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      A story by Denny (There can be impersonators) but only one!!

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  You know how people tell stories. You know when people gather around and one person tells a story. And then another one has a story to tell. Well people would tell me after hearing mine, wow that's quite a story. And tell me that I should write some of these down. I realized early on, that if you weren’t interested in money so much, you could make things happen. Now I will have to go back to an earlier time so you can get some perspective on things. So here I go.

 

Some Off  Road Adventures of Mine  

  

  I was trying to think of why anybody would think of me as a hero! Especially after what those people said about not needing any more. Then I started thinking back to when we all used to go out to the Getty oil fields. There was this one place where a lot of four wheelers would go to race. There was this one Mountain that everybody tried to race up. There were a lot of racers and people watching that day. You see everybody would start from the other side of the Valley, and race to the other side. Then they would hit the bottom of this grade, and race up the side of the Mountain, to see who could get up the highest. The dirt would be flying from the spinning tires as all the people cheered and yelled. Nobody had ever made it to the top. Until one day that I was with this friend of mine that hade a real fast Ford pickup, with four-wheel-drive with dual quads. He wanted me to sit shotgun for him in his truck while he raced. So I agreed to come along. It was the fastest truck there that day as we raced across the valley. We hit the bottom of the Mountain grade, and up the side of it we went with all four wheels spinning. I could see we were going to make it to the top and show everybody, it could be done. As we raced to the top I stood up and leaned out the side window to make sure I could get a good look. As I did I noticed that the road narrowed to the left into a single path. I yelled as loud as I could, “Stop”. He said “it was just the way I yelled” that make him stop so quickly. But it wasn't quite quick enough. There we were teetering back and forth on the left front, and right rear wheels. I yelled again “don't move” as we looked at each other in terror. We could not pull forward or backwards without the truck falling off the side of the cliff. There we were, what could I possibly do? I thought quickly as we teetered back and forth. Then I had an idea, if I just barely opened the door and held my breath, I might be able to squeak through the narrow opening on the bottom of the door. I would have to do it just right, I thought to myself. The next thing I knew I was hanging from the rocker panel on the bottom of the door, underneath the truck! I never really thought about all these people that were watching as I did this. You see at that point the truck could have fallen on me, because it was still teetering back and forth. Then I let go, I swung underneath it to catch the side of the cliff. When I did that, the truck went back on three wheels. I quickly scrambled out from under the truck, and up the side of the cliff and around to where I could direct my friend to safety. Slowly I had him turn his wheels just right and back up. I jumped back in and we slowly backed down the hill. I think we were both totally embarrassed at that point with so many people watching. I think it probably freaked them out too. But I never really thought that much about it. I just said let's get out of here and so we did.

Surf Space

 

  There was another time that I remember about the Getty oil fields now that I am thinking about it. You see I had an old motorcycle, one that I could ride on the street and dirt. After riding it for a while I started thinking I was getting pretty good at it. I had met this guy that also had a motorcycle. But he had one of the newest, best dirt bikes you could buy at the time. He even had a cheater sprocket and knobby tires. I told him that I could ride my motorcycle anywhere he could. After that he told me how much better his was. Then he challenged me to a do or die competition, between me and him. It was to be across the Badlands, at the Getty Ranch. To describe these Badlands, that we took our Motorcycles across that day, would be to say it’s extremely dangerous! But first, maybe I should tell you how I met him. It was at this open party, that we first met. He wanted me to meet his family. They lived in a small house in box canyon, and all of them played guitars, including him. But anyway back to our competition. This was “silly”. They were very narrow and almost straight up to get to the top. And when you did get to the top, you would have to time it just right and turn sideways, and balance yourself on the narrow ridge. We agreed that we would follow each other alternating, him first then I would follow, and back and forth till we made it through the Badlands. Fortunately I had just tuned my motorcycle up, because if your motor missed one beat you would probably die. One after another we made it through the Badlands, until we were at the last ridge, teetering back and forth looking at each other. He was to go first this time, so down he went, but instead of waiting for him to get down all the way I almost immediately followed him. This was a big mistake, because he stopped at the bottom right in my way. Well there was only one thing I could do. I gave it full throttle going down the steep embankment. I made a slight power slide to miss hitting him at the bottom of the ravine. The ravine curved up at the bottom. I would have to go full speed ahead and jump clean over the river. Making a half turn in midair, I landed on the other side facing him. We were looking at each other, across the river as he yelled at me” you win”. Again I was kind of embarrassed, because I was in front of the ranch house. I didn’t like having to drive through the ranch. I would have to drive through it, and over their bridge, and then we could leave.

 

   And then there was another time on my motorcycle that was kind of similar, that might be worth mentioning. This was in a different area of outside of Los Angeles. I was by myself this time and feeling the energy. I was on the narrow path wide enough for a motorcycle, racing and just enjoying the fresh air. I was following this trail just to see where it would go. I was getting kind of far away from anything; there really wasn't much out there. All of a sudden I came to very strange looking object. It was made out of solid cement in the middle of nowhere. It was round with a domed top and maybe 5 feet across, 5 feet high. I am sitting there looking at it thinking what a strange place for something like this to be. Then all of a sudden these men appear, out of nowhere wearing suits and dark glasses. They tell me “you can’t be up here”. At that point I figured I better get out of there quick. So I just turned my motorcycle sideways, and headed down the side of the Mountain making my own path! I was traveling at a fair rate of speed, dodging bushes and rocks on my way down. Then all of a sudden, I came upon the most classic Ranch, you would ever want to see. It was a secret Ranch, and the reason why, was because after I drove through it, and when I looked back. You couldn't even see it, even the road leading to it, cut back and forth. And there I was in the middle of a Desert. There was nothing around there for miles. Finally I found my way out of there and came upon an old Wash Rock Bar. In it there was a Pool Table, with this Man dressed in black Cowboy Clothes. I began playing pool with him. He told me his hobby was being a silversmith. He liked the way I played pool, and invited me over to his ranch. He told me, he said “if I would show him a little bit more about playing pool, he would show me how to be a silversmith”. He also played guitar, and had enough cash to buy me a Drink!

 

  Now I am now thinking about another time, a time when people were teetering on the brink of death that happened in Colorado. You see, I was going up to the Eagles Nest; we were very well prepared that day. We had a winch and lots of lines and tackle with us. You see the road going up there is very dangerous. If you make one miscalculation of the road, while driving, you’re dead. So you take it very slow, and get out looking sometimes, to see the road better. After we had been driving and looking for quite a while, we came around a bend in the road, only to see some people in grave danger! They went off the edge of the road, and were teetering on the brink of death. The driver had crawled out his window, and was standing on the front wheel, to keep it from going thousands of feet straight down. Inside was his wife and friends petrified. His knees were getting weak from standing so long, and were starting to wobble. He had been there “quite a while”.

   Why they had ever decided to go up there, so ill-equipped, was beyond me. This was a road for “advanced four-wheel drivers”. I jumped out and climbed on a big rock, to get some perspective on the situation. I yelled out where, and at what angle to put the first line. You see they thought that we could just pull them up and out. That would've been a disaster that would've pulled us over the cliff too. The first line was just to try and secure the vehicle to a tree. That alone probably wouldn't have saved them. I continued directing from the top of the rock where I stood. I could see the exact angles for the ropes. I could use the trees as leverage. I ran the ropes around the trees on the other side of the narrow road to our vehicle. That would get more pulling power. After I got three more ropes secured with tension I instructed the passengers to climb out the driver’s door to safety.

  After getting them back on the road, heading down the mountain, I was very relieved. They were so very lucky that we ever came along. Not many people try to go up there! We did make it to the top Eagles Nest that day. As I looked out from the top I realized why it was called the Eagles Nest.

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   Shark Contest 

They were boiling solid all around !         

                                       

   I decided to go Shark fishing so I found an old Boat in need of major repairs. It was down in San Pedro where the Slips were cheap. It was in an area of danger! At night you could see bands of men trying to keep warm, by standing around fires, in old 50 gallon drums. I kept my windows closed while driving in that area. Otherwise men would run and jump in, to get you and your car. Which almost happened to me a couple of times! You see, it was an old Wooden Boat, which was coming apart at the seams. Which was in a poverty-stricken area. The people didn't want anything for it. So I went downtown and bought some Fiberglass, Milled Fiber, and Resin. I mixed up a bunch of it, and poured it wherever the Boat was coming apart. After a lot of mixing and pouring, the Boat was starting to get glued back together. I mixed Fiberglass, Bondo, and Resin together to finish it up. It was a small Cabin Cruiser, and it looked pretty good when it was done.

 I needed one I could live on while I was on the Island. You see, the Shark contest started at the Ismas of Catalina Island every year. I knew I could find someone out there to help me; I would need a partner for the Shark contest. My partner would end up being the Supply Barge Captain for the Ismas. We started by letting a couple of Buckets of Mackerel set in the Sun, for Chum. By the day of the contest we were ready with our Poles rigged for Shark. All the Boats were there. Then the Harbor Master shot off a Gun for the start. Away we went with all the Boats going in different directions. At first we went around to the back side of the Island where the high Seas crashed against the Rocks at the Point. It seemed a bit too rough that day, although some ventured out into the High Seas. We continued around the Island to the Far Point, then continued about 5 miles off towards the Channel. There I used a Sea Anchor off my Boat to keep it from drifting. Then I climbed up on the Flying Bridge to see what I could see. There was nothing but open Sea in all directions. Then it started getting real eerie. All of a sudden we hooked up with a big one! After fighting it for quite a while, we realized we had hooked up a 20 foot Blue Shark. We gaffed it, and tied it alongside my Boat. We already had quite a Chum line slick, leaving the Boat, from the Mackerel. We figured we needed more Chum, so we cleaned the big blue Shark right where it hung. Now there was Blood and Mackerel Slick completely surrounding the Boat. At that moment it even got more eerie when the water decided to glass out. I climbed back on the Flying Bridge to check out all four fishing Poles. They were all secured in their Holders with Tackle and Bait in the water. As I looked around I wondered where all the Sharks were? All of a sudden thousands of Maco Sharks surrounded the Boat. I yelled, “Look out, grab the Poles”. All four of our Poles had large Sharks on them all at once. The Sharks were in an eating frenzy as they rushed back and forth, and up and down in the water. The whole scene was surreal, all of the water was crystal clear red. I had only one moment to think as we both rushed for the Poles. Without thinking my partner had already pulled one in the Boat, without killing it first. While it was flipping around with its multiple sets of razor-sharp Teeth, growling like a Wild Dog, it tried to bite us. It would only take one bite for it to finish either of us. It was too late to use a Gun; it was already onboard, snapping and growling. We had to try to beat it to death, which is not easy to do with the Boat rocking back and forth. Finally we subdued it only to remember that all of our Polls had large Sharks on them. All we could do then was to set a Gun on the Engine Cover That way either one of us could grab it. We continued to catch more and more Sharks. When we got them to the boat, one of us would lean over and try to get close to it's head, with the Gun. That way we could kill it instantly before we brought it onboard. Still it was very dangerous to try and do. With that many Sharks all around, you had to lean over the edge of the Boat! Pretty soon we had Sharks tied up all over my boat. We had them on the Bow, on the Swim Step, tied along both sides, and inside too. But there was only one problem; we still were completely surrounded by frenzied Sharks. They were still racing towards the Boat as fast as they could, turning to either side and going up and down! They got as close as one inch to the boat most of the time, before they turned away. There were solid Sharks everywhere as far as you could see. As we stood there looking at the Sharks and then back at one another, it begin to freak us out. At that moment neither one of us thought we would ever make it out of their alive. We thought if we waited a little bit maybe they would leave. We couldn't chance moving the Boat; they were coming to close to us before they turned. Finally after waiting there for quite a while, we decided maybe we better take a chance and try to slowly move the Boat. We figured at that point that if we stayed there we were going to die, so we might as well try and move the Boat. I started the engine and slowly inched it ever so slowly forward. Standing there on the Flying Bridge looking down was freaking me out, they weren't going away. All these Sharks continued to follow us as I moved forward as slow as the Boat could go. They followed us for miles. But finally they left.

   I can't believe we made it out of there alive. And neither could my friend. After a while I could see Avalon in the distance. I just had to drive my Boat through the Harbor once. I knew this was a rare sight for people to see. After that we continued up the coast to the Ismas. As we drew close we could see people cheering as they saw how many large Sharks we had on our Boat, which now sat low to the water. We had so many Sharks; we invited everybody on the island for a free BBQ. We filled all the Ice Boxes and Refrigerators everywhere. For the rest of the summer when I went into Restaurants, they would put out the white tablecloth. Then they would tell me “Sir, what would you like for dinner tonight”. You see at that time Maco Shark sold for six dollars a pound. Now I get to tell the moral to this story. “This was one of the best summers; I ended up fishing all summer long”. 

On the pier at Cat Harbor CATILINA

 

 

  

                   

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                                                                      Denny Reynolds

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