Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cal Porter (1924-2019)

Malibu's first lifeguard Cal Porter passed on in June 2019.

His writings are still online at: County Recurrent:

Here's a brief intro Cal wrote about himself:

"I grew up on the beach, and the beach and ocean have been a major influence on my entire life and continue to be. I have always lived where I could see the ocean, the first part of my life in Playa del Rey and for the last 60 years in Malibu. I have found that I can never be away from the beach and ocean for any great length of time. I miss them, my mind dwells on them when I am gone, their magnet draws me back. There is a feeling you get when the surf is up or the water is crystal clear. You want to be out there, you have to be out there, you cannot wait. Other surfers know this feeling. And after, when you come out of the water, happy but cold, and the bright sunshine gradually warms your body, it is the moment of truth. I need to be in the water. I have been in the ocean since I was a baby. You can swim in it, you can surf and dive in it, you can fish in it, you can play in it, you can sail on it, and you can just be near it and sit on the beach, it’s all good.

"I surfed at an early age. I had older brothers, and we had surfboards of one kind or another before I was five years old. I’ve surfed all my life. I’ve bodysurfed all my life. I dived for lobster and abalone and fish for dinner, and I sold them to restaurants and fish markets. I had a small fishing boat and fished commercially. I taught swimming. When I was old enough I became a lifeguard so that I could earn a living and still be on the beach and in the water. Lifeguarding put me through college and graduate school. I became a teacher and then a school principal for many years. But I never left the beach. All my spare time and days off were on the beach. It’s a good thing for me that my family shared my love for the ocean. Most of our trips were to the watery places of the world, where the sea was warm, and the water was clear, and the diving was good, and the waves were big. I lifeguarded for almost 40 years.

"And now many years into retirement I’m still on the beach. I live on the beach. Through my windows I can see the beach. And when that day comes and it’s time to “shuffle off this mortal coil” (Hamlet), I will return to the sea once more."


  1. One of the great souls to walk this Earth. I had the great fortune of Cal becoming my step-father in 1966. He gave us the ocean, the beach, surfing, body-surfing, surfing trips down to Baja and lots of good humor thrown in. Read his blog. Wonderful stories.

  2. Mr. Cal Porter has passed away today 6/13/2019. You will be missed. Have fun surfing in the sky! Rest in Paradise!


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