We search these sites:
Become a Guest Blogger.
Comments For FREE DIVING, THE WAY IT WASBack
Add A Comment
cal - Dec. 18 , 2009
Hi, John, thanks for your comments, some info I didn't know about. I started with Churchill fins in 1940 when they came out, and to this day I still use Churchills. I always thought they were better than anything that came out later, I've won a lot of bodysurfing contests with them. I and my two brothers were all lifeguards, one named Ray, as with you three with one named Ray. I worked the night shift with Bud Clark at Hansen Dam for the city guards while working days for the county guards SM Canyon. Do you still live in Playa del Rey?
John Johnson - Dec. 18 , 2009
Cal, I greatly enjoyed reading through your entire website and, particularly this section about Owen Churchill and fins. My father, Bob Johnson, partnered with Owen and manufactured the fins from 1947 until 1957, when their contract with Voit expired. At that point, Owen put the moulds in storage because neither he nor my dad wanted anything to do with Willard Voit. Then, when my brother, Jerry, and I became lifeguards for LA City, we convinced dad to start making the fins again, only on a smaller scale. We found that our fellow guards all wanted a pair. In 1974, our brother, Martin, began manufacturing the fins again on a bigger scale and they were at the peak of their popularity. At one point, three of the brothers were all lifeguards, including a younger brother, Ray, who worked at Will Rogers for Bud Clarke. Like you, we were raised in Playa del Rey and thought it was the greatest place in the world to grow up. We all remained close friends with Owen Churchill, until his passing in 1985. He was a great guy and good family friend. Anyway, your trip down memory lane was well worth taking, Cal. Keep surfing.