Dennis Groat, Commodore 2014
Being at the helm of King Harbor Yacht Club as the Commodore for 2014 was truly an honor and privilege for me. A fast-growing membership and explosion in the demands for Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) storage created the need (and thankfully the means) for some significant improvements to our Club facilities. We were fortunate to be able to finally complete the long-awaited front office and Club entrance remodel, with fully compliant ADA access upgrades. The second replacement small boat hoist was installed, with its capacity increased from 3,000 pounds to 6,000 pounds, thus matching the capacity of our other hoist. SUP storage was improved and expanded, making it easier for members to enjoy their use in our great harbor.The Club received a generous donation from the family of Les Guthrie, allowing us to finally create an office and facilities for our incredible youth sailing programs.In addition to hosting our usual programs, the Christmas Boat Parade, and Sea Fair, we took on the challenges of upgrading our entire IT system, with a new management software program and Point of Sale (POS) system for the bar and galley. Our last great challenge for the year was the unexpected need to recruit a new Club manager.Through it all, our members showed day-in and day-out why King Harbor Yacht Club is such an incredible organization, with too many volunteers and too many donated hours to even begin to list. Thank you all for ALL you did (and continue to do)! My motto for the year was “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller!”, and with your assistance, we truly did let the good times roll.
Vice Commodore – Debbie Helling
Rear Commodore – Bob Duncan
Junior Staff Commodore – Lisa Falk.
Norie Martin, Commodore 2010
I was proud to be the third woman commodore of King Harbor Yacht Club. Following my husband Jerry, who was commodore in 1998, we became the first husband and wife to hold that office. It was very helpful to have a resource so close to home.One of my goals was to foster communication between the three yacht clubs in King Harbor. I started meeting with Kathi Sheridan of Redondo Beach Yacht Club and Kevin Herink of Port Royal Yacht Club, when we were rear commodores. That relationship resulted in a tri club progressive dinner party when we were commodore. We continue to support club activities for all three clubs.My biggest challenge came when we had to decide to vacate our facility at Catalina. The members made the final decision but we now have a party trailer that is used by fleets for the enjoyment of the club members.It was a pleasure to represent King Harbor Yacht Club during opening days, harbor association meetings and Southern California Yacht Association, the umbrella organization over ninety-four clubs from Morro Bay to San Diego. Currently, I serve as a director for SCYA to continue to represent KHYC.
John Kildebeck, Commodore 2007
It gave me a sense of accomplishment being able to serve this club where I have met so many wonderful people and spent many happy hours. I appreciated that a few of our members were willing to share their lives with us, through my brief biographical sketches in the telltale. The strength of our club is its members, with special thanks due to our many volunteers.Getting to know each other a little better can only lead to a stronger and more enjoyable sanctuary from daily rigors that our club can provide to anyone who desires to take advantage of it. Being a participant not only increases our group of friends but also promotes a sense of ownership.Before I started this adventure I asked my wife, Kathy, if she was up to it. Not only did she say yes, but she also became the club gardener. She has worked tirelessly, confronting many frustrations, to help make an environment that not only is uplifting and safe, but one that we can be proud of. All in all, being the commodore of this yacht club is a great experience; I would recommend it to anyone who has a sense of humor and a well-regulated blood pressure.
Burr Hope, Commodore 2006
It all started in 2004 with the desire to be the first, second-generation commodore. My dad, Fred Hope, was commodore of Redondo harbor yacht club in 1956. That would be fifty years between his reign as commodore and mine. Redondo Harbor Yacht Club and Win’ard Yacht Club joined together to become KHYC in 1960. I have a lot of history at the club since I basically grew up there. I wanted to honor the club, and how my family contributed to its creation, and make my own contributions. My years as rear and vice commodore were a learning experience with a lot of input and guidance from the staff commodores. As any staff commodore knows, you cannot do it without support from home. I could not have been successful without the support of Francie, we were in it together and enjoyed the experience. My year as commodore started out with the galley rebuilt project, that was quite a project, and I think it turned out to be a great success. There were some trying times during that year also, but all in all I enjoyed, and am honored to wear the silver stars of a staff commodore, of the King Harbor Yacht Club.
Bob Cash, Commodore 2005
My commodore’s year was marked most notably, but not happily, by the final collapse of the old galley. We were, dead in the kitchen, so to speak! That kicked off an 18-month project (well in to burr hope’s tenure) to get something back on line. I can’t even count the planning meetings with the “galley committee” and you would not begin to believe the variations and permutations. But the idea was to derive something that would serve the interests of the majority of the members while understanding that no commodore would eve make everyone happy. I guess it came out ok? Of the many talented folks who pitched in, (typical KHYC crisis response) I would have to site Kennedy woodruff as special. TY, KW on a personal note as a racer, my highlight was placing 3 rd, 2ed, and 1 st overall as rear, vice, and commodore respectively in the tom collier event, rank does have its privilege!
Marty Burke, Commodore 2004
My reflections of the year 2004 revolve around a multitude of people including staff commodores, flag officers, board members, fleet members, the membership and the staff. What a wonderful group of people to have been associated with. These associations have blossomed in lasting friendships for which I am blessed.
Mark Hansen, Commodore 2001
Rod Zap, Vice Commodore and Bill Webster Jr. Staff Commodore
Bill Webster, Commodore 2000
We started off with the commodore’s brunch at which we introduced KHYC members to the western dish of biscuits and gravy. Many members dressed up in cowboy clothes and boots. People also dressed western for the first board of directors meeting.
Opening day went well. We had our boat, sidekick, and dress according to SCYA protocol including a bottle of champagne hung off the bow. Some culprit who did not think about how this would affect my memory of this opening day took our bottle of champagne. I believe the culprit was Jerry Langton!
The big issue during our year was the redevelopment plan called the heart of the city. Part of the original plan had a public launching facility where KHYC is. KHYC would be moved to mole B where we would have a nice view of the break water instead of the wonderful ocean view we enjoy. A public meeting was set at KHYC with the mayor, city manager, and district 2 city councilmen. They had quite a shock when 350 plus angry boaters greeted them. They learned well not to ignore us!2000 was the year we won three-out-of-five ASMBYC honor awards and the SCYA senior club of the year award. While the year had its challenges, it was a year to be proud of.
Robert White, Commodore 1999
Ten years ago on the 50th anniversary, I accepted the duties of commodore of KHYC. At that time our membership numbered 370, and budgets were very tight. Our facility was in need of major repair on the west balcony. We somehow managed to rebuild and expand the west balcony and at the same time created a fleet room below. This room was instrumental in insuring that our ever growing junior program stayed alive and healthy. By the way, our juniors won the Governors Cup, Sears Cup, competed in Japan and the Coca Cola Cup in Auckland that year. One of the most rewarding programs that we started that year was the adult sailing which served two purposes; first it increased interest in sailing while providing much needed income for the club, and secondly it brought in new members. That same year we established the KHYC web site, weather station and club cam.
Jerry Martin, Commodore 1998
As I look back on my year as commodore, I recall the words from my brief remarks at the commodore’s ball. “As a relatively new member of the club, I have two goals for the year; one is to try to learn everyone’s name, and the other is not to piss anybody off!” At the end of my tour as commodore, I again made a few brief comments; I restated my goals at the commodore’s ball, and then stated “as my year ends, I did not achieve the goals I previously set, I did not learn everyone’s name, and I managed to piss a lot of people off”!
Robert E. Viault, Commodore 1986
1986… What a wonderful year I have had. Ronnie and I had our new 38 ft. Irwin Mid Cockpit Aft Cabin Sloop delivered on January 2nd. And I assumed Commodore of KHYC. We have all enjoyed a superb year, in-and-around our beautiful Yacht Club.
I reflect back to 1959 when as a architect I shared in the discussions of the design of our own clubhouse on the western edge of King Harbor, Redondo Beach. Designing the club facilities and docks through three Commodores and their Board of Directors, plus over 400 active members and their wives was stressful, but rewarding. I followed the designing by acting as supervising architect for the construction watching the 9” floating floor slab being poured over the sand filled base and then the building itself rising to the building it is today. Twenty five years after our dedication I was asked to serve as Commodore, I guess the Club accepted the design.
An early challenge in 1986 was the upgrade of the aging liquor bar in the second floor Social Room. We almost moved the bar to the Northwest corner of the Social Room; we also discussed a circular bar in the lounge. The membership decided to just expand it at its original location. I took the challenge temporarily moving the bar and all members kept drinking and thanked their flag officers for a great season
Dick Farrell, Commodore 1985
As for me, 1985 was the most important and rewarding year for King’s Harbor Yacht Club (please note I used King’s Harbor, not King Harbor). In those days that’s how we made reference to our beloved club. Another high point for 1985 was the fact that we had a membership of 500 regular members plus a waiting list of 50 more perspective members waiting to join the club. As the commodore of this prosperous yacht club I was very happy, my staff included a board of directors that were the backbone of KHYC. Our treasurer was none other than Dick Reinhardt. When the commodore wanted to spend the club’s money, Dick would smile, if the request was within the budget. If it was wasteful or outside the budget, Dick would frown. It was a perfect system. Our judge advocate, John Alden, Sr. kept me out of jail with the same system. A smile was, “yes, “go for it!” a frown “you will go to jail”! Again, it was a perfect system! Like I said, it was a good year. Except for the first day of my administration… I dress in my blue blazer, had my three stars, and headed down to the King’s Harbor Yacht Club. It was January 1st and I expected that a crowd of members would be at the front door to cheer me on. It was not to be! I was greeted at the front door by Ken, the janitor. He had a plumber’s plunger in his hand, which he handed to me and said, “The women’s toilet is stopped up and I need you to fix it now”. I took off my three stars, then my blazer, and began my first task as commodore.
Fritz Dawson, Commodore 1982
The accomplishment I am most proud of is the founding of the King Harbor Youth Foundation. King Harbor can give thanks to the extraordinary members who have given time to give the young people of King Harbor, and to the youth of the community. My years of racing and enjoying good times with friends remain as a “thanks for the memories”.
Charles “Chuck” Fowler, Commodore 1980
Some things change, and some things stay the same. In 1980, Lucille Earlandson, and Club Manager, promised to “stay one more year”. Bob Martinez, Bartender, and Ken Martin, Custodian, were the only other employees. We prided ourselves on being a volunteer club. The front door lock kept breaking. There was a damaging winter storm. There were more members with racing sailboats than powerboats. No one fished. First Mates sailed in sabots, sponsored ladies only Regattas and raised funds by hosting a bazaar and cooling meals for the racers on Thursday nights. Race results were figured on a hand Calculator. Our Junior Racers were the best. Dues were around $30per month. Dick Reinhardt was Treasurer.
There was a little book handed down to Commodorables entitled, “Everything you wanted to know about being the Commodore’s wife and were afraid someone would tell you”. (I don’t know what happened to it)
At the first stroke of 1980 Commodore Fowler presented his Officers with brand new gold plated stars fir their blazers. They were at least an inch in diameter and the most spectacular stars worn by any flag officer of any club. His intent was to pass them down to future Commodores. But they were dangerous! If a Commodore danced with, or hugged, or just got too close, an unsuspecting lady would find herself impaled on his star. When Commodore Walecki took the helm, Sheila tactfully presented Chuck with a framed commemorative of his year, all the stars beautifully mounted under glass.
Commodorables had traditional duties. One was to prepare the brunch served on New Year’s Day. Chuck wanted to serve his favorite “traditional” Navy meal, SOS (chipped beef on toast). Since I was employed full time, I prepared and froze the meal. I put two huge pots of the stuff on the old commercial gas burners in the galley. One of the pots burnt on the bottom; I served it up with lots of pepper. One exceptional KHYC cook wanted to know what secret spice I used! The only remaining tradition is the blue aprons with the stars that I made for the occasion.
For Christmas I had given Chuck a KHYC polo shirt and embroidered three stars on it. One day when he was proudly wearing it, someone made a comment about his stars. He immediately “flashed” his shirt revealing three stars “tattooed” on his bare chest. Yes Chuck really liked his stars.
Jerry, enjoy your stars.
By Toni Fowler Perpall
Gene Carver, Commodore 1979
Following two years working as a flag officer under commodores Tom Chandler, and Bernie Baron, on January 1, 1979 I inherited an efficient organization that by then, I was well familiar with. It also became my good fortune to have Chuck Fowler and Ron Walecki as flag officers. This, combined with the support of our spouses, Pat, Toni, and Shiela, made my year as commodore a most satisfying and pleasant experience. Memories of all three years run together but they seem to center around the pleasure of working with Tom, Bernie, Chuck and Ron, all their wives and a whole cadre of terrific committee chairs. Other members and a top notch experienced staff. Things ran smoothly and if there were any significant problems… I cannot recall them. I guess the highlight of 1979, especially in retrospect, was reaching our maximum regular membership of 500 in August and maintaining that number through the end of the year, and somewhat beyond. This achievement is the result of many years of active membership work, which began before and during some difficult economic times in the early “70s”. When the economy recovered at the end of the decade and yachting interest revived we were ready. Needless to say having a full membership plus a waiting list made life easier for us all, especially yours truly, but the credit largely belongs to the foresight and effort of so many through the preceding years. Pat and I have so many fond memories of our time “in the chairs”. Thank you for giving us that opportunity.
Ed Venable, Commodore 1973
The photo shows three staff commodores: Jim Morrison 1964, Ed Venable 1973 and Frank Weage 1975. Betty was in charge of a first mates fashion show in 1973 so the four of us decided to attend to add a little fun to the event. Betty reserved a table for us under a false name, and we were four brave soldiers that docked at KHYC, on a dinghy. We were representatives of the river KWAI Yacht Club, and marched to the stirring tune “Colonel Boogie March”. We had a lot of fun, I think only three girls got tossed into the water!.
Nick Galloway, Commodore 1970
Nick would tell the story of how he tried to keep the bar from loosing money, which it was doing in those days. So, one night he asked our wonderful bartender, Bob Martinez, for a scotch on the rocks. Bob poured his usual drink, Nick quickly whipped a shot glass out of his pocket and poured the scotch into it which immediately overflowed, by a lot, “Bob” he said, “we’re going to continue going into the hole if you pour drinks like that!” Needless to say, he personally never got a decent drink after that!
Bob Hood, Commodore, 1968
First, King Harbor Yacht Club survived its first year with a power boater at the Helm! Second, the A-frame at Little Fisherman’s Cove was completed! However, the most serious incident of my year as Commodore was the THEFT of my PALM TREE! It disappeared around 11:00 PM while the “Bagpipe” was peacefully anchored in Little Fisherman Cove. It’s a long, long story – so let me cut to the finish… about two months later, while the commodore “that would be me” was reporting on serious yacht club matters during a formal general meeting, giggles from the membership grew to outright laughter. Then, some wag suggested that I turn around – there was my palm tree, hanging outside the west yard window… the culprits have yet to be found, the case is not closed yet!
Dick Reinhardt, Commodore 1960
The year was 1960. The stage was set for two yacht clubs to decide their future. Intensive negotiations involving the amalgamation of Win’ard and Redondo Harbor Yacht Clubs were in progress. The moment of truth arrived on February 17th with a dinner meeting at the old Hacienda Hotel (San Pedro) when the clubs did indeed approve the merger of the two clubs under the name of King Harbor Yacht Club (dba under the Win’ard YC corporate charter), providing a history start date of June 1949. At that meeting I was elected Commodore, Bill Winter as Vice and Ron Rieman as Rear. Burgee design, By-laws, and other essential items were completed. This was the year of consolidation and making ready for the new harbor development. While on a 3 week vacation over the 4th of July the City gave the Club a tear down order for the old clubhouse (20’x60′ on the old Edison pilings). Ron Rieman was able to savage today’s KHYC flagpole (originally a ships mast) while the City completed the clubhouse demolition. Our temporary meeting place was the Hollywood Riviera Club and ultimately the Redondo Elks Club. Our place in the harbor was being established with the initial “Request of Bids”. Bob Viault rose to the occasion and developed a plan for the Club, is was awesome. 1960 came to a close and in January we had our first Commodore’s Ball at the old Plush Horse. It was a great year with everyone meeting their goals so that King Harbor Yacht Club could go on to become what it represent today. “Job Well Done” to all those who helped make this possible. I am proud to have been the very first Commodore, while having total support from my loving wife.