Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

Krikorian Notes: From Ol' Blood And Guts Robert Garcia To Give Give `Em Hell Harry Truman To The Daily One Mile Alamitos Bay Swim Of Dr. Mark Hoffer, 86, To The Daily 15-Mile, Five-Hour Walk Of Earth Man Jeff Yount To Connor McGregor's Latest Con Job To Former Long Beach State and NFL player Russ Bollinger Relating Hilarious Bill Belichick Tale To The Belmont Shore Bridge Eyesore

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.
(July 13, 2021, 4:20 p.m.) -- There are so many amazing individuals in Long Beach that to list them all would be an onerous task beyond my limited intellectual abilities, patience threshold and concentration level.

I mean, I suspect you would start with the city's highest profile politician, the Honorable Mayor Robert Garcia, who holds the distinction of voting for Democrats Kamala Harris and then Joe Biden during their presidential pursuits and of recently being nominated by Mr. Biden for a position I'm sure is a lifetime dream come true for Mr. Garcia---serving as a trustee for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Wow! What a coup! Good for Robert!

Who ever envisioned Mr. Garcia, a one-time Long Beach State student body president who played a major role in forming the LB Young Republicans, being inextricably linked to the 33rd president of the United States?

Ol' Blood And Guts Robert meet Give 'Em Hell Harry.

What an honor for Mr. Garcia!

But there are so many others around who deserve acclaim for accomplishments out of the realm of normality like, say, Dr. Mark Hoffer, a Spinnaker Cove resident who can be found every early morning swimming a mile at Alamitos Bay near Bay Shore Ave.

Dr. Mark Hoffer, 86, drying off after completing daily one mile Alamitos Bay swim

Not bad for a gentleman who is a mere 86 years old!

But Mr. Hoffer's background even exceeds his aquatic feats---the Queens New York native was a renowned orthopedic surgeon who worked, among other hospitals, at Rancho Los Amigos in Downey, who for 10 years was the chairman of orthopedic surgery at the UC Irvine Medical School, who was a Navy lieutenant who spent four years on submarines and who was a colonel in the Army Reserve.

He was called up during Operation Desert Storm in January of 1991, and served as a trauma surgeon in a hospital tent in the Saudi Arabian desert and also was called to service in the Balkans during the Kosovo conflict two years earlier.

An incredible man who remains incredibly fit---and says he never misses a day of swimming a bit more than 1,609 meters, which few human beings on the planet Earth can claim at his advanced age.

``What do you attribute to your healthy longevity?'' I asked.

``Genetics,'' says Mr. Hoffer, whose slim 5-foot-6, 142-pound frame certainly I'm sure is a contributing factor. ``My father lived to be 96. And my mother was 88 when she passed.''

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Actually, there is another Long Beach gentleman, Mr. Jeff Yount, known in this column as Earth Man, who also engages in an exhausting daily regimen albeit he's a youngster at just 69.

Earth Man Jeff Yount takes a break during daily 15-mile walk

Still, when one walks 15 miles every day across five hours, when one records his mileage as having reached 15,275 since beginning such a wacky addiction on Dec. 17, 2017, when one has dropped 65 pounds during this span (from 260 to 195), it certainly earns Mr. Yount a place among Long Beach's Most Amazing People.

I mean, who in the hell squanders valuable reading time and dozens of tennis shoes walking five hours daily around Long Beach?

Mr. Yount is a friendly sort who once played the drums in many bands and made a few bucks in the mid 90s when he became a much sought-after web designer in a fledging industry known as the Internet.

``I designed hundreds of them,'' he says with a smile.

And what culinary snack does he partake in after the conclusion of his long journeys?

``Peanut butter,'' he actually says with a straight face. . .

  • Prominent ticket tout Gilbert Eshom told me before the latest Connor McGregor Con Job---he was getting wickedly beaten by Dustin Poirier before suffering a broken leg that caused the proceedings to be blessedly halted at the end of the first round---was a promotional success as the lowest priced tickets were being scalped in the hours leading up to the match for $1,000 and highest priced for as much as $15,000.

    The pay-per-view went for $69.95 and yet I wouldn't invest even a penny to watch McGregor, whose foul mouth and outrageous braggadocio aren't faintly reflected in his rapidly diminishing mixed martial arts skills as he's been beat up in three of the four fights he's had the past four years. . .

  • I mistakenly thought that the recent passing of Naples resident Jack Thacker at 107 had made him the oldest person in Long Beach, but I was wrong.

    A neighbor of Mr. Thacker in the Treasure Island section of Naples, Margaret Russell, was born on Nov. 12, 1912, which makes her 108 and a mere four months from celebrating No. 109.

    Mr. Thacker's son, also named Jack Thacker, says his father and Ms. Russell in the early 1990s delivered food together as volunteers in the Meals on Wheels program.

    My dad would always laugh and tell me that most of the senior citizens they delivered food to were younger than they were,'' he related. . .

  • Had breakfast last Saturday morning at K.C. Branaghan's with my old weight lifting pal, Burly Bob Rice, and the one-time Long Beach State offensive lineman Russ Bollinger, who also played 10 seasons in the NFL, seven with the Detroit Lions and three with the Los Angeles Rams.

    Left to right: Doug Krikorian, Russ Bollinger, Burly Bob Rice

    Mr. Bollinger spent the past 25 years as an NFL scout with the Rams, Lions, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons.

    "Yes, I was in the crowd with my family in Houston for Super Bowl LI when the Falcons blew that 28-3 lead,'' says Mr. Bollinger, who resides in Northville, Mich., and who over the years has been an actor, a playwright, a broadcaster and even a once-a-week sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press. ``Very, very painful. Worst post-game team party I've ever attended.''

    Mr. Bollinger has a veritable mother lode of hilarious football anecdotes, including one involving a 24-year-old office boy/walk-on Lion assistant named Bill Belichick .

    ``I was 23 at the time in my rookie year, and was an offensive guard but the head coach also wanted me to learn the tight end position just in case the other two tight ends on the Lions (Charlie Sanders and David Hill) got hurt,'' relates Mr. Bollinger, still a handsome specimen at 66 and at 235 pounds, 50 fewer than he weighed when he was with the Rams.

    ``Well, late one Friday afternoon in the early fall at our practice field in Detroit, I found myself the only player remaining as all the others had scurried off to the nearby bars to drink and chase women,'' he says. ``And I was alone there with this Bilichick guy, and immediately told him to F off and that I was going to join my teammates for some fun. But he insisted he had to show me how to play tight end, and we worked on it a few minutes when finally I lost my patience with him and said, `F you, Belichick, I'm leaving.' And I did. Earlier, I had asked him why he was wasting his time performing such menial chores and he said, `In 15 years, I'm going to be a head coach in the NFL.'

    ``Well, exactly 15 years later after his defensive coordinator success with the New York Giants, he became the coach of the Cleveland Browns, and at the time I was the recruiting coordinator for Ron McBride---he coached me at Long Beach State---at Utah. And I sent Bilichick a letter wondering if he had any openings on his staff, and he sent the letter back to me and wrote across it, `F you, but send me some players.' At least he hadn't forgotten me.''

  • Now going on three months, that gaping hole on the steel fence on the Belmont Shore Bridge still hasn't been fixed, but I don't blame Robert Garcia for this embarrassing civic eyesore because he's too busy these days reading up on his new idol, Harry S. Truman...
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    Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

    A Thrilling Evening In Long Beach When The Skies Above Alamitos Bay Became A Dazzling Palette Of Exploding Rockets In Front Of 30,000 Witnesses Who Savored What Will Become Part Of The City’s Sacred Lore

    From Ann Cantrell Voicing Disapproval Of Long Beach's Most Popular Summer Event---The Big Bang On The Bay---To John Morris Taking Strong Exception To Ms. Cantrell's Stance To Bad Stu Ledsam's TWO Life-Saving Rescues To Bill (Bozo) Caplan's Zany Antics To The Phoenix Suns' Blessed Fortune To LB's Scary Rising Crime Rate To Those Two Laughable City Hall Figures Tom Modica And Robert Garcia
    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
    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?
    I Never Thought I'd Live To See These...
    Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
    Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
    From Krikorian's Notebook: When Will LB Police Chief Luna Come Clean About May 31 Downtown Long Beach Looting Frenzy?
    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
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