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Roy France, LA County Diving Instructor

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by John C. Ratliff, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    Does anyone (especially Dr. Sam Miller) remember an LA County Diving Instructor named Roy France? I recently found my initial scuba certification card (5/1963) and it is signed by Roy France. I have written about it here too. I would like to know more about Mr. Roy France, so any information would be appreciated.

    SeaRat

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:03 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:02 AM ----------

    Here's the other side of the card.

    SeaRat
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Lev

    Mike Lev Barracuda

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    Hello John,I have a LA County diving manaul from 1967. It has a list of there instructors in it. Sam's name is in there along with many others. But no Roy France. Maybe he stop teaching before this time?
     
  3. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    5,066
    3,913
    113
    John,
    Just noticed your post on my weekly visit to this board--then visited the "Other Board" which I was expelled from many moons ago by the female snorkeler...a subject for the future over a "Kool one in the Dark of the Night."

    I appreciate you thinking of me and hope I will not disappoint you in information and leads ..

    Yes, I knew Roy France. But it has been years since I have heard his name or had contact with Roy. At the time I knew him he was living somewhere in the LA area, I was living in a rather rural bucolic Orange County--which has now changed.

    At that junction in history a lot of Kalifornians were moving to the PNW..Harry Vetter was one, Allan Carpenter was another I perhaps Roy, I just don't know. I do recall seeing him at the many mandatory LA Co UW Instructors meeting -then he was gone.

    I can't recall if Roy was older, younger or the same age as me..I am Korean war vet (Captain USAF)well into my 80s (time flys when you are having fun!)If Roy was older he would be a WW 11 Vet and they are rapidly disappearing..If younger he may still be around...I just don't know.

    The LA Co UW Instructors program as well as the basic SCUBA program were the world's first civilian diving program and most demanding prestigious ever presented which will never be equalled. It is my honor to consider you John as my Brother of the Underwater World.

    The program required two days of pre-testing..90 applied 36 were accepted, three months later 19 or 20 finished as Certified LA Co UW Instructors, the rest were presented with certificates of competition. Yes, John D Craig was in the course as well a Bill Barada. Bill was also from OC so we often buddied - We did the 33 foot D&R together in zero disability, but I did the 100 foot free ascent with some one else..both those exercises washed a number out of the program--great times! Great memories!

    Vince Van Detta (big VD!) was the program director for a few years. He and his staff encountered some "problems" and he and his staff were replaced by Glen Egstrom, Otto Gasser, Lenny Greenstone and my self. We ran the program for a number of years.

    Most LA Co UW instructors remain in touch -- directly or indirectly by e mails...all to often we are receiving those that begin with "Did you hear about..." so sad that that era is closing.

    I will put out an e mail to inquire about Roy France...Perhaps we will get lucky

    I also know Harry Vetter very well which I will expand on later.

    Thanks for thinking of me

    SAM

    If you deem appropriate fell free to post on the "Other Board"

    ---------- Post Merged at 04:00 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:31 PM ----------

    A little about Harry Vetter...

    Harry vetter ???????
    A little reminiscences --Harry Vetter

    HARRY
    VETTER
    Harry
    who? Vetter?
    A friend for 60 years, diving buddy for many of those years.

    Let me tell you about Harry Vetter....

    Pioneer LA county Underwater Instructor ( ever wonder why LA Co types are referred to as "Underwater Instructors" rather than SCUBA instructors? The term SCUBA was not in common usage in 1954 when LA Co was established)

    Harry also has the dubious distinction of being the last of the original instructors who taught the very first NAUI Instructor's course at Houston in August 1960, all the rest are now diving on the big reef in the sky; Dr. Al Tillman, NAUI #1 Al Jones #2, Dr. Andy Rechnitzer #3 are gone- all gone. Only Harry Vetter NAUI #4 remains.

    During his recent two day visit from his home in Oregon Harry indicated he had contacted NAUI HQ and chatted with a clerk about a replacement card. The clerk could not comprehend that his instructor number was 4 and could not locate his records, after all, almost a half a century had passed since 1960.

    A few days after his departure I contacted Cathy Cush at NAUI. She was unaware that Harry had contacted them or that he was still alive. She was very grateful for the historical link to the past. A fast review of NAUI records indicated Harry was the "Oldest Living NAUI instructor" and I as NAUI instructor #27 was "one of the oldest living instructors." A few days ago Harry and I received a very special one of a kind NAUI instructor card in the mail. According to a note it was the first two to be issued

    Lets place Harry's distinction of NAUI Instructor #4 in proper prospective...1960 was 48 years ago, most of you were not alive or if you were you were probably too young to be interested in recreational diving.

    The former dive shop owner and frequent Scuba board poster Ken Kurtis who proudly and rightfully so, identifies himself as NAUI Instructor #5936. Once again placing this in proper prospective after Harry was "certified" as number NAUI 4, Ken was certified in 1980 as NAUI Instructor # 5936 , over 20 years after the establishment of NAUI and that very first ITC at Houston a total of 5,931 were certified as NAUI instructors prior to Ken.

    Harry's visit produced a non stop 24X7 conversation of days, events and people of the past.

    The many dives, summer and winter prior to the wet suit with only long underwear and GI sweaters for thermal protection, Churchill fins for propulsion, home made snorkels fashioned from a WW 11 gas mask hose and a piece of aquarium hose, the home made masks fashioned from a piece of fire hose ( see www portagequarry.com ; Legends of diving "The Mask")

    The many trips deep into Baja for clear water teaming with game; the many fish and huge lobsters....

    The time we came around a corner on the "old road" near what is known now as "La Mission" and were stopped by a huge bond fire in the middle of the road by what we thought were well armed Mexican bandits, but lucky for us they were military searching for escapees from the Ensenada jail.

    The LA county and later NAUI classes we taught and the laughs we had...the 38 foot diving charter boat "Say when" (Say when are we getting there?, Say when will it stop rocking? Say when will we get back to San Pedro?)... the student who fastened his wet suit beaver tail over the railing and did a back entry and was suspended up side down....The arrogant self impressed gymnast who rather doing a "giant stride entry" attempted a hand stand entry in full gear, but for what ever reason did not let go and came crashing down on the side of the boat. Certainly got the attention of all on board and gave us cause for alarm.

    The many locations we were the first to dive up and down the Baja and California coast, and the famous Farnsworth banks.

    I was the President of the Sea Sabres dive club in 1959-60. The previous President Bob Ruethford, who had founded the Aquatic Center in Newport Beach, had seen hunks of purple coral (allopura California) brought in by commercial abalone divers. Over a few drinks Bob discovered they found it at a place called Farnsworth banks. Selected member of the Sea Sabres and the scientific community at Kirkoff marine institute in Corona Del Mar consequently made a number of trips to the banks on the private boat called the "Aqua Duck."

    Bob, a true diving pioneer who is famous for many first in diving (see www.legendsof diving: Sea sabres signaling system) who relished publicity,published an article in Skin Diver magazine in June 1960 "California divers discover Rare purple coral' which was fine but his topside pictures clearly showed Ben Weston Point in the background. That same month Jake Jacobs the then head diver at Marine Land of the Pacific published "Marine land diver" (--Dodd, Meade & company NYC, LCC 60-9655 --I have an inscribed copy) in which Jake also discusses the purple coral of Farnsworth -- So the secret of Farnsworth was out.

    As the president of the then undisputed most active dive club in all of SoCal and possibly the US I made the decision to dive " Farnsworth banks". I contacted the dive boat captains at that time, all refused to charter to Farnsworth as if it was some foreign or strange exotic place. Finally Dick Peters, who owned the newest dive charter boat of the fleet, the 42 foot "Out Rider " agreed to a charter at $7.00 per person but with the stipulation "only in the winter when there is no boats fishing there and the water will be calm" (FYI the Outrider sunk about 1967 when returning from a trip to Catalina)

    In early December 1960 we loaded the boat. It had no compressor - as many as three- four or even five tanks per person was stashed all over the boat. The water was like glass and the trip over and back was like riding on silk.

    Using Ben Weston Point as a reference and relying on the recently developed depth finder Captain Peters made numerous runs in all directions across the banks trying to locate a pinnacle.

    Finally a suitable pinnacle was located and the anchor was dropped--right in the middle of a school of welcoming sharks. "The are only blues, lets dive! " some one shouted. With only a nano second of hesitation on that bright sunny day in December 1960, Ed Mossbrooke (who now lives in Fountain Valley) became the first recreational diver to dive the Banks from a charter boat, immediately followed by the rest of the divers.

    I was using the then very popular "Orange County twin 44s." Harry was using surplus USN single aluminum 90s, the others were using every thing from a single 70 to twin 72s. All breathed from a variety of double hose regulators, most used the recently introduced wet suits which were home made, although the SPG had been introduced it was considered unreliable and was seldom used, and of course floatation devices were still fifteen years in the future. At that time we were diving with the state of the art equipment but today we would be considered "antique, retro or old school."

    It was a different world at that time with no thought for the future or the conservation of the precious natural resources. We came for hunks of the famous purple coral of Farnsworth banks and we harvested hunks of purple coral. In addition most harvested a limit of ten scallops, and the then limit of ten bugs, with Harry getting the largest at 13+ pounds. I some how in my four dives that day managed also to spear a rather large fish, which because we were not equipped for large fish took some doing to horse it on the boat.

    All too soon it was all over, the divers began returning to the Outrider, storing their equipment, game and hunks of purple coral. All that is but, Norma lee Smith who decided to decompress on the bow line and attracted every curious and hopefully not hungry shark from miles around investigate this morsel. Norma's only defense was to exhale copious amount of rapidly diminishing supply of air. She slowly with great caution made her way to the stern of the boat where she rapidly ascended thrust out her hands and was unceremoniously but also rapidly pulled over the gunnel onto the deck of the Outrider...So ended the first recreational dive trip to Farnsworth.


    So many stories...
    but then who is really concerned about the way we were?

    SAM MILLER

    Post on the other Board if you dare....
     
  4. Ed Palma

    Ed Palma Solo Diver

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    Great story Dr. Miller! Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. adairrj

    adairrj Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sao Paulo - Brazil
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    Thanks for the story Dr. Miller! It is an honor to read these stories that you tell us...thanks for sharing!
     
  6. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
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    Yes indeed. Thanks SM.
     
  7. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    5,066
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    Another one.....

    NAUI 50th Anniversary celebration

    March 2010

    About a month ago I received a special richly engraved invitation to attend the NAUI 50th Anniversary celebration to be held at the new NAUI Head Quarters building in Jacksonville, Florida. It was not just a invite but a invitation to an all expense paid trip to the event.

    I was certainly free and available but do to several circumstances I like to travel with a companion; My dear wife was the first choice, but since she has her doctorate in school finance and budgeting and in view of the current California school crisis was booked up with conferences and seminars, second choice was my son who is a NAUI Life member and a Hyperbaric doctor was a logical second choice, but he also was booked solid.

    With total dismay I telephoned NAUI and expressed my regrets that I would not be attending. At 8;05 the next morning Jim Bram the president of NAUI called and immediately stated "I will not take no for an answer, I want you to attend, I am sending Mike Dusnst the former SoCal district manager to accompany you." "But he has moved to Texas" I replied. "That correct! He will fly into California and accompany you on your trip, so get your bags packed!" he commanded. I did and Mike accompanied me.

    The trip was interesting worthily of at least several paragraphs, but that story will need to be deferred a the dark of the night over a cool one.

    I walked into lobby of the hotel right in to the middle of the "California section." Setting around a table were octogenarian instructors ; Harry Vetter, NAUI #4, Nick Icorn NAUI # 431,Glen Egstom, NAUI # 937, Home Fletcher NAUI #1833 and two past NAUI directors Art Ulrich, NAUI #601and Sam Jackson NAUI #2972. Greetings were exchanged and space was made for me to join the venerable circle of vintage instructors. The twice told stories were told and retold each time the embellishments made them better that the previous telling,

    At 3:00 PM the General meeting began. As one who can recall the humble genesis of NAUI I was surprised at the number of instructors from all over the world in attendance-- and how young so many appeared.

    Immediately after the general meeting there was a champagne cocktail reception on the patio. A time for pictures and renewing of old friendships and cementing of new friendships. I was joined by Dave Woodward, NAUI # 29 who I hadn't seen in 35 years who now resides in snowy Colorado and is the oldest NAUI Instructor in that chilly state.

    On to a Jim Bram personally conducted tour of the new and very exciting NAUI headquarters building. What a building! Modern with all the latest electric technologies with the light blue color and the NAUI "Wave" a a general theme though out all ares. So very very impressive!

    Their was only one word for the banquet-- Fantastic! The quality, quality and variety of food was equal to a Las Vegas buffet. we heaped out plates and settled in. Once again the California Mafia had their own table; Glen Egstrom, Nic Icorn, Tommy Tillman ( son of LA Co & NAUI founder, the late Al Tillman,) Zale Parry and your truly.

    The informal program began with a trivia question which I immediately blurted out the answer and won a prise.

    Harry Vetter, former diving buddy and veteran LA Co Underwater Instructor and as the oldest living NAUI instructor # 4 singled me out for special recognition as NAUI Instructor # 27 as one of the the oldest living NAUI instructors and the oldest NAUI instructor in California- where it all began. The recognition spot light was some what embarrassing but also concurrently ego satisfying.

    It was a night and an event that the participants didn't want to end but to every thing there is a beginning, a middle and an end. As the oldest California NAUI instructor my life and my diving has been enriched as one who has experienced the beginning, the middle, but the end is many years in the future and I suspect that I nor the readers of this post will never see the end of NAUI.

    SDM

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:44 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:21 PM ----------

    Farnsworth--(Vetter) the first dive revisited
    Farnsworth --revisited
    an E mail from Mossbrook--the first recreational diver to dive the Banks.

    You forgot about my excitement about being the first to dive on the Banks.

    As you recall I was the only one who had the newly introduced oil filled navy depth gauge, most of the rest were using capillary or bordan tube or no gauges and I was also the only one diving twin 72s. Therefore I was "volunteered" or was it "selected?" to be the first to dive and check out the diving location called Farnsworth.

    I was standing on the swim step of the Outrider I was just about to enter the water when Norma Smith asked if I planned to put on my fins! In my excitement I had failed to put on my ducks. (ed note a fin==Duck Feet) It would have been a total disaster since we were all diving with out flotation and I would have sunk right to the bottom.

    I entered the water and was well into my first dive and had leveled off at 180 feet when I noticed the strong current was suddenly caring me upwards right and into the peak of the pinnacle around 100 feet. Low and behold had a metal box with small railroad wheels and short cable which had a ball with spikes sticking out of it. Another derelict WW11 mine! But different than the others we had seen at Scotsmans cove and Catalina. At that moment I did an explosive decompression ascent (all most) and yelled to "Dick There is a mine on the peak of the reef!" Dick Petter replied "Not to worry as the local notice to mariners had a notice about the instrumented mine that was placed there to monitor currents and sea temperatures." The Sea Sabers on board had a hell of a laugh about this. The event would not have been as funny if he told me before I entered the water.

    What about your over sized lift bag to bring up a vast amount of purple coral? (WW11 surplus of course as most of our equipment was at that time). Recall we filled a big box with coral and you filled the lift bag with mouth piece air. It immediately began its journey to the surface to picking up speed as the air filled the body of the lift bag When the box hit the surface it sort of launched like a Polaris missile fired from a sub. I can still remember the raining down of Purple coral to the bottom and I only had enough air left to grab 1 of purple coral and start my assent.

    Or Sheila Platt who was diving with Harry Vetter asked Harry before beginning their descent "How deep are we gong? replied Harry replied "To the bottom." And they did reach the bottom. Down the dove. 90, 100, 120 140, Sheila's depth gauge was only rated to 140, but ever deeper they sunk until the sand was reached at an estimated 200 feet. Between dives Sheila displayed her new Borden tube depth gauge, suck at 140 feet and full of water.

    Or when you were followed to the boat by a rather substantial hammerhead. You were totally oblivious to it's presence. You just slowly took your time snorkeling back unaware that a large shark was interested in you as lunch. That is until you reached the swim-step and noticed that Dick Petter had his rifle pointed at you all the divers were congregated at the swim step with hands outstretched to yank you into the boat.

    It was Sheila who later broke the tension when she said "Sam I was watching you play tag with that shark when I was eating a chicken for lunch --bones and all"

    What adventures we had on every dive --


    Ed Mosbrook



    editorial note;

    All the dives were made using "double hose regulators" duck feet or churchill fins and very crude often homemade equipment; masks, wet suits, lift bags, etc and devoid of modern instrumentation, few effective depth gauges, no SPGs, no thermometers!

    Most of the divers on that first dive on Farnsworth in December 1960 are now diving in the big reef in the sky. Only a few remain and we remain in occasional contact

    Sheila Platt, was the Office manager of Skin Diver magazine, always had a way with words. She had the honor of the first woman to dive to the bottom of Farnsworth on air, but also was the first to reach that big reef in the sky about 2 years later from cancer

    The days of our dives...Them were tha daz.....
    sdm​
     
  8. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    2,861
    1,500
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    Dr. Miller, thank you for the information, especially on Roy France. I have posted part of your first post on the "other site" and we all appreciate the information that you are providing.

    SeaRat
     
  9. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    5,066
    3,913
    113
    More on Harry Vetter...Probably the last...

    The Mask...Homemade mask of the 1950s--Charlie Sturgil

    Charlie made masks for about 40 people including Harry Vetter and I ---Soooo many years ago
    Harry and Charlie were charter members of the "Southern California Skin diving club" which had a lobster as a as the club logo/patch, I associated with SCSD later when the club was taking it's last breath but we still socialized and often dove together.


    I brokered the sale of Harry's "late model" Sturgil Oval Mask, which is older than the majority of the readers of this post to Alex Pierce about 15 years ago. At that time it was thought that most of the masks were still around. After the sale I questioned a number of the owners of Sturgil masks -- all were gone, lost tossed and forgotten.. Only three remained, Alex's Laura's (Charlie's Widow) which were oval and mine which was round.. A very very rare mask, possibly the most rare mask ever made...
    I published the following article some time ago in my dedicated column "The Way it was...." that appeared monthly in the now defunct San Diego based national dive magazine "Discover Diving," and also in the articles section of the Legends of diving.

    Since Harry Vetter, NAUI #4 owned and dove a Sturgil Mask I thougt it might possibly be of interest to some of you

    'The Mask,

    One of the great pioneer divers of all times was the late Charlie Sturgil. "The Old Walrus," as he was affectionately known, started his diving career in 1929 in the frigid waters off Northern California where he hunted for abalone by a method he described as "feeling for abalone." He would dive on a reef, feel until he found an abalone and pry it off, without the use of mask, fins, snorkel or thermal protection.

    Charlie began diving with a mask using a Japanese mask in the late 1930s which was loaned to him by his good friend Bill O'Conner. A few years later after the end of WW 11, Charlie, a master tool and die maker and an inventor of sorts, developed the necessary tooling to produce masks on a semi-custom basis for himself and a few close friends. I consider myself very fortunate to have been included in the latter category.

    In early years during the genesis of recreational diving the masks were either too large, too small, too stiff or after a few dives, would rapidly deteriorate into a gummy, sticky mess. This did not make for comfortable diving! After using a number of the masks of that era,the Japanese imports, and the American made Sea Net, I decided it was time to contact Charlie to ask him if he could make one of his custom masks for me.

    After checking my meager finances, found I could possibly afford one of Charlie's masks, so I gave him a call. "Sure, Sammy, I'd be happy to make a mask for you, come on over", Charlie replied to my request. Within moments I was off to the temple of Southern California diving, Charlie Sturgil's garage.

    I was met by this jovial hunk of a man with his infectious, ever-present smile. "Hey ya, Sammy" was always his cordial greeting. Alter a few moments of catching up on the diving scene it, was time to get to work. "Sammy, I'm now making two masks; the original for $6.00 and a new oval model for $8.00", Charlie explained. After considerable soul searching and penny counting, I opted for what I felt I could afford, the original round mask for $6.00.

    Now, Charlie's garage was something to behold. It appeared to be in total disarray, and the best way to describe it would be the day after a big sale in a bargain basement. Diving equipment in various stages of repairs, pieces of metal, lengths of stainless rods scattered about... Omnipresent was the huge metal turret lathe and miscellaneous metal working machines. But to Charlie, it was his arena, it was where he excelled in turning these seemingly scrap pieces of metal into custom spear points, spear shafts, yes, even masks.

    Charlie knew the location, size, shape and type of everything in his garage. His storage system was logical and certainly workable, but it still defies the imagination how he managed to find anything, let alone make anything, but he did.

    Charlie went to work with the speed and skill of a emergency room surgeon. He immediately uncovered a length of 5 inch O.D. soft rubber World War 11, surplus firehose, from which he cut a 4 inch piece. He placed the piece of rubber hose in the wooden mold and proceeded to his trusty bench grinder where he slowly cut a 1/8 inch wide, 3/32 deep groove all around the edge for the glass. This was followed by the rough contouring for the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. He then went to his metal rack and withdrew a piece of 3/4 x 16 inch 22 gauge stainless steel, which he placed in his specially constructed mold and carefully, yet skillfully, forced the stainless steel around the mold forming it into a familiar round mask shape. His next step was to form the band evenly and smoothly around the mold creating the lip for the compression hand with light rapid laps of a hammer. Using silver solder, the welding process of the era, he soldered the tabs for the strap and the compression screw tabs to complete the band. A piece of pre-cut 1/3 inch glass, the same kind used for window glass, was taken from the shelf and fit into the groove; the compression band placed around the mask and the compression screw tightened.

    At last, the mask was assembled. My own custom Sturgil mask! Charlie proceeded to take some cursory measurements of my then youthful face, and returned to the grinding wheel, skillfully grinding a little here, a little there, another trial fit, a little more grinding. Finally, a perfect fit. A final hand finish with fine sandpaper, attaching of the strap, cut from a truck inner tube, and I was the proud possessor of a real genuine Charlie Sturgil Original Style Diving Mask.

    This occurred many years ago when diving as well as life was much simpler, a time when pride in workmanship and ownership were at a premium. Charlie made almost 40 of these one of a kind custom dive masks, however only three are known to have survived the rigors of our disposable society, mine, Alex Pierce's of Toronto, Canada and Charlie's widow's Laura's mask which now on loan and rests in a Southern California museum. And indeed they are museum pieces... the three remaining masks are all almost sixty years old and represent an era which was experienced by only a precious few which will never be experienced again upon this earth.

    Charlie has reverend position in the fraternity of diving pioneers; he won the world's Spearfishing contest in 1950 with a pole spear, was a LA County Underwater Instructor and serendipity developed much of the spearfishing and SCUBA equipment which has become mainstream in todays diving.

    I will never forget Charlie, nor will anyone who ever knew him.... nor will there ever be another mask like a Sturgil Mask.

    Dr Samuel Miller
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    post script;

    Charlie passed on November 15 1984, His devoted wife Laura passed on a few years ago at the age of 90.

    About 15 years ago at the last "Fathers of Spearfishing" gathering at Seatec/inflatable systems in Corona California I organized a "Tribute to Charlie." Nothing formal, we just stood around and told stories about our experiences with Charlie--and what stories were told...The experiences we had!

    If Charlie knew you and liked you he always addressed you in the familar; Ie Sammy, Bobbie, Jimmie,--Those he didn't have great admiration or didn't know well it was formal Sam, Bob or Jim.

    His daugher Laura Lee was married to Billy Meistral, one of the twin brothers who founded Dive and Surf and the very sucessful Body glove. Billy also passed on several years ago.

    A SoCal spearfishing club The Fathomiers has been presenting the Charlie Sturgil spearfishing meet for about 30 years...It came full circle when Charlie's grand daughter, Laura Lee Gonta won the meet several years ago using one of Charlie's legendary pole spears.

    I still have a number of items custom made for me by Charlie; the mask, points, stringers, dive float frame etc. All are as good as they were when he made them so many years ago, no longer is use they are religated to places of honor in my garage, a silent testimony to days and dives of the past.

    So now you know...Just a small part of the rest of the story of recreational diving

    SDM ​


     
  10. dead dog

    dead dog ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: SoCal via Pittsburgh, Pa.
    640
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    Great story Sam. I have one question, you stated " Charlie's widow's Laura's mask which now on loan and rests in a Southern California museum. And indeed they are museum pieces..."

    Can you say where that
    Southern California museum is located ?

    Bill
    Yorba Linda, Ca.
     

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