Donna and I on the way to the double nickel Oscars® ceremony
(if I remember correctly, the AMPAS theme for that year was red)
Donna on the way to her first Oscar®
(A.M.P.A.S.) Awards Ceremony (early eighties)
Long before Angelina Jolie made the slit dress a
style & media sensation, Sijtske already owned it.
Leggy Sijtske and I about to go out to Dillon's, the very hottest Disco in
LA and celebrate her 21st birthday. (Wow, Disco? Look at my suit and shoes!)
With Carol King, Easter dinner with my extended family
mom told me never to run with scissors or knives. She never ever mentioned
The Mamas and...
My mom, my son Vince, and my (then) GF/SO Elka (my son's mom)
Easter week in Palm Springs, with Bijou (left) & T. Nicole (right)
(at 21YO), "clubbing" with the ever beautiful young Elke out
a glamorous night on the town (when it really was a glamorous town.)
(taken at Ciro's nightclub on the Sunset Strip
in Hollywood, CA Hollywood Globe photo)
Sitting on my custom '50 Buick ragtop (still in my "beach beat" period)
the L. A. City Lifeguard (just turned 17)
(I grew the goatee after visiting the Coexistence
Bagel Shop in San Francisco's North Beach section)
(snapping fingers). The
notorious (and infamous ;) "11th St. Boys". Lords of San
Pedro at the time, and the ultimate "Bad Boys" of
our day. (Yes, we were ...a father's worse nightmare.) Sort
of like West Side Story without the musical score or fake blood.
"Show business is my life, (really)..."
J. J. (for "Juvie Jive"), my pop/rock music group, with me as the lead singer and bongo/conga drum/cow bell player it
all ended with the advent of really hard kick ass rock 'n roll guitar player frontman bands.
The J.J. Band members (Me, doing lead vocals, Fred Hoff, Ralph McDonald, and John Carroll, doing backup vocals).
I was always writing & directing (and also sometimes acting in) many plays in Jr. High & High School. Great fun, and NO pressure.
I sang for my supper... at my graduation commencement
1950's San Pedro News Pilot article
I wrote and directed a play entitled "Little Hep Riding Hood", which was a modern day parody and slang (1950's slang that is) adaptation of the tale.
The play proved so popular, it was performed about a dozen times, including two nighttime performances for parents and the PTA (I doubt that they really "got" the many double entendres and youthful slang in my dialogue).
They were always asking me to sing, which was OK
with me, since I always rehearsed with the girl's choir ;)
Honors student (that's me on the top left)
purse seiner FV Santa Lucia loaded with tuna (1956 photo taken at T. I.)
My dad owned and operated commercial fishing boats after he and my mom moved to California. First out of San Francisco, then Monterey, and finally, San Pedro.
After he passed, everybody assumed I would follow in his footsteps as a commercial fisherman (both sides of my family where seafarers. Fishermen on my dad's side, ship owners and ship captains on my mother's).
So, just barely in my teens, I started to ply the trade everybody expected me to follow. Working as a commercial fisherman on weekends and summer vacations.
I crewed on the boat pictured above, as well as the FV Lucy Ann and the FV Santa Maria (as a full working crew member, not as a cabin boy or such).
I got a half-share at the time, and my usual job was working the skiff once the net was released.
Truth is, I love the sea (I have owned many sailboats in my life), but the thought of spending the rest of my days on commercial fishing vessels was not a bright spot in my future.
Luckily, I decided not to follow that path, without even knowing that within ten years the commercial fishing industry in San Pedro would be completely obliterated.
The demise of San Pedro's vast commercial fishing fleet was caused by over-fishing its costal waters (unsustainable catch quotas), the traditional "the sea will always provide" mind-set of the local boat owners, the tuna spotting airplane (since banned), and competition from much cheaper and abundant imported Japanese tuna.
In just three years, I myself saw this happening, and it's still hard to fathom that it all happened so fast.
Where once we would regularly "set" on 100 ton schools of tuna, three years later, we were lucky to find a 5 ton school of tuna to set on.
Too many boats, too little fish, no conservation plan, cheaper imported tuna, and modern technology — all took its eventual toll on the mighty San Pedro fishing fleet.
My ILWU Local 33 Union card, my son belonged to that same Local
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