Yesterday’s news of the Wedge Lifeguard Fire was a sad one, not just for the memories made on and near the lifeguard stand, and not just because someone would do this, but also because some of surfing and the Wedge’s most famous departed names were etched into the lifeguard stand itself, including Knox Tiernan, Gene Peterson and Brad Honda, and lifeguard Ben Carlson, among others.
As the cleanup crews began coming in the early Thursday hours, one Wedge regular attempted to rescue the locally inscribed beam, but was told that it was city property, would be taken to the yard, then taken to the dump. Many visitors afterward continued to ask about the beam and whether or not it was saved.
SaveNewporter Robert Mansfield gave me a call to discuss the names and the beam itself, and I gave a few councilpeople a call about it. Councilman Will O’Neill was the first to return my call, and acted quickly to see what could be done to save it. It worked. He contacted the heads of several departments, and within 90 minutes the Lifeguards were at the yard and in possession of this piece of history, to preserve and– potentially– re-use this in a new lifeguard stand (depending on damage assessment).
A big thanks goes out to Robert Mansfield for the heads up, and to Will O’Neill for acting quickly to save this bit of Wedge History.
UPDATE @9:19am, I was informed that a personal friend, Bart Evans, whose nephew’s name, Knox Tiernan, was also listed on the beam, was simultaneously working on this from his angle. Bart’s group looped in the lifeguards also, and by the end of the day– all efforts paid off. Thank you to Bart Evans. Thank you to Councilman Will O’Neill. Thank you to SaveNewporter Robert Mansfield.
It is not often when there are all winners and no losers (except the lifeguard stand itself). A great end to a great week. Happy Friday. Happy first day of Summer. Happy weekend!