Corky Carroll

The coolest dudes have all the nerve


In honor of Huntington Beach turning 100 years old I am doing a little series on my memories of growing up in and around our wonderful "Surf City." Last week I left off just as I was entering Huntington Beach High School as a freshman in 1961.

Our high school was more or less divided up among surfers, jocks, soch's (social-lites) and greasers (a.k.a. "hodads"). I am not sure who was in the majority really. Somehow everybody coexisted fairly well considering the huge social differences between these different factions.

There were some very talented surfers that went to school there through the years. At that time there was a full line up of excellent local, and better than local, talent. These included Robert August, who was also student body president and generally considered the "prettiest" kid in school. Robert always had the hottest babes.

There was also a dude named Denny Buehl who was a very hot goofy-foot and dominated the group on the south side of the pier. Denny was a senior and was known as the "guppy." Great guy. He had an extreme amount of nerve.

My favorite Denny Buehl memory was from one day when I was in Social Studies class. It was the period right after lunch. There was a girl in that class who was really hot looking named Alma. This one day we were right in the middle of a test when all of a sudden Denny opens the door and comes walking right into the class. He scanned the room for a moment until he spotted Alma.

Everybody, including the teacher, was just sort of staring at him and wondering what he was doing there. He casually walked down the row to where Alma was sitting and then leaned over and gave her this huge kiss. The full-on tongue-in-the-mouth romantic sexy kinda kiss. It lasted a little while too.

We were all just sitting there slack jawed in awe. Then he stood up and casually walked out the door. Nobody said a word. The teacher just sat there staring at the door with this "I can't believe he just did that" look on his face. I was thinking "this dude is very cool, I gotta hang out with HIM."

Along those same lines was the day Dick Dale showed up in the parking lot after school one day. Dick Dale was this great guitar player who had the band that played at the Rendezvous Ball Room in Balboa. He was known as "the King of the Surf Guitar." Fantastic musician.

One day I was standing in front of the school with a bunch of other kids waiting for the school bus to pick us up to go home. There was this other really hot babe that went to school there named Dawn Majors. She was blond and everything your imagination might tell you she was. All of a sudden Dick Dale himself drives up in his big black Cadillac convertible.

Wow. Dawn jumps in the car and slides over under his arm. That was in the day when the front seats were one large seat and not buckets like today. I wish we still had those kinds of seats. It was always cool to have your chick cuddled up next to you while cruising down the road. I liked that. As we would say, "it was totally bitchin'."

So here is none other than Dick Dale with his arm around Dawn Majors pulling out of the Huntington Beach High School parking lot in a big black Cadillac convertible looking cooler than cool could be. All of us were standing there in total "knowing� but not really, yet wish we did" admiration.

It was at that very moment that my mind told me, "Corky, you gotta learn how to play the guitar." I was at that age where my mind only dreamed of two things -- Surfing and babes. (Hmmmmmm, geeze, I might still be at that age only in an older version.)

Another great surfer who was a senior at that time was Richard Chew. Rich was super smooth and would eventually become a top surfer and a very well-respected water guy. He was the No. 1 rated surfer in the country one year in the mid sixties.

We had a pack of hot surf rats in my freshman class that year too: John Boozer, Tom Leonardo (top mouth on the coast), and Scott Hoxeng. Boozer would go on to win a number of surf contests including the Laguna Masters. Tom did very well in Hawaii for a few years but eventually was known more for his sharp verbiage than his surfing. He was the forerunner to Chuck Dent.

Stay tuned next week for part 4.