Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

The Many Memorable Characters I've Befriended Across The Decades, Including The Appropriately Named Preposterous One In Long Beach Known Far And Wide As Bad Stu Ledsam

Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.

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No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(June 21, 2021) -- One of the defects of my lengthy existence is an implausible compulsion to be attracted to characters, people who trod through life zanily, mysteriously, erratically, hilariously, goofily and, always, in a unique manner that sets them dramatically apart from fellow human beings.

One of the first of what would be many I met as a young sportswriter at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner was a gentleman known as Bow Wow, who became a sacred part of UCLA athletics because of his close relationship with the football coach Tommy Prothro and who oversaw Blair Field security during Prothro's two forgettable seasons with the Rams.

Not much was known about the background of Stanley Thomas Wojtkiewicz except that he had been one of gossip columnist Sheila Graham's husbands and that the phone number on the business card he savored handing out to friends like me would lead you to an operator in Madrid, Spain.

And then there was the notorious Chicago Jerry Berliant, whom the late Cubs' announcer Jack Brickhouse once described as the ``world's greatest gate crasher'' and, oh, there wasn't a big sporting event or major press conference or A list party that Mr. Berliant would somehow make an appearance and who always had money even though he had no visible means of support and was rumored to be a disbarred attorney.

And then there was the elegantly dressed, tall gentleman always adorn in an expensive fedora from LA I knew only as Flip, and I always saw him at Laker games and always saw him at Caesars Palace at big fights where the hotel always bestowed him a lengthy reservation with the most desirable capital letters on it in Las Vegas---RF&B (free Room, Food & Beverage).

I was told Ol' Flip handled tickets for Don King, but how in tarnation did he always wind up at the finish line and winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby?

And then there was Norm (The Plunger) Gray, a Santa Clarita car dealer (the old Magic Lincoln Ford) who routinely made $250,000 bets on football games and who I saw one afternoon bet $50,000 a race at the Mirage sporting book and who I actually flew with him and his brother Bobby back from Las Vegas that weekend to Burbank on a 727 jet owned by the Mirage operator Steve Wynn (we three, a flight attendant and the two pilots were the only ones on the plane).

I once was invited to dinner with Mr. Gray at Caesars' exclusive Palace Court restaurant, and the tab for eight diners came to around $10,000 (plenty of servings of caviar and plenty of shots of Louis XIII), with Mr. Gray leaving a generous tip of five $1,000 chips.

And then there were the two legendary late LA ticket scalpers Donnie (No Win) Kramer and Alex Henig, both of whom kept you in stitches (one of Henig's pallbearers was O.J. Simpson) with their bizarre deportment.

All these individuals had titillating tales to tell and seemed to know everybody who was anybody---and always kept me wildly entertained with their eccentric antics.

Actually, there is a local gentleman who classically fits such a mold, and, of course, I'm talking about the founder of the Belmont Shore Rugby Club, Stu Ledsam, known far and wide among friends, foes and those who don't even know him simply as Bad Stu.

Oh yes, Bad Stu Ledsam, who once consumed 250 gold fish and perhaps 15 beers in less than an hour in an eating contest at the old Acapulco Inn and later that day somehow was able to attend a wedding in Newport Beach, who once was pepper-sprayed by cops during a brawl before a USC-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl, who once was thrown in an Atlanta jail for jaywalking before a Dodger-Brave game, who once got in a fight on the shoulder of the freeway access to the 210 after a UCLA game, and who once beat up a 300-pound former NFL player in the parking lot of the old Kelly's.

Bad Stu Ledsam relaxing at his home. The legendary LB character will speak Wednesday night at 6 o’clock at the Naples Rib Company on the rules and laws of 7 A Side rugby which will be seen in summer Tokyo Olympics

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But that was the old Bad Stu Ledsam, which he himself insists is far removed from the current milder albeit still ear-deafening boisterous, 71-year-old Bad Stu Ledsam, who after a lengthy period of frantic, skirt-chasing bachelorhood and perhaps with Heaven itself looming menacingly on the skyline has decided to settle drastically down since marrying three years ago his Mother Teresa-like Saviour, Paula Beck.

This rendition of Bad Stu Ledsam now belongs to the Long Beach Yacht Club, hangs with the likes of people such as Dr. Rick Adams, Mark Pratt, Big Ben Goldberg and the wealthy financier Ron Williamson, is a fundraising chairman of the Los Altos YMCA, does special projects for the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club president/CEO Don Rodriguez, is heavily involved in the Mentor Program at the Long Beach State School of Business, and has continued his long-time support of local area rugby.

``We have more than 400 kids involved in our various programs,'' says, Mr. Ledsam, who played on two national championship UCLA teams and 16 years with Belmont Shore.

And Wednesday night at 6 o'clock at the Naples Rib Company, Mr. Ledsam along with his old rugby pal Doug (Cherry) Pye will discuss the rules and laws of 7 A Side rugby that will be played at the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

``What a lot of people aren't aware of about rugby is that it's the fastest sport in the world and the second most popular one behind soccer,'' he says. ``And the 7 A Side version is totally non-stop action and non-stop scoring.''

Mr. Ledsam will go on and on and on about its infinite virtues---and how those kids attending rugby programs are taught the importance of discipline and sportsmanship.

Indeed, some of the most amazing monologues these ears ever have funneled into this consciousness came from Mr. Ledsam.

Indeed, get him going on his eclectic discourses, and you are startled by his insightful knowledge. What a vast stew.

Giacomo Puccini and Mozart are the top composers of opera. Shubert is overrated. Winston Churchill wouldn't have been blamed for the World War I Gallipoli disaster if his generals hadn't waited so long to attack. This country wouldn't have the racial divisiveness it is now experiencing had President Ulysses Grant been allowed to implement his reconstruction policies. The sheer impossibility of getting LB drinking legend John Hill drunk. The abominable political bias of academia and the media. The horrible wastage of time watching network TV shows. The in-depth comprehension and awareness learned from being a passionate reader of every National Geographic issue since 1974. The awfulness of the California Governor Gavin Newsom. The impractical insanity of electric cars. Gather all those useless windmills in the Mojave Desert near Palm Springs and dispose of them in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The impossibility of changing the politics of Bolshevik Bob Edmondson. Woodrow Wilson never should have thrown Eugene Debs into jail during World War I and never should have entered the US into the conflict in the first place. Sands of Iwo Jima is a great film. Brigitte Bardot might well be the most attractive woman ever born. Manny Pacquiao had the quickest hands in history when he was in his prime.

Bad Stu Ledsam was born in Australia, grew up in Beaumont in Riverside County where he attended high school, wrestled at Valley College under the tutelage of former NFL offensive lineman Duane Putnam, had a prosperous environmental business before retiring from it, operates a few cannabis shops in LB after a 12-year struggle to open, owns an apartment building in Denver, has three daughters and a son from his first marriage, and is now a grandfather of four.

Bad Stu Ledsam and wife Paula

He admits the passing of the years has mellowed him, but only to a certain extent.

"I detest boredom,'' says a man who recently spent a week with his wife and six friends having a blast in Ft. Myers, Fla., and also plans to soon visit Ron Williamson's sprawling ranch in White Fish, Montana, and usually spends his Friday nights eating, drinking and hoofing it up with his wife at the Boathouse

``Until I depart this celestial sphere, I will continue to have fun, but in a slightly more restrained way than I once did.''

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Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

Krikorian Notes: From No-Bail Insanity To Government Handout Insanity To City Auditor Laura Doud's Exhaustive Investigation Of The Latest Queen Mary Bankruptcy Suitor Urban Commons To K-5 Kids Still Having To Wear Masks And Having Their Temperatures Taken To Novak DJokovic Being The GOAT Of Tennis

Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach East Division Commander Chad Ellis And Naples Crime Buster Katie Rowe Teaming Up At Colonnade Park Gathering To Discuss Canal Congestion And Patio Thievery To My Earning a Five-Cent Film Residual To Earth Man Walking 14,650 Miles To The Belmont Shore Bridge Still Not Fixed To The Yokel LB Politicians Still Drooling Over The Queen Mary To Former LBSU Pitching Star Kevin Lamp Praising The Late John Gonsalves
With Encouragement From Long Beach's Very Own Universal Man, Rick Bryson, Wilson High-LB State Grad Torey Edwards Is On The Threshold Of Qualifying For The U.S. Open, Not Impossible For The Only Amateur Golfer In History To Shoot Two Rounds Of 58
Krikorian Notes Which Long Beach Tourist Attraction, The Queen Mary Or The Aquarium Of The Pacific, Loses The Most Money Annually To Jim Michaelian Excitedly Waxing Poetic About The Return Of The Acura Grand Prix To LB On Sept 24-26 To The Torn Fence Not Being Repaired On The Belmont Shore Bridge To Jim McCormack Going On A 14-Day Golfing Marathon In Oregon With Grandson Garrett To Dede Rossi Attending Seth Greenberg's Daughter Paige's Wedding At the Famous Greenbriar That Cost Ol' Seth $300,000
From Expecting To Spend His Life Working In A Chemical Plant In England, The Boathouse's John Morris Has Come A Long Way From Peddling Women Dresses And Delivering Newspapers, As The Founder Of Legends And The Pioneer Of Pine Ave. Can't Wait For The July 3rd Resumption Of His Big Bang On The Bay Fireworks Show
Sign Of The Times: To Donning A Mask At A Near Empty Blair Field To Keep A High School Baseball Game From Being Halted To The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Still Keeping Elementary Students From Engaging In Playground Activity
The Beloved Sandra Headley, AKA Coachie, Climaxes Her Memorable 39-Year Tenure At Naples Elementary School With A Most Unusual Task
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Takes A Victory Lap For His City Hosting The Undocumented Migrants, But The Estimated $35 Million Cost To Taxpayers Has His Critics In An Uproar, Including One, The Famed Bodyguard Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo, Who Calls Mr. Garcia The Teflon Don Of LB
Tommy O'Toole's Magical 12-Hour Day That Might Well Land Him In The Guinness Book Of World Records And, Who Knows, The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Might Be Destined To Wind Up In It, Too
Why Don't Mayor Robert Garcia And His Marionette, City Manager Tom Modica, Come Out And Tell The Truth About How Long Beach Became A Lodging Sanctuary For More Than 1,000 Undocumented Kids?
Why Have ALL The Long Beach Leaders Been So Silent On The Feds Placing A Contingent Of Undocumented Kids In Downtown LB?
A Talk With Jerry West And An Emotional Remembrance For Me Of Still Another Friend, Elgin Baylor, Who Is Gone
Frankly, I'm Surprised Long Beach Chief Of Police Robert Luna Didn't Think A Contingent Of Extraterrestrials From Another Galaxy Was Responsible For The LB Crime Wave
The Creator Of Two Iconic Long Beach Dining Establishments, Schooner Or Later and Tantalum, LB Bachelor Denny Lund Also Has Been A Creator Of Glad Times
Krikorian Notes: From Cal Gov Gavin Newsom Keeping Long Beach Restaurant Diners Outdoors For No Plausible Reason To His Equally Despised Michigan Counterpart, Gretchen Whitmer, Actually Allowing Indoor Dining In Her State To Cock Of The Walk John Morris Speechless (!) To Dickie (Too Fast, Too Furious) Babian Turning Crow's Over To His Son To My New 7-1, 354 Bodyguard Aaron Gray Taking Over From The Undersized 6-0, 225 Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo
Krikorian Notes: From Gavin Newsom Praising Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia As Though He's Destined For Mt. Rushmore To Newsom Hoping The Rest Of California Follows The Jill Baker LBUSD Path (???) To The Tiger Woods Car Accident To Bad Stu Ledsam's Son Kyle's Big Award To Vons Pavilion GM Steve Carr Performing Cashiering Duty To My Watching the Amazing Emerzian Twins Next Week In Michigan
Krikorian Notes: From A Most Surreal Development That Has Me In A State Of Giddiness---Our Beloved Long Beach Actually Now Serious About Building A New Swimming Pool After Coastal Commission Approval And Strong Endorsements From Such Local Leaders As Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Tom Modica and Their Political Accomplices To Mike O'Toole Doing a Solo, He-Man Rowing Act On A 32-Foot Gondola Carolina Filled With 14 People Around Naples Canals To Jill Baker’s Typical Back-to-School Delaying Tactics To My Receiving My Periodic SAG-AFTRA Residuals From My Once Flourishing Acting Career That, Sadly, Went The Way Of My Once Flourishing Radio Career
Long-Time Belmont Shore Resident Dorcas Baldwin, 85, Endures Frightening Experience Of Homeless Man Breaking Into Her Bay Shore Avenue Home And Taking A Shower Before Long Beach Cops Come To The Rescue
CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod Hoping Gavin Newsom And His Health Department Toadies Come To Their Senses For Projected High School Sports Restart On March 19
Terry Antonelli Orchestrating Rise Of L’Opera After Its Tragic Fall In The Great Long Beach Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder Festival
Krikorian Notes: From Mayor Garcia's Spineless Speech To Jill Baker's Passing The Buck Alliance With Gavin Newsom To A Positive Long Beach Vaccination Experience To Welcoming New Neighbor George Gascon To Mike The Hammer Bludgeoning Me About Boxing To The Amazing Tom Brady
The Memorable Life Of Tommy Lasorda: From World Series Titles To Slim-Fast Diets To Obscenity-Laced Jim Healy Tapes To Pitching To Jack Clark To A Sacred Legacy Of Laughter And Success On The Ball Yards Of America
"A Lady Shrieking "Wear A Mask!" On Bay Shore Ave. Results In A Mask-Wearing Epiphany For Our Columnist
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances" Krikorian Notes: From New LA County DA George Gascon Moving To Naples To LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Continuing To Stunt Growth Of 70,000 Students To Distress Of Locked Down LB Entrepreneurs Jeff Cozart, Mike Neufeld, John Sangmeister To LB’s Very Own Kato Kaelin, Steve Folger, Squiring Kelly Clarkson In Nashville
Krikorian Notes: From Joe Jost Owner Ken Buck Sounding Off On The Lockdowns To Big Ben Goldberg's Boat Parade Party In Huntington Harbor To Bob Ludlam Departing LB For Prescott -- The Leisure World of Arizona -- To LB State President Jane Close Conoley Not Faintly Resembling Her Esteemed Predecessors To Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo Invading Miami For Nightclub Frolic To LB State Women's Soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia Suddenly Looking Like A Matinee Idol
When Is LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Going To End Her Calamitous Lockdown That Has Caused So Much Chaos And Heartache And Disruption Among 70,000 Students?
Krikorian Notes: From Councilman Rex Richardson Displaying Courage To Show Up At A Long Beach Restaurant Association Meeting To The Countless Millions Lost On Unoccupied LB Buses To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy’s Latest Mean-Spirited Edict To the Irritating Silence Of LB City Manager Tom Modica To LB Mayor Robert Garcia Ignoring His Constituents For Political Reasons To Bob The Black Labrador Parading Down The Peninsula Boardwalk Holding A Large Palm Limb In His Mouth
How Many Long Beach Restaurants Will Be Forced to Close After Latest Lockdown Lunacy?
Where's Krikorian? Temporarily On "Injured Reserve List" Recovering From Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Krikorian Notes: From Nico's George Mlouk Praising LB Mayor Robert Garcia For Working To Help LB Restaurateurs To A Plea To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy To Restrain Her Overzealous Sleuths To Lakers Deserving NBA Title To LeBron James Turning Anthony Davis Into Passionate Competitor To Vital Contributions Of Lakers Coach Frank Vogel And GM Rob Pelinka To Sadness Of Passing Of The Great Joe Morgan And Its Impact On Maury Wills' Hall Of Fame Chances
Famous Long Beach Restaurateur Phil Trani Days Of Joyful Memories And Pandemic Miseries
Krikorian Notes: From The Irritating Silence Of The Long Beach Politicians In Not Supporting Their Citizens To The Whereabouts Of LB Mayor Robert Garcia To The Whistles Favoring The Lakers Against The Nuggets To The Greatness of Patrick Mahomes To The End Of A European Vacation Streak That Started In 1989
LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker’s 70,000 Student Online Virtual Teaching Miscalculation A Disaster!
Krikorian Notes: From The 9 Unworthies Of The LB City Council To The LB Upstick In Shootings And Speeding To Restauranteur John Morris Horseback Riding On A Wyoming Mountaintop To The Walking Adventures Of Earth Man
Jeff Cozart's Time Of Torment: Will His Belmont Athletic Club Survive Gavin Newsom’s Latest Lockdown?
Krikorian Notes: A Labor Day Elegy For Those In The Long Beach Business Community Who Were Violated In The Memorial Day Looting Frenzy To The Palm Tree Limbs Littering 2nd Street To The Scooters Littering The Belmont Shore Bridge To The Virtual On-Line Spectacle At Big Mike O'Toole's Household
Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach Mayor's Ascent To Dem Stardom Because Of Lockstep Embrace Of The Party's Policies To The Enchanting Parklet Dining On 2nd Street To Tearing Down The Hoops in Belmont Shore To Greg Silver's LB Departure To Huntington Beach To Bob Rice Protecting Me From Isiah Robertson
Don Kramer Was A Character Like No Other With His Zaniness, Goofiness, Joyfulness, Kindliness Who Left All Who Knew Him With Lasting Memories Of Slapstick Antics And Mirthful Anecdotes
Krikorian Notes: From Majority Of LB Teachers Skipping Classrooms For The Comforts Of Home To Dr. Jill Baker Becoming Another Maria Montessori To Terry Antonelli Discussing Resurrection of L'Opera To Mayor Robert Garcia Touted By MSNBC's Brian Williams As A Future U.S. Senator To Kershaw's Magical Transformation
Long Beach's Renaissance Man, Chuckie Miller, Reflects On His Entrepreneurial Life And On Racial Inequity
Krikorian Notes: From LB's Elected Leadership's Reimagining Delusions To the Gaslamp's Outdoor Wall Video Band Show To The Ghastly USC Coach, Clay Helton
FDR's Grandson, Delano Roosevelt, Talks Democratic Party, JetBlue, Long Beach And His Life
LBPD Chief Robert Luna: Stand Up For Your Fifty Ousted Cops!
What Next From Long Beach Health Boss Kelly Colopy, Hazmat Suits For Our Restaurant Servers?
Sadly, Our National Pastime No Longer A Pastime For Me
Parklets! Three Cheers For Long Beach Politicians!
Memo To LBUSD Sup Jill Baker: Return The Kids To the Classroom!
A 2 1/2-Hour Commute To Work A Joy To This 86-Year Old Gentleman
Long Beach Politicians Once Again Fail Long Beach
Is Long Beach Destined to Become the City That Never Sleeps?
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Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
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From Krikorian's Notebook: (1) LBUSD Mgm't Mulls Keeping K-5 Kids Indoors Without Normal Access To Playground, Cafeteria, Auditorium Activities; (2) And More...
Will LB's New School Sup't Allocate Untimely Pay Raise To Serve Students?
Awaiting Governor's Dictate To Decide Fate Of This Year's (July 3) "Big Bang On the Bay"
Mayor/Council Sounds Of Silence After LB Cops Let Some Pillage Our Village
Excuses By Long Beach Police & Politicians Dishearten Damaged LB Businesses
Hallelujah! LB Mayor Pleads For Sac'to Permission To Lift Closures That Needn't Have Occurred
Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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