Not the least has been the service of no fewer than four (4) of their members as lifeguards for the City of Huntington Beach, a rigorous if not elite body of young men who earned their jobs through competition with hundreds of applicants.
They are Bill Thrall, Vern Fotheringham, Steve Crocker, Randy Condict and Robert Kazebee, and we salute them.
One of Vern's lifeguard stories that I've never forgotten had to do with a very hot, very crowded day at the beach. Vern was on his
tower, I believe with his partner, and both were looking through binoculars to scan all the swimmers and everyone in sight, which
means many thousands of people. In particular there is a gentleman on the pier who is obviously intoxicated, and Vern keeps an
eye on him for quite a while. I believe the man was a little belligerent and may have appeared to want to jump off the pier. Or maybe he
was in the early stages of bothering people and trying to pick fights. It doesn't matter because the point is that here's Vern, one young man
with a lifeguard partner, and with several other lifeguards along the beach. Children, teenagers and adults are in the water, along the shore,
in the sand having fun or walking around, and almost everything is in motion as a fluid, changing situation. On top of everything else Vern's
responsible for, including the waves and people swimming and surfing, there's a drunk on the pier he's got to look out for. Talk about
stress! Things like that are happening every few minutes all through a lifeguard's shift, and it's not all smiling and waving at pretty girls in their bikinis.