This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual. A complete transcript is posted below the video.
An interview by Marilyn Kali
March 17, 2017
MK: Today is Friday, March 17th, 2017, Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re in the Board Room of the Outrigger Canoe Club and I’m Marilyn Kali (MK), a member of the Club’s Historical Committee. One of the Historical Committee’s projects is to do oral histories of long time members. Today, it is my pleasure to be talking to Jimmy McMahon (JM). Good morning Jimmy.
JM: Good morning, Marilyn.
MK: You’ve grown up at the Club, you are a self-described Gremmie at the old Club in Waikiki and now, you’ve been a past President of the Club. How old were you when you first started coming to the Club?
JM: Well, my dad (John McMahon) joined in 1953 and we moved here from Malibu in 1953 so that’s would have been it. I was like, what’s that, five years old. Yeah.
MK: You were born in California?
JM: I was born in Big Rock, Malibu, California in 1947 and then we came here in 1953.
MK: Well, did you ever tried surfing at that tender age?
JM: Yeah. I have.
JM: Yeah, there are pictures … Somewhere we have pictures of me surfing in Malibu. We lived right on the water and I can remember my dad diving after work and bringing in lobster and putting them in the pot and having them squeal and jump up and down and water splashing everywhere. Yeah, so I remember a little bit but most of my … all of my history’s from here.
MK: Okay, speaking of your dad (John McMahon), he was such a well-liked member of the Club. Some of the older members have really fond memories of him and the things that he did here. Could you tell us a little bit about him and how he became a member?
JM: Sure, my dad was a lifeguard in Santa Monica. After they moved from the East Coast to Venice, in Southern California, I believe he was somewhere around 13 or 14 when they moved. He became a lifeguard in Santa Monica, lived underneath the Santa Monica pier and I can tell you stories about that and worked part time in the movie business, in the stunt movie business doing a lot of the high dives off of this and that and the other thing. Was involved in the Olympics, in the ‘32 Olympics in Los Angeles, was an Olympic try out in water polo and in diving. He didn’t make it but got invited to come to the islands for a swim meet and once he figured out how warm the water was, he allegedly sold his ticket and stayed.
Eventually, after the War (WW II) broke out, he moved back to California, went straight and got into the insurance business and met and married my mother and then one day just decided that he were coming back here and that was 1953.
MK: Now, was he interested in surfing while he was in Malibu?
JM: Yeah, I have pictures of the lifeguards. They used surfboards primarily for paddling races. They surfed all up and down the coast and everybody knew everybody. Yeah, they were surfing in the early ‘30s, late ‘20s probably they started so we have information that goes all the way back to them and everybody knew everybody at that time.
MK: Did he know Joe Quigg back in those days?
JM: Sure. Joe lived across the street from his best … his good friend. There was Joe Quigg, Don James and Ed Fearon. Ed Fearon preceded my dad in coming to the Outrigger and the kids were all a couple of years older. Joe had an older brother named Jack and I’m sure if you’ve talked to Joe, you know all of this but they wouldn’t let Joe play with them until they figured out that Joe could fix their boards and they used to drag their boards down the 7th Street Hill in Santa Monica to the beach and surf and then bury the boards in the sand and then go home at night, so yeah.
MK: They were friends back and then, surfing buddies.
JM: Yeah, my dad was the lifeguard. They were that era’s Gremmies and my dad was the lifeguard in those days at Santa Monica so he was the older guy, yeah.
MK: You got back to Hawaii in 1953?
JM: Fifty three was when my dad moved here from … He quit the insurance business and came over here to go to work for his friend, Ross Sutherland.
MK: In the clothing industry.
MK: Retail or …
JM: Retail. He worked retail in Ross Sutherland’s store which was on Kalakaua where the Gumps is, Old Gumps building.
MK: Was he a salesman or what was he doing?
JM: He was just a salesman and a buyer or he would do a lot of the men’s furnishing and then at that time they were sort of the … one of the giant haberdashers of Honolulu at that time.
MK: How did he know Ross?
JM: I don’t really remember the story behind it but I think Ross had a brother and the brother was a surfer and so they met each other in California at some point and got to be friends and then when he decided to move, my dad had worked in a tailor shop in the winter time in Santa Monica so he knew a little bit about clothes and so that’s how it started.
MK: That’s right, lifeguards weren’t year round back in those days.
JM: No, the lifeguards were actually part of the Sheriff’s Department and during the depression, when he was a lifeguard, they were licensed to arrest people and do all of that. There are lots of funny stories going on about that time period.
MK: Yeah and then they didn’t staff the beaches during the winter time, it’s too cold.
JM: No, that’s when they would go and work other jobs, whether it was a tailor job or again, they worked in … a lot of them work in the movie business.
MK: Your father was a daredevil?
JM: He talked about it but I would say, he was a great extra. He could do anything in the … anything to do with the ocean. A lot of his other buddies were … they could ride horses and things like that but he was mostly in … anything with the ocean but yeah, he would go off high, he’d do a lot of the high dives and things like that.
MK: When he tried out for the Olympics, what events was . . .
JM: He was trying out specifically for water polo and then diving. I’m not sure which diving exactly.
MK: Platform diving or springboard or . . .
JM: He never told me.
MK: Well, that’s interesting so he got to Hawaii, how did he get to the Outrigger Canoe Club?
JM: Well he was here during the War years because he told me stories about hiding under a canoe when he was at the beach on Sunday morning, December the 7th. He told me stories about seeing the (Japanese) planes go past the beach at Waikiki. Evidently, he must have been using the Club in the ‘40s. I’m not real clear exactly what … I know he was not a member but as soon as he got off the boat here, he joined.
MK: He hid under a canoe on Waikiki Beach on December 7th?
JM: Yeah, evidently they weren’t … In those days, they use to turn the canoes upside down on the beach so the water wouldn’t get in there when it rained. He saw the planes coming over and yeah, they kind of got down underneath the canoe and watched them go over. I mean, they weren’t shooting at them or anything but that was … he was here for a few years during the War and then went back to Southern California.
MK: That’s an interesting story. I haven’t heard anybody talk about that before.
JM: That’s what he told me so yeah, that’s what I remember.
MK: I heard people under canoes for lots of other reasons but not to hide from the …
JM: Good place for a nap too.
MK: Japanese war planes.
MK: Your folks got married in California.
JM: They got married and my mother was a nice Italian girl from San Francisco and saw my dad and he was doing a high dive act at the Olympic Club I believe into a, 40 feet in the air, dive into six feet of water or something like that, probably deeper but they met and my mother said that when my father asked her to marry him, her comment was, “I knew if I married your father, I’d never be bored.” She was taking care of her younger sister and then they moved from San Francisco down to Malibu and then her sister actually moved with them and then she married the guy next door.
MK: They all wound up in Hawaii?
JM: No, my aunt is 93 and is still living in the house her husband built her in Malibu, I saw her last weekend. That’s her only ties back to Malibu at this point.
MK: Do you have any siblings?
JM: My father was previously married and in his first marriage, he had a son, John McMahon Junior. He passed away in the year 2000.
MK: Now, when your dad got to the Outrigger Canoe Club, of course we were still in Waikiki back in those days.
MK: He was active in surfing at that point?
JM: Yeah. His job was that, Ross Sutherland probably … I remember that he used to leave for work about 8:30 and so I think they opened at nine and they stayed open until six but he was off every day from eleven to one, that was his lunch hour and he would go surfing from eleven to one every day at the Outrigger or at Waikiki.
MK: It was convenient for where he worked.
JM: Right, it worked out perfectly.
MK: Was Ross also a surfer?
JM: No. No, he hunted and fished and he was more of a woodsman.
MK: Did your dad enter any surfing contest?
JM: He did when he was in … Mostly in California, by the time he came here in the ‘50s, he was a little bit older so he was more active in judging (surfing) contests, in managing contests and creating contests than actively competing. He wasn’t … and at that time, most of the competitions were, it was more about the kids and this, it wasn’t really a structured sport yet, the way it is today.
MK: How did he become a judge?
JM: Nobody else probably wanted to do it. Again, without having him here to ask him, from what I can … my earliest recollections were twofold. One, the contest that we entered but I think they were pretty much preceded by the Mākaha Championships which if I’m not mistaken started at about 1953 or something and he got involved with Waikiki Surf Club, started out just judging and wound up eventually becoming president of Waikiki Surf Club and becoming the events chairman. Ron Sorrell was involved, Dougie Forbes, George Downing, a lot of those guys.
MK: He was a member of both Waikiki Surf Club and the Outrigger?
MK: Did he ever paddle?
JM: No. No, never paddled. Paddling at that time was not as big a sport as it is today. He was just more into surfing and then he stayed with the surfing contest and paddling wasn’t as big of a sport then as it is today and the people that paddled has always paddled so it was like not something you jumped into. You did what … You were a surfer, you surfed. You were a paddler, you paddled.
MK: He was involved in the starting of the Makaha Surfing Contest and . . .
JM: I think it had started by the time he got here in 1953, I think that was the first year so I can’t say that he started it but he became an integral part of it almost from the inception. He was involved in a lot of it and as Fred Hemmings can tell you and others involved in helping secure like ABC Wide World of Sports and doing all that stuff.
MK: It was the first surfing contest in Hawaii.
JM: It was the only surfing contest.
JM: Yeah, it was the first and it was the only and it was a big deal.
MK: It continued for a number of years.
JM: Yeah, I don’t know how many years it went on. I mean, it went on I think into the early ‘70s at some point and then Buffalo (Keaulana) kind of continued it with his own contest which is great.
MK: Well and then he started the Duke (Kahanamoku Invitational Championship) contest, that was . . .
JM: He was very, very involved with the Duke contest. I think that came along in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s and my dad had competed with Duke. They were friends because everybody was here and everybody was in the water together and they had traveled to take a couple of trips together on some swimming exhibitions or this and that and the other thing and so Kimo McVay had got him involved and my dad was … I don’t know exactly what his title was whether he was events chairman, coordinator or director but he pretty much ran the early Duke contest.
MK: Was he also a judge at that. . .
JM: Yeah, he was a judge but he was also like the events coordinator and responsible for … because those were by invitation only and that was very new concept and nobody had ever held a contest on the North Shore and so it was a big daredevil deal at that time.
MK: I’ve talked to Fred Hemmings and he once told me how they had to be very careful of the surfers they invited because they wanted good reputations and before they invited anybody, they had Tommy Conner do a check, a police check on them to see if they … what kind of kids they were, that they had.
JM: Yeah. I think not being a participant in those events but just being a spectator or an outsider or growing up around it, Fred can probably speak better to that but yeah, they wanted to maintain a clean cut look of what surfing was going to present itself as. He did that into the early ‘70s and then he got sick in about 1974 so then he was unable to continue.
MK: Did he ever surf any of the big waves?
JM: Yeah, we had a house in Makaha and we used … in the ‘50s and ‘60s, it was all about the West side or about Makaha so we would head out there on a Friday afternoon and spend the weekend or might miss school on Monday if the waves were really good and so he surfed, point surfed Makaha which was 20 plus feet. He surfed the North Shore. I lived on the North Shore in the early ‘70s so he surfed out there, big waves, never surfed Waimea to my knowledge but he’d surfed big Laniakea in Sunset, yes.
MK: Did he use the big boards with …
JM: Yeah, those were the eras of … I have like an 11 foot gun that George Downing made for him and all big long boards, that was that era.
MK: Fiberglass hadn’t come into being yet?
JM: I mean they were somewhere Balsa but then they were foam boards so just fiber glass yeah.
MK: Your dad never played volleyball . . .
JM: No, he claimed he had a bad back. I claimed I have a bad back. So he loved the ocean. He loved the beach. He loved the girls on the beach, the boys on the beach and so that was his environment that he loved. Also when he was in … in the lifeguards, they dove, diving for lobsters, diving for abalone in Southern California in the ‘40s and ‘50s and whatever. It was a great time to be there.
MK: When the Club sent surfers to Peru and to other contests, your dad was among those that went?
JM: Yes. Because of the relationship with Club Waikiki and Carlos (Dogny), my dad went down a few times to Peru, not to participate but to judge. He would be the visiting judge and I don’t know whether he was taking care of the participants or they were taking care of him but everybody had a good time.
MK: I’ve heard some of those trips were kind of wild.
MK: Did you ever go with him?
MK: Can you think of anything else about your dad that you’d like to add? Stories.
JM: I think that his legacy was really mostly about wanting to really perpetuate the surfing thing. That was his real love and as time went on here at the Outrigger, he really was … he was the one who kind of started the whole Surf Committee and when the Club moved here in ’64, he was involved in creating the first Surf Contest that Outrigger ever put on, which was here. Previous to that, there were contests at Queens that we all participated in as kids but we had the first one here where we setup scaffolding on the reef out there and did all of that. He was really … wanted to get surfing to be a bigger part of the Outrigger which it really wasn’t once it moved here because there wasn’t that convenience of all the surf breaks that we had at Waikiki.
MK: Well, I’ve seen pictures of those judging stands out there. That was really fun to see that they actually built those.
JM: It was a wild time. Yeah and now we just judge it from out there (Hau Terrace) so it’s easy.
MK: Well, he encouraged a lot of the surfing teams that . . . Outrigger started developing surfing teams and . . .
JM: Right, we have surfing teams and everything else. Paddling was starting to get more and more important but he just stuck with surfing. I’m very proud of what he did. He really kind of kept it going and now, that’s why my involvement in the Surf Committee is just to perpetuate the contest and grateful to have a trophy (John McMahon Perpetual Outstanding Junior Surfer Trophy) in his name, that’s really kind of special for our family.
MK: He was chair of the first Surfing Committee that Outrigger had once we moved here and he was on that committee for 10 years, it was quite a long time, probably more than anybody else. Now, he was elected to the Winged “O” for his enthusiasm and support of surfing.
JM: Yeah, they elected him, he died in 1976 so I’m going to assume he became a Winged “O” in ’76 because when I told him that he was going to be a Winged “O”, he goes, “God, I must really be sick” and he was so I think they were acknowledging all the goodness that he had done for surfing and just … he was never on the Board of the Outrigger. He was never involved in paddling but he was always a big supporter of just about anything to do with the Outrigger so it was a really nice honor for our family.
MK: After he passed away, the Club named a trophy for him, a surfing trophy.
MK: That trophy is still in use today.
JM: We try to give it out every year to an outstanding junior surfer and like for this year, the young man we selected, we wanted to make sure that it’s more than just about surfing. It’s about what kind of a person they are. We have a lot of great, great people on there. We’ve got some girls on there, Carissa Moore, who’s the number one woman surfer in the world and a lot of other great people and it’s kind of special.
MK: Well, that’s a beautiful trophy. Do you know who made it?
JM: I was going to ask you. I do not know but it’s beautiful. I can’t remember. I’m sure Kawika (Grant) would know.
MK: Well, we’ve both been trying to find that out and we haven’t been able to so we just know it was commissioned but not sure about who made it.
JM: I don’t know.
MK: Your dad was always so interested in surfing, did you catch the bug from him?
JM: Yeah. That was my whole deal, we started out … All of us little kids down there, we started out surfing but my dad being a lifeguard, my whole thing was we started out surfing at a place called Babies, which is kind of, was in front of the Royal Hawaiian which is a little tiny wave and then you want to go and surf at Canoes. So my dad said, if I want to go surf at Canoes, that he wanted to take me out there the first time. I can remember going tandem with him as a little kid and that was great fun but I wanted to go by myself. All my buddies were starting to go. He takes me out there to Canoes and we paddle out and then he pushes me off the surf board and he says, “Okay, you swim to the beach” and he paddles away.
I’m going to figure I was, I don’t know, eight or nine years old or something. That looked like … It was like crossing the Molokai Channel but … so I swam to the beach and he says, “Okay if you can swim to the beach, then you can go surfing there,” which is a way of developing my confidence and also letting him see whether I was able to do it. But I do remember that. Yeah, we all surfed everyday all day as much as we could.
MK: Who were your buddies back in those days?
JM: We had a lot of … like the photo I sent you, my dear friend Steve Fearon, who we just lost this year. Gary McClaire (Vietch) who is also no longer with us and Billy Cook, also gone. I want to say Bruce Soule who is still alive. Butch Ledford. Hal Burchard. Those are just a few of the Outrigger members but then we surfed at Queens with … there would be Paul Strauch, Joey Cabell, Fred Hemmings, Barry Kanaiaupuni. Everyone and everyone including Rabbit (Kekai) and Duke and everybody, the who’s who of everything. For the young kids those first guys I mentioned were part of our crew, our team.
MK: Jimmy, you mentioned the Junior Sports Program, that was a really big program back in the day. What do you remember about it?
JM: Okay, so the Outrigger was the old Club and next to the old Club on the Moana side was a parking lot. That’s where the Surfrider is now and that was a parking lot and you’d go out through the snack bar and that’s where your car was parked. We didn’t drive, we were too young. Some idiot had the idea of creating the junior sports program and they hired Dan McFadden who was an East Coast guy and he was in Hawaii and he created the Junior Sports Program and their goal was to get the Gremmies off the beach in the summer time.
MK: What year was this?
JM: It was old Club so pre ’64, I would say it had to be … probably, I was 12 so say ’59, ’60 somewhere around there and it was great. They would pile us into the old Outrigger Canoe Club station wagon which was like a 19 … yeah, it had to be ’58 or … it was like a 1956 or ’57 Chevy Impala Station Wagon and nothing was power everything was a roll down window and the back window would roll down. They’d stick you in the back of the tailgate and then drive you out to Sandy Beach and the carbon monoxide would be flowing back into the car and you’d be getting sick and they’d dump you at Sandy Beach where the big guys would help you body surf by holding you until they tossed you over the falls.
They took us to every kind of event they could find, whether it was Sandy Beach or up to Green Valley fluming. We went all over the island. We even went to the museums and we went on all these scheduled events. We had surfing days and things like this. What was great, was it was both boys and girls and so we started … the boys started looking at the girls and the girls started looking at the boys and it was a really, really fun time. That was active for a number of years.
MK: The leader again was. . .
JM: His name was Dan McFadden and wound up actually marrying Miki Briggs who is Miki McFadden now and she was my neighbor. I just saw her for our … her 50th high school reunion. Yeah, they were married and they’re no longer married but, so yeah. I think she was an Olympian, right?
MK: She was an Olympian and she is in the Sand Volleyball Hall of Fame.
JM: Right, right. I mean, when you start going back to that era and all the Chapman daughters, Sheryl, Sandy and Barb. I mean, there were the King sisters. There were a lot of great gals that were all part of that too. The junior program was very, very loose. The parents didn’t really … they didn’t care. They just knew that they didn’t have to worry about their kids for the day so it was great.
MK: Was it for a couple of weeks or a month or how long …
JM: I think it was for a month. I think it was a pretty long program but then as Gremmies, we always had to suffer the wrath because it would be over at 2 o’clock and the big guys would get a hold of us again or we’d get a hold of them.
MK: One way or the other. Now, when the Club moved down here, they also had a junior program again.
JM: Right, right. Right. I wasn’t involved because when the Club moved down here, I was like junior in high school and I went to work and so I was working and surfing and I took about a five year hiatus from the Outrigger so I wasn’t too involved.
MK: When you said you took a hiatus, did you drop the Club or did you just not come here?
JM: No, I didn’t drop it. When it moved here, I was a junior in high school in 1964 and everybody moved down here and as I said, I wasn’t winning any competitions in surfing. I wasn’t strong or big enough to be always in the canoe. I wouldn’t get selected. Steve Fearon and Billy Cook and Gary McClaire were much better volleyball players so I didn’t get picked to go on any All American teams or any of that. Yet, I liked surfing and I had a work ethic about myself so I just started hanging out with the guys that I went to high school with either at Damien or at Roosevelt. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the Club. I just was tired of getting second fiddle so I wanted to be a top dog somewhere else. That was it.
MK: That was it.
JM: After we stop, I want to ask you about or I can do it now. Somebody should research Steve Fearon and ask some people about him because he just passed away and …
MK: Was he here in Hawaii?
JM: Yeah. Yeah. Steve was one of the original Gremmies. He’s the blond kid holding up the ama in the front and he’s on the cover of one of the Forecast from that era. He just died in January and like I said, at 10 years old, he came in second in a 14 and under (surfing) contest. He was the youngest kid picked to go to an All American volleyball thing. He was a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete. His son is a member, but he left to go to Tahiti because Ed Fearon, who preceded my dad in coming here and built the Tahitian and the Sand `N Sea, and he had Tom and Steve. Then, he moved to Tahiti and then that was the era that I left, in the mid ‘60s when all the drugs really hit.
Steve got quite involved in the drug scene so Ed pulled him out of Punahou and shipped him off to Tahiti. He was in Tahiti for 30 plus years, living in Bora Bora running hotels. Then, came back here, when his son decided to move up here, probably in about 2007 or ‘08. He came back up after all those years of living down there and he had emphysema. He was a big part of the Outrigger athletic program for a short period of time with Dodge Parker and a lot of those other guys.
MK: He did Molokai?
JM: No. I don’t think he did Molokai. Tom might have, his brother might have.
MK: Maybe Tom.
JM: Yeah. Tom lives in New Zealand.
MK: Steve was the volleyball player.
JM: Yeah, Tom was older but Steve was better at everything. It would be a short history but I feel obligated as one of the Gremmies to mention him. Another guy you should talk to is Hal Burchard.
MK: Is he still here?
JM: He just moved home back to … He is living on the Big Island. I spoke to him last night because he just had a family tragedy so I called him but he … there is an iconic picture of him which I can show you of him and Tommy Holmes in a sailing canoe in the middle of the Molokai Channel just bat out of hell, going nowhere.
MK: We haven’t even talked about sailing.
JM: My sailing days were limited. I mean, I sailed and yeah, but only with a beer between my knees.
MK: You and Cline (Mann).
JM: Right, exactly.
MK: You mentioned Duke. Tell me stories about surfing.
JM: Yeah. Duke and my dad were good buddies from swimming and surfing and being at the Outrigger and they traveled a bit together and Duke and Nadine would come up to the house for dinner. You’d see Duke at the beach all the time and he always had a smile and was always friendly and always just quiet and very, very peaceful and he had all this brothers around and one day, as I got a little older, we used to go surfing at Ala Moana. One day, I’m surfing at Ala Moana and this is when Duke had kind of made it with Kimo McVay and he had his Rolls-Royce. I was coming out of the water and I was waiting for a ride back to the Outrigger from Ala Moana and Duke comes up in his convertible Rolls-Royce. He just said, “Hey, what’s up? How’s the surf?” I say, “It was good.” “What you’re doing?”
I said, “Waiting for somebody to pick me up.” “Come on. Jump in.” I’m in a wet bathing suit, put the surfboard in the back of the Rolls-Royce and off we go down the street, back to the Outrigger. He was … no pretense. He just was just a very, very good friend … He and my dad were really good friends and so that’s why my dad wound up being in charge of the Duke Contest because Duke knew he could come up for supporting it correctly.
MK: That’s a cool story.
MK: Got any other Duke stories?
JM: We have a photo in our house of my dad and Duke, I should probably send you a picture of it. They’re sitting on the old Hau Terrace as you entered. It was taken by a guy by the name of Buster May. Buster May and his brother David May were these two wealthy gentlemen from Los Angeles. Their family owned a little company called The May Company which was a huge department store. They would come and they had a lot of money and then they got to meet my dad who knew all the girls on the beach. It was a perfect marriage for friendship. Anyway, they took this picture of my dad and Duke and entered it in this photography contest and won. It’s a great photo and it really typifies how my dad was always the debonair looking one and Duke was just naturally the esteemed Duke that he was.
MK: That’s cool. I’d love to see that picture.
MK: That would be great. Now, you described yourself as a Gremmie back in the day. What is a Gremmie? Tell me what a Gremmie is.
JM: The story behind Gremmie is, and I can’t remember exactly who came up with it. Gremmie is short for the Gremlins. It was anywhere from four to six to eight of us at any one time and we’re all about the same age group and as I mentioned, it was myself, and Steve Fearon, Butch Ledford, Gary McClaire, Drew Flanders, Hal Burchard and we’re all the same age. We are all eight, nine, ten, eleven years old and then the older group which would have been consisted of guys like Jim Haines and Paul MacLaughlin and Mike Lemes and Bill Danford and John Marshall. They were all three or four years older than us. Somehow, someway, they came up with a name of … that we were the Gremlins who were these little group that we’re running around and that got shortened to the Gremmies.
I remember at that time, we’re all paddling canoes and we were the 13 and under crew and someone made us up a t-shirt and it said, The Gremmies across the back of it. That’s how Gremmies came to be and Gremmies were always the victim of the older guys. I think I wrote a story about that in the magazine which sort of typifies … we lived in fear of them and they lived in … they love to just destroy us at any moment they could.
MK: Tell me some stories, Gremmie stories.
JM: At the Old Outrigger, the senior locker room was off to one side and then the junior locker room was kind of off in La-la land and next to the baby court (volleyball) and we would go in there and the older guys would be waiting for us. They were notorious for wanting to take our pants and leave us without any clothes on in various public places, which they would do on a regular full time basis. They were always coming up with ways to get us in positions that we didn’t want to be in, whether it was stuffing us into lockers and putting penny rockets in the lockers or making us run down the side of the front of the Club, old Club which was called Breadfruit Alley, because there were all these new trees and they would drop the breadfruits and they would be nice and soft and gushy and they’d throw those at us.
Then, of course the story that I … Do you want me to tell you about the story in the magazine? Okay. The Gremmies would always move around together and in those days, there were just three or four hotels and we’d have forts in different hotels and go skateboarding where we shouldn’t or find an open freezer with ice cream in it and take whatever we could. The older guys were famous for taking whatever we had. One of us, and I can’t remember which one of us came up with the idea, decided that we’re going to replace the little Chiclets chewing gum boxes with Ex-Lax, because it came in a chewing form and we figured, well, we’d put the top two (Chiclets) and we’ll take those and we’d fill the rest of the box with the others (Ex-Lax).
We did this and we thought, “Well, we’d get them back and we’ll see what happens.” It was a great idea. I mean, now, I look back, this was a super … if this is going to work, it’s going to be great. Sure enough, we come walking into the Outrigger, past Eva (Pomroy) or Malia (Lutz) in there and we come walking, you come through the lobby and come down the stairs and there is a grass on one side and the volleyball courts. The older guys said, “Give me your gum.” “No.” “Give me your gum.” They grabbed this gum. No, no, no, no. This guy, Stanley Gripped and I think it was Stew Brissette, two big guys. They both played football at Punahou and would sit on us at many occasions and try to squash us as best as they could.
They ate the whole box. That night, I think it was … and I can’t remember whether it was a junior prom, the senior prom, whatever. Anyway, neither one of them made it to the prom because they’re very busy in the bathroom. Gremmies got them back but then we had to hide because as soon as they came back to the Outrigger, they were going to nail us and lock us into a locker. Or we’d walk into the junior boy’s locker room, and it always had a green floor and it was always wet, because it always leaked and there was water everywhere and it stunk. It was horrible but we went in there. Everybody smoked cigarettes in those days. I think we were 11, 12 years old and we were smoking cigarettes.
We walked in there one day and one of the big guys comes in and he had squirted lighter fluid on the floor and they threw a match on the floor and the place went up in a big cloud of blue smoke and it only lasted a second but enough to burn us and scare us and they were laughing at us. We had a lot of good fun, but we’re all friends now.
MK: There was a story about a wedding cake at the Moana Hotel.
JM: Yeah. I don’t remember that one as well as I remember one time we got chased through the Moana, through the banyan tree and I remember this one specifically. Who’s the guy that did Hawaii Calls or whatever, Webley Edwards. Every Saturday, they’d have that so we always knew we couldn’t go sneaking through there because they’d get mad at us. Well, the big guys were chasing us and Gary McClaire gets chased and so he decides to run into Hawaii Calls because he figures he’s safe and one of the big guys who’s not … I’m not going to mention him, because I don’t want to have him come after me still. He says, “No, no, no, stop” and he grabs a knife and then the police come and everything else.
We paid a price for that one too. Retribution on one was retribution on all. They’d beat us all up but we all had fun and we all surfed together and we had … we had football games in the volleyball courts. We played this, we had a lot of fun.
MK: Sounds like a grand time in the old days.
JM: Yeah, we had a lot of fun. There was no Ala Moana Center, it was a go-kart center. There was really nothing to do, we just were there and that was it.
MK: There used to be a disciplinary committee at the old Club.
JM: Yeah. My dad kicked me out. Yeah.
MK: You ran afoul of them a couple of times?
JM: I ran afoul of them. He (my dad) actually kicked himself out one time because he came down and disciplined another senior member and he felt like he violated the rule so he kicked himself out but yeah, they would kick you out if you were rowdy in the locker rooms or were disrespectful to the snack bar people or stuff. It was a much different time then.
MK: Did you guys ever, the Gremmies ever get suspended or kicked out?
JM: Yeah. Yeah. I remember when I became President, I had to sit in on some meeting because we were suspending some kids and it was Brant Ackerman and I. Brant was part of the group. Brant is about, I think he’s a year or two younger than me but he came up pretty fast because he was a great surfer. I told him, I said, “Look, you guys, you’re suspended for 30 days and I just want you to know that both Mr. Ackerman and I have been suspended from this Club, so someday you can wind up running the joint.” Yeah, we all got suspended at one point or another. It never lasted very long.
MK: Did you ever enter surfing contest?
JM: Yeah. I was kind of the runt of the litter. I was never really good at anything but I did everything. I entered mostly the contest in Waikiki when we were like 11, 12 years old starting then and continued to surf a little bit into the junior years but I was never much of a competitor, I wasn’t as important. As I mentioned Steve Fearon who I could talk a little bit about because there is not a lot of history on him and he just passed away. He was really, really a great surfer and he was 10 years old and competing in 14 and under and I came in second at that time. He was competing against guys like Barry Kanaiaupuni and world class surfers. I was just average at everything so I either stuck with it and did it for fun or I gave it up like canoe paddling.
MK: Did you go out for canoe paddling?
JM: Yeah, everybody went out for canoe paddling because it was what you did and because I was a runt, the best I could do is sit five or sit one but there were always guys that were better developed than I was so I was kind of the alternate, so I spent a lot of time on the beach but in those days, like the Kailua Regatta, we would go out the day before and they’d just leave you to camp so you got exposed to a lot of good fun things at an early age.
MK: How long did you continue to paddle?
JM: I paddled until I was about 15 and then I kind of took a break from the Club from the age of about 15 until I came … went away to school, I went through high school and kind of took a break and then went away to the mainland until my dad got sick and then when I came back, I got back involved, which kind of saved my life because I think those were the years that took its toll on a lot of the Gremmies.
MK: Where did you go to school?
JM: High school, grammar school, college? Started out at Thomas Jefferson because we lived in Waikiki on Keoniana Street. Went from there to Aina Haina. We moved out to Aina Haina and then in seventh grade, we moved back to Waikiki so then I went to Saint Augustine School, graduated in eighth grade. Went to Damien which was the first years of Damien, then was asked to leave Damien. We had Irish Christian brothers and they would … they had black sambo which was about this big and they’d rap you on the hands, I wound up retaliating with one of them so I left. I went to Punahou Summer School, where it was festive Fourth of July season so I was accused of blowing up a toilet so from there I moved on to Roosevelt.
MK: Just a minute, let’s go back.
JM: What? It’s just a little known fact that yeah, we kind of … I kind of blew up a toilet.
MK: You and your buddies.
JM: No, no, no. I took the rap. I mean it was me. There are other guys involved but I was shall we say the one with the match.
MK: I thought you were such a mild-mannered person.
JM: I was but I got swayed. I had very bad influences around.
MK: That’s when you moved to the mainland.
JM: No. We were living Manoa so our district was Roosevelt so I went to Roosevelt and it was actually the best thing that ever happened to me. All the boys from Papakolea, were there — the Aikau brothers. There were four of them and I went to school with three of them. The youngest one was Eddie and I really didn’t know Eddie but I knew Clyde and Jerry and Sol real well. Then, Pops Aikau, because he invited Eddie to the first Sunset Duke contest, my dad and Pops got to be friend and Pops was in charge of security and they lived in Papakolea so that’s where we had our school graduation party. I never had any security problems. Roosevelt saved my life.
MK: Where did you go to college?
JM: I left, I went away as I said, I spent those five years kind of away from the Club, surfing a lot at Ala Moana, surfing a lot in the country and working and then I decided I want to go to college on the mainland and all I knew was Southern California. I wasn’t a very good student so I wound up at a junior college in the (San Fernando) Valley called Pierce. Then, once the smog cleared, I realized, I couldn’t see the ocean so I moved back over to Topanga in the Malibu area where I knew and lived on the outside and was working full time, going to school full time at night and did that until my dad got sick the first time with a mini stroke and then came home.
MK: You’ve been back here since.
MK: When you came back did you got involved with the Club again?
JM: Not right away. You got to remember, I came back, my dad was sick. I was kind of a little bit unsure. I had a really serious girlfriend I thought, and started working with my dad, trying to take over his business. Then, that all kind of blew up so then I moved to the North Shore and lived out on the North Shore for a year and a half and estranged myself from my dad because working for your father is like the worst boss in the world to have. It worked out good. He got sick again, I came back and we both lived happily ever after. I took care of him for the two years that he was sick. My mom worked full time so that we had health insurance and I took care of my dad and he was really proud of me and he was great.
MK: What kind of business was he in, that you . . .
JM: He left Ross Sutherland and he decided … Gary McClaire’s mother, Doris Vietch, was a manufacturing sales rep and she was selling Bass Weejuns shoes, which you probably remember but most people won’t even know what they are. My dad decided, he thought this was a great job because you didn’t have to work all day. You could work a little bit and get paid the same amount of money because you’re only paid on what you sell. She also had a line of dresses called Bobbie Brooks which was the hot company in those days. He decided to become a sales rep and took over from her and started doing that so when I came into the picture, he was a like a top dog in Honolulu. But shortly, I took that over for a couple of years after he passed away and then I took a look around and decided to move the business away from what they call career clothing to more resort clothing which is what we do now.
MK: I remember May Balding telling me she used to go to sample sales.
JM: Right and we continued with those sample sales up until about 20 years ago. We continued to have them and I still run into people that remember coming to our house for sample sales so yeah but I’m still in the same industry.
MK: Now, to get back to the Outrigger, you’ve been involved with the Surfing Committee for a number of years.
MK: You said, it was to . . .
JM: Perpetuate my dad’s name and at this point as of this year, Brendan Bradley is our chairman. He is the son of Todd Bradley who is a recipient of the trophy and I believe one (both) of his sons is also a recipient. Now, to be able to pass it to the next generation I think is the way to go so I’m kind of assuming the role of just … catch all. As I tell him I’m a past President so I can ask for anything and they can say no to me but they can’t do anything to me at this point.
MK: What’s the main function of the Surfing Committee.
JM: The main function of the Surfing Committee is a) to perpetuate surfing within the Club membership and b) also primarily is to continue with the Surfing Contest. We’re moving in two different directions simultaneously. One is with the Surfing Contest. We wanted to be an all-encompassing family member event so that we get mom, dad, son, grandson, grandfather. We get everybody involved in some aspect of having a day at the beach, in good, clean fun and it would be a member’s only event so that we all remember what the Club was like when I was a Gremmie which was your parents dropped you off and if you did something wrong, somebody else would come up and give you a whack.
It was much more of a close-knit environment, and the other direction, we want to try to take the committee, is to get these kids involved in more events outside of the Club. Get them exposed to those environments. Help them anyway we can, young or old.
MK: Well, we use to have surf teams and I remember the Club van used to take them into different meets and all.
JM: We’re trying to reactivate that. It’s just, today, everybody’s schedule is busier. Everybody is worried about this and that and the other thing and we’ll see how it goes.
MK: Who are some of the best young surfers you’ve seen grow up at the Club?
JM: Well, in this era, I’m too old to speak about the current crop. I think the young kids and that’s why they’re in charge. In growing up, we had everybody and we had everybody from the guys older than me like, Joey (Cabell) and Fred (Hemmings) and Paul Strauch and to Ray Ackerman, to Kenny Morrow to Dale Hope, to … I mean, everybody was good and there were a lot of non-club members that were phenomenal surfers that used to hang around. Then, when we had the Makaha contest, a lot of the California guys would start coming over and then they would hang at the Outrigger for a couple of weeks, it’s a wild era.
MK: A wild era but with some really good surfers that came out …
JM: There weren’t as many of us so it seem like everybody was really good. Now, there are so many people doing everything that there are people you don’t even know about but at that time, we kind of knew everybody and it seemed like it was … everywhere you went, there was always somebody that was either coming up or really good like Brant Ackerman. He was a couple of years younger and he was going to the Duke Contest and we were just in awe of all of that but he was … and Jeff Hackman and guys like that.
MK: Are you still surfing today?
JM: I am. I’ve got a bad knee but I’m still surfing, not as good as before.
MK: You do any of the other sports, one man or …
JM: Not really no. I’m blessed with good health and I’m not going to change my activities now. I’m swimming. I’m walking, I’m surfing a little bit and I’m working a lot. It’s all good.
MK: All is good. Jimmy, you’ve been very active in the management side of the Club as well as the surfing side. Did you serve on any committees before you were elected to the Board of Directors?
JM: Yes. I can’t remember which one I went to first. I believe the first committee I served on was House. It was a big deal for me to feel like I was important so I was on the House Committee and then I was on Admissions and Membership for a couple of years and then I wound up being the chairman of Admissions and Membership and then did my time on the Board and then after the Board, my last year, I was Coordinating Director of the Historical Committee so those are the committees I served on, A and M and House.
MK: Let’s talk a little bit about A and M. How was the membership trends in those days. Were we taking in a lot of members?
JM: We were very, a little bit more selective. It seemed like the members that we were taking in were more interested in becoming members of the Club and being more participatory. It seemed like we were much more selective in who we chose because I do remember that there were a lot of people that didn’t make the cut. At that time, we would even interview surviving spouses and things like that. When I became chairman of the committee, we kind of changed that and I would go and meet with them just to reassure the surviving spouse, that they could have full use of the Club and we’re all a family and please come and join us and it’s a great place to share the good memories with.
MK: Were people wanting to join for athletic purposes or for social purposes?
JM: It was more social then. I think now, it’s kind of a little more cookie cutter where everybody just says, “I want to paddle” and then they let them in and sorry, but it’s the way I think. I think at that point, I think the Club was a very, very special place. First of all, we didn’t have the competition that we do today in terms of other options, club-wise. Outrigger was, and is still considered more of a premier club to belong to. People really wanted it for the social connections.
MK: Then, they paddled in order to meet people.
JM: Yeah. You know what, there were a lot of people that wanted the athletics part of it but you kind of got the cream of the crop, with their social expectations, they also happen to be perfect candidates to paddle or be that. The Outrigger, back in the days of the old Club, we were a dominant athletic club because there wasn’t a lot of competition. There was just Hui Nalu and Waikiki Surf and us and a few others and now you’ve got a lot of regional open membership type (canoe) clubs where they can draw from a lot more memberships. We’re not cast by the wayside but we’re just in a different category.
MK: Do we still try to keep a cap on numbers?
JM: That is something that … that’s always been an arbitrary figure. My years of serving on A and M and then on the board, there was always discussion about this quota that we had for membership. It was an arbitrary figure because nobody really knew what the Club could hold or should hold. At this point, I don’t think we’re trying to keep a cap on numbers. I think what they’re trying to do is hopefully replace members with people that are going to be more active in the Club activities.
MK: Let’s see, you were elected to the Board, the first time and . . .
JM: Yeah. That was a big deal. I didn’t make it the first time I ran and then I think it was the second time that I ran, I got elected. Yes.
MK: That was in 1995.
JM: Was it? Okay.
MK: Who talked you into running for the Board?
JM: I don’t remember. Off the top of my head. I don’t remember, I couldn’t tell you but it was, growing up at the Outrigger, becoming relatively successful somewhat on my own. It was really important for me. It was a big ego boost for me to be asked to run and then to get elected and to be part of it. I felt like it was really a big deal for me. Again, I was the runt of the litter. I didn’t win any contest, I was never the best volleyball player. I was never the best surfer. I was never the best canoe paddler. This was my way of showing that I was okay.
MK: That you belonged.
JM: Well, I knew I belonged because we’ve all grown up together but it was my way of helping the Club I guess.
MK: You served as a Coordinating Director for A and M, for a couple of years.
MK: Then, you became an officer.
MK: Then, in 1999 you became president.
JM: Right. Yeah. So much for good thinking. I served on A and M as the Coordinating Director for two years after chairing it which was kind of a cushy job because I kind of knew what I was doing. It was a good time to kind of reshuffle the deck and move the committee along a little bit which I think I did and then, vice president of activities, I believe it was. That kind of moved me up and I was … At that time, part of my job was to serve on ODKF which was great because I had a direct knowledge of Duke and all of that. It was, I guess Mary (Philpotts McGrath) preceded me as President, if I’m not mistaken. You can look on the wall there. Either Brant was behind me or ahead of me, I can’t remember.
MK: Brant was before Mary.
JM: It was Brant … Yeah, Brant moved me up to vice president because he and I had grown up together and it becomes a trust issue and nothing against anybody else but we all knew each other and then Mary was there and she moved me up and then my two vice presidents who were my snowy peaks, Hal Henderson and Peter Nottage, which were the two guys that … I knew one of them would always have the right answer. They really made me look good.
MK: Well, that period of time was just before the millennium and Y2K and all of that. Was this a hard time to be president, dealing with those issues?
JM: I had a really easy year. I mean, I think being President for me was. I was fortunate that we didn’t have any significant issues at the Outrigger there was nothing, we had no problems with the management, no problems with the help. No catastrophes so I had a pretty mild year as President which it will probably go down in history as I’ll be one of those middle to lower tier guys but that’s okay. I didn’t do any damage.
MK: Bottom line.
JM: Bottom line, right.
MK: With hindsight as a past-President, how do you feel about the Club now?
JM: The Club is my home. I’ve been coming here since I was five years old. I’m going to be 70 years old this year, that’s pretty exciting. Now, I look at this place. I can come here anytime I want and it’s my home and I love it and it will be part of my life always. There are issues going on right now here, that are concerning me as well as some others. It’s a mix of old and new. I think some of the things that people are trying to do here are good but I think at the same time, some of the changes are … could be softened a little bit so that it’s a little bit more sensitive to maintaining the ambience that makes Outrigger the special place that it is. That’s a little political but basically, they need to change some of this stuff that’s going on here.
MK: Specifically in . . .
JM: Well, specifically, I think that when — going back — a lot of the people that have served on the Board of Directors or on committees, specifically on the Board of Directors, have all been active participating members. They serve on those committees for the primary purpose of giving back and helping the Club because they’re using the Club on a day to day basis. I mean, I’m a second generation member. My children are members, my wife was a member on her own. Hi, Kelly. I think now, some of the members that are on the Board of Directors, they don’t have history with the Outrigger or have it in their best interest. They’re not on the Board to better the Club. They’re on that Board so they can put another plaque on their wall.
MK: I heard that from others as well.
JM: I’m sorry but I don’t need a plaque on the wall. There are a lot of the past Presidents and a lot of Board members that have served generously and giving back and they’re still giving back and it’s very difficult to get people to run for the Board. It’s very difficult to get elected to the Board. I’m on Judges of Election every year. It’s a popularity contest but it should not be … the people running should not be running just because their buddies are going to help them and it’s becoming a little, granted when we serve, a lot of us were all good friends but we really had Outrigger first as our model. I don’t think that’s what’s happening now.
MK: Is it difficult being President?
JM: I thought it was fun. I mean, again, I didn’t have any problems so I don’t really remember a lot of things when I was President that were a problem. I was very proud to be the President. I think we have great, great employees here and I think that’s a big part of it but it wasn’t hard for me. I mean, after serving on a lot of those committees and serving as coordinating directors, actually being a President was kind of easy.
MK: You had good people working with you.
MK: Your mom was still alive when you were elected President.
MK: She must have been very proud?
JM: My God. Yeah. I think, she’s a little prouder being a grandmother but yes, very, very proud and as I … I think I mentioned, I was a fifth year President which means I had one additional year on the Board and if I had it to do over again, I should have just resigned and left it open for somebody else to step in. For my final year as a Coordinating Director, I chose the Historical Committee to be the Coordinating Director of Historical which Genie McMahon, my mom, was a proud member sitting next to me. That was the best part about it.
MK: It was a proud mom moment.
JM: Very proud mom moment.
MK: Well, she was really involved with the Historical Committee, she even worked on the oral histories.
JM: I didn’t know that. Yeah. My mom was a secretary and she was … that was her job in life and she worked for Ross Sutherland’s cousin’s Buttercup and Shingle and Fellaboy next to the old Piggly Wiggly in Waikiki and then she worked downtown and she was very, very proud. I miss my mom.
MK: Yup. Since you were on the Board, you’ve continued to help out. You’ve been on the Nominating Committee and Judges of Election.
MK: Are you still trying to give back?
JM: The Judges of Election Committee is kind of fun. We just inducted a new younger member onto that committee and it’s just a way of bringing together some of the old time members who tally the votes. Serving on that, once a year is not a big deal. I enjoy giving back there and enjoy serving on the Surfing Committee and have asked to be back on the House Committee to lend my expertise on a retail level but the phone hasn’t rung yet.
MK: Let’s see, your wife Kelly (Hutchinson) is a long time member also.
JM: Thank you for mentioning Kelly. I married a steersman which is horrible if you’re driving with her because she tells you where to go. Girls, if you’re ever listening to this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Kelly, yes, she grew up in Kailua and was a member of Lanikai Canoe Club, paddled the first women’s Molokai, steered it, as a teenager at 17 if I’m not mistaken. Was wooed into joining the Outrigger and was one of the prettiest girls going and extremely athletic and active, still is to this day. She came over and paddled for Outrigger Canoe Club and is still involved. Kailua girl at heart and lives in Manoa now.
MK: She paddled for a number of years for us.
JM: Yes and she comes back and paddles now in regattas. She doesn’t want to paddle distance because of the commitment. She must have a little bit of freedom but she can jump in the boat and steer a race like she’s never left and you can talk to anybody in canoe paddling that is from the old times and they know that.
MK: She’s a wonderful lady.
JM: She’s prettier on the inside than she is on the outside and she’s beautiful both ways. It made me the luckiest guy in the world.
MK: How long have you’ve been married?
JM: We got married in 1989 so that’s … this is 28 years.
MK: You met her here?
JM: Yeah. Well, not … Technically, I’m not sure. My friend Dale Hope and I, he was dating a girl and he had to go to dinner and so we were good buddies and so he said he wanted me to come along because he didn’t want to go alone. We go to dinner and she brings a friend and it’s Kelly who I guess had seen me from here. Anyway, that’s how we kind of connected.
MK: There is an Outrigger connection.
JM: Yeah. There is definitely an Outrigger connection but it was not about the Outrigger, it was about connecting.
MK: You have two daughters.
JM: I have two daughters, both are members. Macy who is 26 this year and Molly who is going to be 25 this year. Macy is living in Brentwood right now, working in the repping business, in a showroom and doing catering. Molly is working for one of the sunscreen companies that I worked for. She’s doing marketing, living in San Diego area.
MK: I can’t believe they’re that old already.
JM: Yeah. I’m proud of them and the young women that they’ve become.
MK: No grandchildren yet?
JM: Not yet. There is no rush.
MK: No rush.
JM: All I wish for my children is the same happiness that I have.
MK: I’m going to ask you a three-pronged question.
MK: If you were going to describe the Club as it was when you were a kid, how would you describe it? Then, I’m going to ask you, when you were president, to describe it. And finally, what do you think it will be like in 2055 at the end of this lease.
JM: Well, the easy one is to answer the one I know and that’s the first one. What was it like when I was a kid? It was like home. I mean, it was just … It’s a tough one. It’s a tough one. It’s really. Yeah, you just had to come here and you were fine.
MK: A good family place to be.
JM: Yeah. I got a little emotional there. Sorry. I’ll jump away from that. Otherwise, I’ll start tearing up but okay, so yeah, I mean, you didn’t have to … Your parents would leave you the whole day. You only had so much money and you couldn’t spend or go over your limit and you just had to make do with what you had and it was a really, really special place.
MK: Then, how had it changed when you became President.
JM: I think, that’s 15, 17 years ago. I think initially when the Outrigger moved up here, everything was brand new and spunky and a lot of people … My dad has stayed a member of the Uluniu Club for a while. A lot of people didn’t want to leave down there. The move of the Club changed the personality of the membership tremendously and I didn’t really move with the Club much because I left it for a few years. By the time I became President, the influx of guest members really had started to affect the whole mix of the Club. As emotional as I got a few minutes ago about how it was more of a home, it kind it has evolved into more of a place to see and be seen and that’s not what I envisioned what the Outrigger was.
It’ll never go back to that again. It just kind of changed and where do I think it’s going to go? I hope not far and that’s going to be up to us as current members, giving back what we can give back so that the next generation of members can remember what we did for them so that they can pass that along to the next generation. So we need to be able to hold on to some of the values that created this Club. We cannot keep it the way it was but we don’t have to let it get so vanilla’ed out that it’s not a special beach club.
MK: Do you think we should stay an ocean sports club or should we become the social club, business club that it appears that the current board is trying to go.
JM: I think as history shows us where we went back and there was a schism many, many years ago and the same question was asked or same groups were fighting over it. We are a water sports family club. We are not a social club. My father … it cost me $36 to join and I had to mow lawns for my money. I don’t know what it cost my dad to join. I’m going to say it cost him a little bit less than that. We didn’t join the Outrigger Canoe Club because we were rich. We didn’t join the Outrigger Canoe Club so that we could be seen with Duke on a local beach. We joined the Outrigger because we wanted to go to the beach, we wanted to go surfing, we wanted to have a place to be. We wanted the activities here.
They had a junior sports program when I was growing up that almost killed us and it was a great time and I don’t think that a social club … there are plenty of those around. Let them go join someplace else. We don’t need to become entirely water sports so that we’re all hedonists but let’s keep our values where they started.
MK: It sounds like a great place to end this.
MK: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JM: No. Thanks for the honor of doing this. I was thinking about it last night. It’s like … I told Kelly, I said … it’s kind of interesting because people can see this forever so it’s cool. Thank you.
MK: Thank you.
Jimmy McMahon’s Service to the Outrigger Canoe Club
Board of Directors
1995 Coordinating Director Admissions & Membership
1996 Coordinating Director Admissions & Membership
1997 Vice President Activities
1998 Vice President Operations
2000 Coordinating Director Historical
Admissions & Membership Committee
Judges of Election Committee
Long Range Planning Committee