Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Pali Pool: Progress Report

(Photo above dated June 7, 2009. Temescal Cyn. Blvd. to left and beyond green fence in this photo, with Bowdoin St. beyond).

Dateline: June 2009

Progress continues on the new Pali High pool's construction with the cement foundation being poured. Here are a few photos taken on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

Enjoy !

We will keep you posted.

Until next time.....

Will Maguire,
Pali Esq.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Go Dolphins !

Won't have to walk up through the Conference Grounds to get a swim in anymore once the pool on campus at Pali High is completed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Ode To The Conference Grounds Pool"

(March 2009, the beloved Conference Grounds Pool, now filled with dirt and sod thanks to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Photo by Will Maguire)

... Did you ever wonder, "Where do the beach lifeguards that save lives around here on the beaches of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, etc., come from? Well, wonder, no more. Here is just one of many, many stories of how young boys and girls train for years in pools to become strong enough to become Beach Lifeguards. One of these pools is our beloved, yet now shuttered, Conference Grounds pool in Temescal Canyon. So sit back and enjoy. We think you will appreciate this story. If so, please leave us a "Comment".

From "back in the day", circa 1960's, from City of Santa Monica Beach Lifeguard, Michael "Mickey" Moriarty, recently shared a remarkable double rescue with us.

(Photo shows Santa Monica City Beach Lifeguard Crew, Summer 1966; Photo courtesy of Nick Steers; Mickey Moriarty is all the way at left with beach blond hair, kneeling in front row; Names of Lifeguards below, Courtesy of Nick Steers:

Top row L to R: Jim Hoch, Al Mayo, Steve Harbison, Larry Taylor, Tom Johnson, ? , Warren Rigby, Wes Herman, Nick Steers, Jim Richards.

Bottom row L to R: Mickey Moriarty, Larry Raffaelli, ? , Wes Wegner, Randy Ziglar and David Wells).

(Mick as the Blonde Adonis, circa 1972; Photo courtesy of Mick).

"There was the time I got a plate of great Mexican food served by the owner of one of the houses between Roadside and Sorrento, because I had just rescued “...the best cook we ever had” and my lunch was his cooking.

Weird... Two weeks in a row on a Tuesday at exactly 11 am I had almost identical rescues, one with one victim and one with two...I forget which one was the cook... Surf Conditions: Really Big, medium low tide 6’ Bruisers... and, the part I don’t need to tell, is that a new to the gig lifeguard (who shall remain nameless), who just moved over from Harbor Dept., forgot his field glasses, thought that my arm in the air meant I was OK...when in reality I had just brought up one guy (the cook) barfing and gagging, from the bottom, strapped him in the (Peterson) tube and had the other guy hanging on...both had lovely, 'ahem' wet suits on...three quarter cut off jeans and a nice thick tee shirt and sweatshirt....the rescue boat with Tom Zahn (at the helm) and Doug Posely was speeding to help and two or three guards were on their way but because of the strong swells and 10+ wave sets, were having a tough time getting out to me...meanwhile, here comes a clean up set, so I headed out to sea as best I could, pulling two very heavy guys, hoping the boat would get to me before the waves... when Posely jumped in and helped me pull the guys over the wave...and we made it barely, just as a huge wave broke just past us... followed by the boat's arrival just in time to help me pull those guys over the huge wave, which almost got us." Thinking back on that episode, the surf was hairy top to bottom almost low tide would have been hard to keep the victims in tow had we gotten hit or gone over the falls, which almost happened on the last wave where Doug saved us... As it was, we were suffering through 10 waves in a set... with some 8 footers possibly...and one huge maybe 20 wave set (that last one).

(Photo shows Mickey Moriarty, off duty, circa 1972, workin' out his legs on his skates; Photo courtesy of Mick).

editor's note: Mickey started with the City of Santa Monica as a beach lifeguard in 1964 and worked thru the summer season of 1972. He remembers fondly those teenage years before he became a lifeguard of training at the famed Palisades Conference Grounds outdoor pool, which recently was shuttered by its new landlord, the Santa Monica Mtns. Conservancy (SMCC), which is, of course, another story. Nevertheless, upon hearing of this pool's demise, Mickey shared the following colorful remarks:

"I swam and competed in that pool as a member of Uni’s swim team from 1961-1963. We came in 3rd in City in ‘61 and would have dethroned Birmingham’s long time champs in 1962 and 1963, BUT, they built Pali High and our swim team got split down the middle...we beat Pali in ‘62, they beat us in ‘63... we each got a second and third in City but Bham still continued to win... We came from Uni everyday to work out, stopped at the drug store (Bay Pharmacy) next to the Bay Theatre to get an ice cream cone...I always rode with John Reitman, then (National?) record holder for 100 Fly (52.8)... then Pali was built and we shared the pool...they swam after us...and most were on our team at Uni in 1961. Of course I went through a lot of pain up there too, cramps, sick w/ fatigue...but sure felt good when ya stopped....and I was a better guard and surfer because of it... Anyways, point is, I KNOW that that pool was responsible for me getting good enough to make lifeguards... that pool and my ocean smarts from surfing got me a great gig as a recurrent guard...didn't know how good it was really...". And ...guess who else was on that same Uni swim team...’61-’63? Terry Smerling.... Judge Terry Smerling, formerly first chair at ACLU. He worked Snoop Dogg and many high profile cases... Always was the nicest guy too, helped me out with some advice many years ago, but haven’t seen him in years.

(Mick showin' us how its done at the 'bu, circa 2000, illustrating that lifeguards don't retire, "They Go Surfin'!" And for all of you surfboard linguists, here is what Mick had to say about this board he's using in the photo above, "it’s a 9’6” Robbie Dick custom tri-fin, with Jimmy Ganzer’s (Jimmy Z) new (at that time: 1997) logo on it (Beatnik Brands) I got a great (free) deal because I was surfing pretty well at that time and I covered the older demographic I guess...still have the board,...a very good performing board but not a great noserider...for that I have a 1967 Hansen “Masters”...also 9’6” but the best noserider I’ve ever had... however, it’s very heavy and thin and you have to put all your weight into every turn.")

Thanks for sharing your memories, Mick ! Especially the role our beloved community pool played in your development as a swimmer and beach lifeguard.

Until next time...

Will Maguire,

*** Bringing you news of and from the Palisades. ***

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Go Dolphins ! Centerfield !

Centerfield at Pali High's spectacular baseball field. Check out the centerfield banner! Nice! Very nice !

View of Homeplate from Centerfield

Some Big Changes going on at PALI with the current Big Dig to build Pali's new swimming pool right next to the boy's locker room and the gym... now in its third week of excavation and removal of the dirt.

Some things are still the same, thankfully, as you can see with the Original Pali High Powder Blue mosaic tile patterns, as shown here on the exterior wall of the school gym, which grace the walls of the campus buildings as accents to the school colors..... Go Dolphins !

Photos by Will Maguire.
Sunday, April 19, 2009.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Dateline: Pacific Palisades, Calif., Wed., April 15, 2009 at 8:45 a.m.

You know something is wrong when there is a chain across the entrance to the Community pool in the Presbyterian Conference Grounds where Palisades YMCA swimmers and Pali High Swimmers have been swimming since the 1960's. This chaining and closure of this beloved pool is courtesy of our friends at the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy which apparently does not value the interests of the community this pool has served for over forty plus years.

And you have to also wonder... "Why the RED tape saying DANGER DO NOT ENTER DANGER DO NOT ENTER DANGER DO NOT ENTER DANGER DO NOT ENTER DANGER on the gate leading to our beloved pool. Trust me, no one is going to drown on the lawn without a lifeguard on duty...

Oh I get it. Now this is SCARY and DANGEROUS ! A well sod lawn ready for croquet and picnicking... just the thing our community needs to nurture the lives of children, to train young people to swim.... after all, there is the PACIFIC OCEAN nearby.

Let's all acknowledge and show appreciation where it is due.... Who else but the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy could put the interests of a few narrow minded individuals, who do not live in our community, ahead of those of our children, teens and adults seeking recreation, respite and sport in this beloved pool of ours.

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The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the undersigned who has lived in this community since grade school and before its closure by the SMMC, first swam in this pool as early as 1962 as a child with a summer day camp and later with the Palisades YMCA and Palisades High School. The closure of this pool is an absolute travesty for the community of Pacific Palisades. There is no telling the long term effects in the loss of lives as the result of the lack of an available pool for fitness, recreation, therapy and for the training of lifeguards, not to mention basic swimming skills for the children of this community and the at-risk children also historically served here as well through charitable organizations such as the YMCA, Churches, and individuals.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Mick's Cafe Has "Wireless" !

(Photo source:

Pacific Palisades, California:

Although it is not on the menu and heretofore we had previously been unaware... Mick's Cafe at 859 Swarthmore Ave. has "wireless" (for its customers and that is password protected) on it's charming outdoor patio. Not only that but it's got a flat screen (on mute) in the sheltered portion of the patio that can be easily seen and enjoyed by customers. This is just the ticket for the on-the-go mobile professional. They make a very good double soy latte too !

Check it out at:

Looking for a quiet and charming outdoor patio to send and receive emails or just to surf the web or chat up friends on Facebook. This is the spot !

And for you Fastidious Foodies, here's Mick's menu:

Highly Recommended by

Until next time...

***Will Maguire, Esq.

*** Will Maguire grew up in Pacific Palisades, Calif. attending public school at Marquez Elementary, Paul Revere Junior High, and Palisades High School, Class of '73, where swam and played varsity water polo, captaining both teams his senior year. The Palisades is still his home town and he fondly remembers attending matinees as a kid at the Bay Theatre. He has been licensed to practice law in California since 1981 and has maintained his own private legal practice in Los Angeles since 1991, concentrating on trademarks, copyrights and licensing, and principally representing client's in the publishing, entertainment, apparel, restaurant and sporting goods industries.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time To Mow The Lawn, Joe !

The grass must be over 8 inches tall on the now filled with dirt and sod Palisades Y and High School Pool. Too thick for even croquet or the contemplated Joe Edmiston Picnic Facility. What a travesty !

Everyone knows that Dolphins need water to survive, except Joe apparently.

That's it for today. March 1st, 2009 and still no water to swim in in the Palisades, unless of course, you count the waterfall a mile up Temescal Canyon...

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Hey Joe, Where you goin' with that Lawnmower..."

"Behind Barbed Wire"

Dateline: Sunday, January 25, 2009

The readership will recall our recent blog post on our affiliate blog, County Recurrent, on the tragic Pali Y Pool being filled with dirt thanks for Joe Edmiston and his Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) cronies.

Well, here we have proof positive that the SMMC, in my opinion, could care less about our community's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the legacy of aquatics in the Palisades.

The following photo was taken this morning just before noon and it is "Not For The Faint Of Heart" or anyone who ever swam in our once beloved pool.

What Joe and his cronies do not realize is that there are "Storm Clouds Ahead" for them.

This act of defiance and betrayal to the community will not stand. The continuance of the pool serving our community does not in any way, shape or form restrict the public's use of Temescal Canyon Park, its picnic area and hiking trails.

Note to SMMC: That is the Pacific Ocean just a mile below where our pool used to be, in case you had not noticed. Where do you think a significant number of the beach lifeguards who save lives at our local beaches learned to swim ? If you care ! This is a facility that has historically served the community as well as providing swimming opportunities for low income families through the charitable out-reach efforts of the YMCA and other organizations. Is this not as important as providing a place to hike for the public? Apparently not !

How do we really feel ?! The SMMC has destroyed a community landmark and a pool that has served the community for over 40 years ! The mission of the SMMC certainly should include a facility that is *** life enhancing, life saving *** and which supports the community. The very same community which absorbs the increasingly heavy vehicle and foot traffic to and from the park. Think about that, Joe, as you mow the lawn on our pool facility !

( Footnote: *** )


DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the above Op-Ed are solely those of the undersigned.

*** PLEASE forward to other Dolphins and Palisades residents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

*** OPT - OUT *** Just hit reply and type in "Opt Out" in the subject line to be removed from this email list.

*** OPT IN *** Just send us an email and we will add you to the list.

They can bury our pool but they can't bury our spirit.

Go Dolphins !

Until next time,

*** Will Maguire

Law Offices of William E. Maguire
Trademark • Copyright • Licensing


*** Will Maguire graduated from Pali High in 1973 and was Captain of both the Boy's Varsity Water Polo and Swimming Teams in his senior year.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Go Dolphins !

This Blog is dedicated to the community of Pacific Palisades, Calif. My hometown. Where I attended elementary school, junior high, and Pali High and so much more.

For the inaugural blog post, we will concentrate on a couple of photos from around our community.

The Baseball Field at Pali was named after Mr. George Robert, who taught Senior Composition and other English courses at Pali for many, many years. I was lucky to have him for Senior Comp. as a senior and he was the first instructor to inspire me to write. He also took a keen interest in my 1929 Ford Pick-up that I used to drive to school. Great Guy. Great Teacher. Great School.

The Pali High Quad with the Football Field in the distance and the Pacific Ocean less than a mile beyond.

Theatre Palisades


DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this Blog are solely those of the undersigned.

*** PLEASE forward to other Dolphins and/or Palisades residents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

*** OPT - OUT *** Just hit reply and type in "Opt Out" in the subject line to be removed from this email list.

*** OPT IN *** Just send us an email and we will add you to the list.

Go Dolphins !

Until next time,

Will Maguire
Los Angeles • Pacific Palisades

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