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Steve

Eugene, OR

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#1
May 3, 2008
 
In the '60's a guy used to frequent the pier area in the summer, named "Seal Beach James." He was mentally retarded, but apparently free to roam on his own and would show up most summer days at the beach. He was an affectionate and nice guy, free with his hello's and comraderie. I think he must have lived in Long Beach somewhere because I'd see him hitchhiking back up the hill when the summer days got late. I always wondered what happened to him after all of us Seal Beach goer's had gotten older, left the beach, and moved away. Everyone knew him because he was practically the town's good will ambassador. Some treated him poorly because of his handicap, but he cheerfully ignored the teasing. I was wondering how the years treated him...I remember him as a unique person in a unique place at a unique time. Does anyone remember Seal Beach James?

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#2
Oct 9, 2008
 
Steve wrote:
In the '60's a guy used to frequent the pier area in the summer, named "Seal Beach James." He was mentally retarded, but apparently free to roam on his own and would show up most summer days at the beach. He was an affectionate and nice guy, free with his hello's and comraderie. I think he must have lived in Long Beach somewhere because I'd see him hitchhiking back up the hill when the summer days got late. I always wondered what happened to him after all of us Seal Beach goer's had gotten older, left the beach, and moved away. Everyone knew him because he was practically the town's good will ambassador. Some treated him poorly because of his handicap, but he cheerfully ignored the teasing. I was wondering how the years treated him...I remember him as a unique person in a unique place at a unique time. Does anyone remember Seal Beach James?
Are you talking about "Dickie"
That's the only "mentally retarded" person that I recall that used to hang out at the pier.
He was deathly afraid of knives and preferred to spend his time "ironing" the ocean.

I believe he was hit by a car and killed some years ago.
cLoSeD

Wailuku, HI

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#3
Oct 9, 2008
 
Fran the Man wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you talking about "Dickie"
That's the only "mentally retarded" person that I recall that used to hang out at the pier.
He was deathly afraid of knives and preferred to spend his time "ironing" the ocean.
I believe he was hit by a car and killed some years ago.
Also remember Dickie. Tall skinny nice fellow. Used to have a wash tub full of water with broken
glass in it and push the glass around to make noise. He had two paper plates glued together with a few marbles to spin inside. remember when the tram that pulled the trailers with benches out to the end of the pier. The tram crashed over the railing down to the north side of the pier on evening killing the driver. Remember when the hill had no houses on it and a western movie was shot in the field snd was shown at the bay theater. Who was the very short kid?
bob

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#4
Oct 10, 2008
 
cLoSeD wrote:
<quoted text>
Also remember Dickie. Tall skinny nice fellow. Used to have a wash tub full of water with broken
glass in it and push the glass around to make noise. He had two paper plates glued together with a few marbles to spin inside. remember when the tram that pulled the trailers with benches out to the end of the pier. The tram crashed over the railing down to the north side of the pier on evening killing the driver. Remember when the hill had no houses on it and a western movie was shot in the field snd was shown at the bay theater. Who was the very short kid?
bob
I don't remember the tram incident. When did that happen?

My family bought one of the first houses on the hill (Marvista Ave)

The short kid? No idea.
cLoSeD

Wailuku, HI

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#5
Oct 10, 2008
 
Fran the Man wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't remember the tram incident. When did that happen?
My family bought one of the first houses on the hill (Marvista Ave)
The short kid? No idea.
the tram crash was in late50's. have picture of the scene with body covered up. can't remember his family name but used to know. have a short chunk of the red and white flag poles that were at the sales office for the new homes on the hill. you went to seal beach schools? my dad owned the news paper in sb and have put a number of shots on dvd. used to live next to august and went to school with carrol. party in sunset/surfside?
bob

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#6
Oct 10, 2008
 
cLoSeD wrote:
<quoted text>
the tram crash was in late50's. have picture of the scene with body covered up. can't remember his family name but used to know. have a short chunk of the red and white flag poles that were at the sales office for the new homes on the hill. you went to seal beach schools? my dad owned the news paper in sb and have put a number of shots on dvd. used to live next to august and went to school with carrol. party in sunset/surfside?
bob
Robert and Corky. Didn't know Robert but knew Corky. My brother's Harbour hangs in the shop today. I'ts the oldest known harbour still around, I think.
Pretty sure you're probably about my brothers age, a bit older than me (Born 1952) so didn't party too much in Sunset or Surfside. I did get kicked out of Turks by Turk himself though.
We have a friend that bought a beach house in Sunset in the '60's and still has it.
I know my dad was appalled that she spent like $20,000 on it. Must be worth a Million and half now.

went to Zoder and JH Mcgaugh (Sp)

Wasn't the paper the "Marina Press?"
I delivered for that as a kid.

I'm pretty sure our house was the model home.
(Corner of Marvista and Coastline)

I would absolutely love to see that dvd. Any chance you've made copies?

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#7
Oct 10, 2008
 
By the way, I'm Rich Holmstrom and my brother is Ron. Do we know you?
cLoSeD

Wailuku, HI

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#8
Oct 10, 2008
 
Fran the Man wrote:
By the way, I'm Rich Holmstrom and my brother is Ron. Do we know you?
Aloha Rich
my dads paper was the seal beach post and wave. The old print shop was where the bank of america is now on Main st.
I was born in 46 and my parents moved to SB in 49.
have a brother Bill who is 10 years older. buells?
Live close to dick Brewer, He shaped for harbor in late 50's
can get a copy of dvd to you, how do you wish to have direct contact? tuttle was the guy under the tram. larry leonard? flea? have many haloween shots from Zoter school. was in first classes at Mcgaugh. don't think we know each other but, maybe
was a teenager in 60's and ?? whiskey a gogo ,Doors at LB city? riots on sunset strip?
mistic arts? league of spiritual discovery?
Bob

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#9
Oct 10, 2008
 
cLoSeD wrote:
<quoted text>
Aloha Rich
my dads paper was the seal beach post and wave. The old print shop was where the bank of america is now on Main st.
I was born in 46 and my parents moved to SB in 49.
have a brother Bill who is 10 years older. buells?
Live close to dick Brewer, He shaped for harbor in late 50's
can get a copy of dvd to you, how do you wish to have direct contact? tuttle was the guy under the tram. larry leonard? flea? have many haloween shots from Zoter school. was in first classes at Mcgaugh. don't think we know each other but, maybe
was a teenager in 60's and ?? whiskey a gogo ,Doors at LB city? riots on sunset strip?
mistic arts? league of spiritual discovery?
Bob
Maybe it was the Seal beach Post that I used to deliver. Seems like i used to pick up my papers over on Electric ave...?

Are you talking about Denny Buell? Rode for harbour.
If so, I know he was one of my brothers friends.

heard of dick Brewer, before my time.
definately knew, know harbour. Both my brother and i had a couple of his boards.
Too young for the Whiskey agogo.
BUT after moving to Mammoth lakes in '69, had Jim Morrison at our house (Famously known as "The Fun House") a couple times. Crazy times.

I would like to get that dvd from you. Why don't you email me at;
tll@gci.net
j hix

United States

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#10
Oct 13, 2008
 
maybe you have more residents missing than you know ,rumor has it you have a police force that is crooked and kidnapps citizens
mike henderson

United States

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#11
Oct 13, 2008
 
he had some marijuana on him so me and other police officers took care of him ,wink wink.... you betcha,
Sam B

United States

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#12
Mar 30, 2010
 
I remember "SEAL BEACH DICKIE" like it was yesterday. He had a basket with alot of stuff in it. He would throw an Iron ( iron your clothes type iron) with a rope attached to the handle and bob the iron up and down while singing " this is the way we iron the fish, iron the fish, iron the fish. He also had a large crab shell that he called his brother. I watched as a couple of surfers gave him a real tabacco cigarette and told him it was candy. as he was eating it the lifeguard came and made him spit it out. the lifeguard told the surfers to stop messing with dickie. I was 12 years old (1962) and was told by some other Guys that if you Yelled "air raid" he would hide and cover his head. After hearing that I found respect and saddness for him believing he was a WW11 Vet. with "Shell Shock", although He looked younger than my parents who were in the war but it might have been his handicap that made him appear younger than he actually was. In 1983 the only guy I new that remembered him was mike haley ( capt. jack's brother). I would go up on the pier to watch him (after bodysurfing between the pilings under the pier) most days of that summer.

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#13
Mar 30, 2010
 
Sam B wrote:
I remember "SEAL BEACH DICKIE" like it was yesterday. He had a basket with alot of stuff in it. He would throw an Iron ( iron your clothes type iron) with a rope attached to the handle and bob the iron up and down while singing " this is the way we iron the fish, iron the fish, iron the fish. He also had a large crab shell that he called his brother. I watched as a couple of surfers gave him a real tabacco cigarette and told him it was candy. as he was eating it the lifeguard came and made him spit it out. the lifeguard told the surfers to stop messing with dickie. I was 12 years old (1962) and was told by some other Guys that if you Yelled "air raid" he would hide and cover his head. After hearing that I found respect and saddness for him believing he was a WW11 Vet. with "Shell Shock", although He looked younger than my parents who were in the war but it might have been his handicap that made him appear younger than he actually was. In 1983 the only guy I new that remembered him was mike haley ( capt. jack's brother). I would go up on the pier to watch him (after bodysurfing between the pilings under the pier) most days of that summer.
Sadly, I heard that Dickie was hit and killed by a car many years ago. I was a surfer back then but never would have done something so dastardly to Dickie.
I sure remember Jack Haley! I was 10 in 1962 and lived up on the "Hill" from 1958 to the early 70's.
Went to both Zoter and JH Mcgaugh
Curly

Huntington Beach, CA

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#14
Jun 6, 2010
 
As far as I know James is still around, I saw him at church about 5 years ago. I don't think Dickie is the same person though. What about Seal Beach Rick? Anyone run into him lately?
J M H

AOL

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#15
Jun 15, 2010
 
Three feather John was the chief of fishing in Seal beach. He was the last man standing of the old timers. The old men playing poker on wedsdays at the end of the river. Andy who ate a raw onion every day, was the champion on good health at about 95 years old. They should have left those old mans poker game alone, that was their secret to life at lifes end.
mark huntington beach

Pomona, CA

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#16
Jun 21, 2010
 
i remember dickie very well with his iron. he used to stand on the pier with it ironing the ocean... he used to holler out, this is the way we iron the ocean iron the ocean etc. he was a very friendly guy...
Blake Schelhorn

Riverside, CA

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#17
Jun 30, 2010
 
Steve wrote:
In the '60's a guy used to frequent the pier area in the summer, named "Seal Beach James." He was mentally retarded, but apparently free to roam on his own and would show up most summer days at the beach. He was an affectionate and nice guy, free with his hello's and comraderie. I think he must have lived in Long Beach somewhere because I'd see him hitchhiking back up the hill when the summer days got late. I always wondered what happened to him after all of us Seal Beach goer's had gotten older, left the beach, and moved away. Everyone knew him because he was practically the town's good will ambassador. Some treated him poorly because of his handicap, but he cheerfully ignored the teasing. I was wondering how the years treated him...I remember him as a unique person in a unique place at a unique time. Does anyone remember Seal Beach James?
I do remember Dicky. I lived in Lakewood and would visit Seal Beach regularly during the summers. When I first saw him as a child, I was scared to death of him, but that soon passed. I'll never forget him putting his hand on my head, looking me straight in the eyes with our foreheads touching and saying "Will you be my friend?" He and his grappling hook for pulling starfish from piers pylons, to his iron named "Beverly" that was tied to a long rope for what purpose,I don't know. Some forty six years later Dicky,I would be honored to call you my friend.
Blake Schelhorn

Riverside, CA

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#19
Jun 30, 2010
 
Sam B wrote:
I remember "SEAL BEACH DICKIE" like it was yesterday. He had a basket with alot of stuff in it. He would throw an Iron ( iron your clothes type iron) with a rope attached to the handle and bob the iron up and down while singing " this is the way we iron the fish, iron the fish, iron the fish. He also had a large crab shell that he called his brother. I watched as a couple of surfers gave him a real tabacco cigarette and told him it was candy. as he was eating it the lifeguard came and made him spit it out. the lifeguard told the surfers to stop messing with dickie. I was 12 years old (1962) and was told by some other Guys that if you Yelled "air raid" he would hide and cover his head. After hearing that I found respect and saddness for him believing he was a WW11 Vet. with "Shell Shock", although He looked younger than my parents who were in the war but it might have been his handicap that made him appear younger than he actually was. In 1983 the only guy I new that remembered him was mike haley ( capt. jack's brother). I would go up on the pier to watch him (after bodysurfing between the pilings under the pier) most days of that summer.
I remember Dickie's iron to be named "Beverly".

“VIKINGS, NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!”

Since: Dec 06

Tangle Lakes, Alaska

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#20
Jul 1, 2010
 
Blake Schelhorn wrote:
<quoted text> I do remember Dicky. I lived in Lakewood and would visit Seal Beach regularly during the summers. When I first saw him as a child, I was scared to death of him, but that soon passed. I'll never forget him putting his hand on my head, looking me straight in the eyes with our foreheads touching and saying "Will you be my friend?" He and his grappling hook for pulling starfish from piers pylons, to his iron named "Beverly" that was tied to a long rope for what purpose,I don't know. Some forty six years later Dicky,I would be honored to call you my friend.
From Lakewood? I didn't think we let you guys in Seal Beach.
Must have been after I moved away. lol

That forehead to forehead thing was sometimes painful! He'd grap the back of your head and mash your forehead into his and say, "Do you know me? My name is Dickey"!
The iron was to flatten the waves, which I think scared him.
He also didn't particulary care for surfers, if I remember.
He was also scared to death of knives and would run away when he saw one.

We just had a huge Seal Beach reunion last week with people coming from all over the planet to attend and it's weird that Dickey's name didn't come up.
Dickie on the Pier

Salinas, CA

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#21
Aug 27, 2010
 

Judged:

1

Beverly the Iron and Arthur the Hook.....here's a poem about Dickie:

The hook. The iron. The knife.
Each for Dickie had a life.

The hook was Arthur, his closest friend.
Twisted hands to lips, a kiss and then

to Beverly his iron tied to a line
and dangled down above the swelling brine

to iron out the the surfer's waves.
A measure of mad Dickie's rage

with all who gathered there to mock
his antic dancing, his crazy talk.

But worse than mocking was the fear
in Dickies eyes when, drawing near

someone asshole with a tiny life
would produce a pocket knife

and call to Dickie, knowing he'd go wild
and scream, "No knife! No knife!, a frightened child

reaching for his hook to kiss and prayŚ
anything to keep that knife at bay.

A dream brings him back, I hear that cry,
"No knife, no knife!" and realize that I

am still the same coward, standing silent
neither resisting, not quite compliant

as the insanity rages far and near
as it did out there on Seal Beach pier.

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