 1953, not only was the planet Mars the closest it’s been to

earth this century, there was a Super Moon event that evening. The brightness

from the east-rising moon lit up the ocean like a search light .

The officer got out of his car and called out to the night attendant,

"Jimmy, need to talk to you!" There was no response, but he thought he

heard someone in the manager’s office. Not a voice, but some shuffling

and a muffled response. Clements unleashed the holster of his sidearm

and walked towards the open door of the office.

As he got closer, he saw the moonlit silhouette of the night attendant,

bound and gagged, prone on the oily floor. Holding his .45 in his right

hand, ready to shoot at anything that blinked, Clements whispered to

Jimmy, "Just nod your answer, is he still here?" Jimmy's head went up and

down like a jackhammer. That rapid cranial movement somehow loosened

the gag covering the attendants mouth, enough for him to blurt out, "He

has a gun!"

At this exact same moment, the sound of burning rubber, tires peeling,

and engine belts being pushed way beyond their limits could be heard from

the south end of the building. Clements ran back to his patrol unit just in

time to see the 1951 Plymouth Seville pull out of the driveway and head

north along PCH.

"Sorry, Jimbo, I'll have to come back for you later," the officer said to

himself as he grabbed the mic from the dash and told anyone who was interested

that he was in pursuit. This was just months before all the South

Bay cities were brought onto one emergency frequency, so when there was

an incident like this, the neighboring cities’ police units were already in

position along Sepulveda Boulevard.

"1 Ocean 20, I'm now crossing Manhattan Beach Boulevard, approaching

Marine, speeds at 100 plus."

Clements looked in his rear view mirror and what he initially thought

was a firefly making erratic horizontal movements, was actually none other

than Hermosa Chief Holly Murray, on a city motorcycle — riding at an incredible

speed.

"1 Ocean 20, crossing Rosecrans, speeds at 100 plus,” radioed a Manhattan

unit driven by Sgt. Mike Martin. Then a two man El Segundo unit

joined in the pursuit. Its wide open road from this point north, and everyone

instinctively knew that this incident was going to end in the next

minute or so. The adrenaline of the chase wears off quickly with the realization

that the pursuits never end well.

1 OCEAN 20 cont. on page 54

52 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N

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by Ted Anderson

June 12, 2016.

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August 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 53


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1 OCEAN 20 cont. from page 52

As the parade continued past El Segundo Boulevard, Sgt. Martin held his

service revolver out the window and shot out the rear tires of the suspect’s

vehicle, right wheel first, causing the driver to over-correct by turning the

steering wheel to the left, with the second bullet prompting the Plymouth

to cease all forward motion. Unfortunately for the suspect, the Hermosa

unit was still in "forward motion" at about 50 m.p.h. when it impacted the

front left area of the Plymouth, knocking it into the gully that adjoins the

strawberry fields. The force of the collision launched the black and white

up on its two left wheels for about 20 yards before the unit rolled over on

its side and skidded to a stop.

About 20 yards from the termination of the pursuit the two El Segundo

officers pulled Clements out of his wrecked vehicle and hauled their seriously

injured patient to Gardena Hospital.

Sgt. Martin and Chief Murray each grabbed one arm of the suspect and

yanked him out the driver’s side window and placed him, knees folded,

into the mud. As Martin did a pat down for weapons, Murray leaned over

to pick up a piece of paper that had fallen out of the suspect’s vehicle. It

revealed a floor plan of the Mermaid Restaurant. He motioned the Manhattan

officer over. "I stopped some guy earlier this evening, down at the

waterline, got a call that he was behaving weird, using a flashlight to signal

someone off the coast. As I rolled up I could see a guy in a small craft,

about 50 yards out, just south of the pier. He took off when I walked down

towards flashlight guy.

“I asked the guy who was sitting in the sand for his ID, and who his

friend with the panga was. He said he didn't have anything and didn't see

any boat. I told him he's not going anywhere ‘til he gives me something

w/ his name on it. He was fumbling around his pockets, pulled out the

map, then quickly shoved it into his jacket pocket. I grabbed his arm and

reached into his pocket to grab the map.

Same one as this clown has. He started to get up so I shoved him back

down and cuffed him. Let’s go find out who this guy is.”

The officers walked back towards their suspect and laid it out for him.

"We have your friend. You wanna tell us your version, ‘cause his story

throws you under the bus.”

After about 15 seconds of the seven stages of grief, the suspect spoke up.

"I knew this wasn't gonna work, the whole thing was so stupid. My idiot

cousin saw it in a movie, and we just tweaked the plot to fit our plan. We

were gonna knock over the Mermaid. It's a Saturday night, the owners

can't go to the bank ‘til Monday, so it makes sense that there'd be a ton of

cash there. We hired this kid and paid him to drive away from the Mermaid

as fast as he could, blacked out around 11 p.m. figuring he could keep u

guys busy chasing him down, while we scooped all the cash from the tills

and customers.”

“Then we were gonna run down to the beach and get aboard a dinghy

to take us to a bigger boat, maybe hide out at the isthmus on Catalina. But

the kid called and said some cop ran my cousin off the beach and then off

to jail.”

“So our plan was on hold. I didn't want to go home empty handed, so I

stopped off at that gas station you saw me at, was gonna knock that over,

but you guys ruined that plan, too.”

Martin lifted the guy to his feet and walked him back to his unit as a

message from the Hermosa desk was relayed to Murray.

"Clements called from the hospital, he's gonna be fine, but thought it’d

be wise to mention that the victim in the gas station robbery is most likely

still tied up in the office and will probably lash out at anyone who shows

up to free him.”

Murray radioed back that he'd head over to the station and take care of

that, but on his way, he did a slow roll by the Mermaid, looking at the lot

full of locals and rummies, heading in and out and thinking to himself,

"You people have no idea how two nosy, suspicious civil servants made

your life a lot more pleasant tonight."

As he turned his motor west and headed up Pier Avenue, he rode by but

didn’t recognize the kid who was gonna drive the car away from the Mermaid

and now was walking back toward the restaurant, seeing if there was

any way to salvage the evening. He glanced towards Pier Ave at the fading

light of Murray's motorcycle, with its back and forth excessive changes,

and thought to himself, "That looks like a drunken firefly." B

54 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016


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56 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • August 11, 2016

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