Things that changed my life in the 1980’s.
Dancing every weekend at the stake dances. This meant my first introduction to contact sports. Oh how sweet the memories of the contact, contact will all those beautiful girls. Dancing to the likes of, Hall n Oates, Depeche Mode, Yaz(oo), Simple Minds, OMD, Erasure, and The Cure meant music and contact. I can thank James Walstrom for the person who introduced me and my brother Mike to all this cool “New Wave” music.
Playing waterpolo was some of the most fun in the 1980’s. Practice was tough and fun. Games were fun. Water polo is like soccer, basketball, hockey and wrestling all while swimming and treading water. So physical. So fun.
Swimming practice was brutal, brutal and maybe more brutal. But because our pool was outside I was perpetually tan in High School. Our swim team had almost 200 members and so every meet was a party, a big at least 4 hour, get out of school, hang out with girls party. The work was tough, but the party was so worth it. If I had to choose it a way to spend eternity, well a swim meet would be a tempting option.
Kissing – well no words to describe. And I won’t kiss and tell.
Driving meant freedom, exploration, adventure, discovery and growing up. Driving also meant music, All of that stuff above and more. We musn’t forget the sweet chevett I got to drive for the first little while.
I did some testing and I had a about 36 inch vertical jump. For some reason volleyball just came naturally. Our school had couple of club teams, but I was more into the swimming. I went to first day of try outs, but hurt my foot at swim practice before I got to try out for the second day. I was offered a spot on the b club team. But had already decided to swim. I think if I would have been 6’4″ I would have tried to take it to the next level.
Thanks to a great leader Blaine Simmons, Mike my brother and I got to go on some pretty cool adventures. Two Times we hiked over 50 miles through some of Yosemite’s most beautiful wilderness. We hiked, fished, skiied, biked,camped and all the other stuff scouts do all over Northern California. Another thing we learned from scouts was the importance of helping and serving others. I am still tying to live the scout motto “Do a good turn daily”. Thank you Baden Powell.
In Sacramento the week before memorial day many Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints travel to Santa Cruz California. While this is not a church sponsored event it has become a tradition that is probably close to 50 years old now. While at Santa Cruz for the first time, in 1987, we were at the beach and we saw a couple of people running, throwing, jumping and sliding on boards that looked a bit like surf boards but were smaller. We tried a couple of runs ourselves and were fascinated. We also discovered there were people skim boarding on the river in Sacramento. So before Santa Cruz the next year we decided to make our own boards. We spent the whole week in Santa Cruz skim boarding. Then we skim boarded in Sacramento a few times before we moved to Saint George. Being completely addicted to the sport we were constantly trying to find places to skim. When we moved to Saint George, we were too far from the ocean to take a quick trip, but we discovered the Virgin River in Southern Utah to be a great prospect. We drove all over Washington county looking for the perfect spot on the Virgin River. Lucky for us we found some great places right near St. George.
Sport was unknow to all but a few for several years. However, in the early nineties I worked as a lifeguard for the city of St. George. Herb Basso was my boss and in charge of leisure services in St. George. Being from Hawaii he has skim boarded as a youth and had seen many surf competitions. So with Herb started the Virgin River Skimboard Classic in the late 90’s. That is when the sport really took off. Another thing that helped the sport take off was that many scout troops found making a skimboard as a fun inexpensive activity and the also helped propel the sport in St. George. Almost every kid in St. George now has gone to the river and been on a skim board.
I am going to add more to this later.