The Flames.

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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 30, 2012 - 10:19pm PT
dah - dit dit dit dit - dit / dah dah - dit - dah dit dit - dit dit - dah - dit - dit dah dit - dit dah dit - dit dah - dah dit - dit - dit dah - dah dit Cafe up on Telly! 5.9, let's jam to the espresso bar, dudes. Make mine a doppio! Good spot for a bivy. There's climbing content coming, so this is a ROYAL BLUE ALERT!
Mt. Lyell, Lyell Fork headwaters.  1980s but timeless.
Mt. Lyell, Lyell Fork headwaters. 1980s but timeless.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Mt. Winchell, 1982.
Mt. Winchell, 1982.
Credit: Jim Shirley
View from the NW Ridge of Mt. Clark.  1980s.
View from the NW Ridge of Mt. Clark. 1980s.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Jim Shirley shortly after the arrival of twin girls in his life at nea...
Jim Shirley shortly after the arrival of twin girls in his life at nearly age 50.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Randy Hamm in 1971
Randy Hamm in 1971
Credit: unknown
About here things should get very specific. I like this photo of Randy so much. He's looking at Jim, another North Facer, who ran the mail order business.

The photo is here because I don't think that he and Jim Shirley ever met in much more than perhaps a cursory fashion, during a rare visit from Jim to the shop on Telly, where he came a couple of times with Mark Ericson, the designer who took over from Justus Bauschinger. They were the "heavies" as we called them.

My partner on the Salathe Wall was Doug Ross, who you will remember, Gypsy, surely. His departure enabled me to fit in with the class of '73 at North Face, thanks to Randy's timely call which rescued his buddy and his new bride from a meager winter on UI living in the Okie Flats, wishing for more, hating themselves for doing what they'd done: They had ignored the Unbidden Fruit of the Alarm Clock Tree. So they were driven out of Paradise, involuntarily. Of course God had plans we were not privy to. At the time, however, I was really angry at myself for being such a dull boy. I think I might have told Angel Gabriel to stick his horn where there is no light, I was that miserable being away from the Valley and Camp 4 mates. Jeff visited, and Larry Jones. That was tremendous, to find out about Andy Cox's death, the happs in camp, prospects for the future. Larry arrived and left and came back and helped us load the van, then came north to Berkeley, where his life changed as well. He began working with the cream of the crop of the crazy teenagers of the Bay Area at St. George's homes in Northside on Arch St. That's where he met Barbara Worthing, Cal grad student and the future Mrs. Jones. They just celebrated the birth of Avery's first child! A gurl.

For those who may have missed "the Jokes" (aka Larry Hoad Scuzz Moab Jokes Jones) he's from Merced, lived over the back fence from me and was one of the original Flames by virtue of having been a founding member of the local chapter of the National Submarine Racing Association, NSRA. Jones is brilliant, a blues fan, a rhythm guitarist, and former comptroller of UCB's school of optometry. He is a cool cat, did some climbs with Jeff and I in Pinnacles, lived in Degnan's Dorms the winter of '71-'72. He supported his hippy butt with black Primo from Oahu that winter, obtained from the fundage provided by a National defense loan.

He rented Apathy House on 16th St. in Pacific Grove so Jeff and I and he could live together. Our presence in Monterey attracted the attention of two brothers, Leo Newburn, our classmate at Merced High, and Louie, his younger bro, and they made the move there in 1969 as well.

This Merced enclave in the penisula was a little restless due to the presence of Gloria, Leo's GF from back home, who just had to move there, too, hoping to get back with him. It wasn't happening. She wasn't cool enough to compete with Sharon Monteverde, Leo's new squeeze, also from Merced and who had, so she claimed years later in 2000, had continued a platonic relationship with the man through HS. She is the one who convinced me, so naive, she and Leo were happy together. She was part witchy woman, I think. Well, she and Leo were married, then divorced in the late nineties. She and Liz were friends back in the day in Merced, before she moved to Monterey. She's a lonely gal, living in a trailer park down by the canal in Atwater. A nice presence, and ethreal type, enjoying the hell out of her ill health and missing out on life's best part, growing old with someone who loves you.

I lived with them and Louie for a time when Apathy House broke up in spring of '70, Jeff going to the mountains and Larry going to live with some good friends in Seaside. Me, I left the mad Newburn place, which all of a sudden burst with chanting Nam Myoho Ringke Kyo, the Nichiren Shoshu mantra. Leo was a very good blues guitar player, and he took it to the next level, but in the service of his buddhist sect.

It was good to find Brother Don and his couch for the next month, reading Siddhartha, delivering mail on the quiet summertime MPC campus, waiting for the fall semester. For once, I wasn't on academic probation and willing to do the work. But I never made it to the fall semester. Like so few others, I headed for Yosemite via British Columbia.

Jim Shirley was at UCB in '70. He completed school the next year and got hired by Hap Klopp personally to run the mail order department. Not a typical graduation segue in the least. It has been my privilege to climb with Jim, have him stand up as my best man, and know he has my back. Merry Christmas, Jim and family in Simi Valley!



zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 30, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
kinda begs the question of what they did for the first 49. Football players maybe? Gold dust twins?



Weren't Los Flames a car outfit? Mecury '49.


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=539369&tn=12120#msg1999819


mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 12:16am PT
ROYAL BLUE ALERT!
Jim on Snake Dike. Easy day. Not another soul in sight till the summit...
Jim on Snake Dike. Easy day. Not another soul in sight till the summit!
Credit: Jim Shirley
The Snake Dike.
Why do we always take this sh#t along and nothing happens?  I was talk...
Why do we always take this sh#t along and nothing happens? I was talking about the LSD, the last we ever took. It was too mild, old, or just not very strong. Tough sh#t. November!
Credit: Jim Shirley
The summit of Mt. Starr King.

There are far too many false flames. We are The Flames. It's cool to say Da Flames, or even De Flames, but The Flames is the correct designation. WE are drivers, but lack wheels. We only talk like Mexicans because they want the ridicule and eagerly seek out our advice...

The genesis of the Flames--just pretend I'm Orson Welles or Charlton Heston, hokay?

First, the Devil decided to take up residence in California, right here in the Merced Drainage.

Looking up at Casa Diablo, a formation on the north side of Merced S. ...
Looking up at Casa Diablo, a formation on the north side of Merced S. Fork. Above Hite Cove. Seen from the base of the 4x4 road to Jerseydale.
Credit: mouse from merced
Casa Diablo from the Merced S. Fork, the north side of the river from the south. The place the Devil found and occupied. He lived on the souls of the Mi-Wok.

Devil's Gate on the Merced S. Fork, just upriver from Hites Cove and a...
Devil's Gate on the Merced S. Fork, just upriver from Hites Cove and above Rattlesnake Gulch. South side of the river, early morning. Just before I noticed three kayakers coming down from Wawona.
Credit: mouse from merced
Devil's Gate, upstream from Casa Diablo, but not far, on the south bank. It's a fine place to enter Paradise, which is just upriver a few miles in the environs known as Clark's or Wawona.

The Flames are basically the product of the melting snow of the Sierra. We started out as Boy Scouts, but soon switched to harder stuff. I could go on in that vein, but will lose the Boy from Bold. [Forgive me that, Patrick. Street punk wannabe talk. Not cool.] The NSRA led to the Dirty Hands of America, which lasted maybe a summer and a half.

By the time Jeff was in his second or third semester at Merced College and I was at naval basic training and Jones was at Defense Language Institute, the Flames spark began as the Dirty Hands began cleaning up their act, and from the conjoining of Mark McAllister and Jeff, who had been a model airplane enthusiast, archer, and astronomy buff (he and his dad built a telescope together, and went to the archery range together, too) and he got to do some silk screening as one of his electives.

He worked for his dad in the auto body shop and he was always tinkering, just like Lem, and he's still just the same way, never still--at least he has far more energy than I for that sort of thing. I think that he and Mark, aka Bullfrog, met out at the College in that class, and re-connected, having been friends in one or another club. Mark's father was an airman at Castle AFB and the family had spent a long time living in England, so Mark had that whole British thing down. He owned and played a Martin guitar and went with Belle Coats, the daughter of the man who owned the Record Rendezvous downtown.

I'm not sure of any of that about how the two connected, because I was out of town at that time. The two, Muskrat and Bullfrog, palled around quite a lot then, in 1967 and 1968. They had the same interests, which led to visiting the climbers' camp in Yosemite, meeting the Bircheffs and Jerry Anderson and some others.

When Jeff later in 1968 married Sharon Gomes and moved to the Bay Area, I had come back to town and had been to the Valley that spring of '68 with Jeff and Mark and Sharon, made a couple of trips there with guys from my barracks at Treasure Is., so I knew something of what appealed to me in short order. Jeff and Sharon separated and he began a time of working for Pacific Telephone, my dad's outfit. He lived in Oakland and then left, acquiring the climbing grant, and moving into Apathy House with Jones and myself. He made careful plans, emulating Chuck Pratt, I thought, who was Jeff's beau ideal, for the spring of 1970 in Yosemite, which he brought to fruition. He left for the Valley in early May. The Flames were thus brought to Yosemite, through these visits in early 1968.

I feel that we were the first noticeable groundswell of the tsunami of the tseventies, along with the Stuart-Donohoe-Moore gang. They were not official, like the Flames, just the locals, if locals can truly exist in a National Park. So Larry Moore cannot be said to have switched affiliations in any real sense. It's all farce anyway.

There will be a history quiz in the future. MAGENTA ALERT! ROYAL BLUE ALERT! It's an open book test.

You will be required to be able to spell Dolt, bolt, piton, nut, and belay, as well as ID Batso and Robbins from photos of Sheridan cartoons.

Study hard. TM's the guest grader. If he remembers.

Credit: Bullwinkle
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Dec 1, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
off-topic

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
First time I ever saw TM he cracked a joke at the base of Moby Tick.

I forgot the joke, and the punch line.

He'll have to tell it over.

Question: If Tough Mother had a kid, just how tough would this poor kid's feminine side be compared to the masculine. A devil of a question, but the devil's in the details.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 1, 2012 - 01:21pm PT
official rocketdyne photo from my Dads collection.  One of the few to ...
official rocketdyne photo from my Dads collection. One of the few to ever have copies of this.
Credit: George R. Anderson


FLAMES....







test fire 01, Descent stage engine, module, lunar, one each.

Rocketdyne Palamino valley,NV, area D...1969
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 1, 2012 - 01:23pm PT
bumped into TM once or twice. Rye humor he has-- saw us comin,, festooned with a huge rack,, told us ElCap was that way! Purdy funny guy he is..
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 02:21pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
He's a little more serious, but still likes to have fun.

But that was fifteen years ago. He may have lightened up.

Isn't T.M. Herbert's son Tommy an M.D.? Maybe he could weigh in on this topic.--aspendougy


Ron Kauk leading some silly thing in the Valley.  Let's go to the coff...
Ron Kauk leading some silly thing in the Valley. Let's go to the coffee shop.
Credit: Climbing
Ron is still waiting for slack from Werner before he gets super-serious.

"SLACK, Dipshit!"

Oh, now I remember.

TM was concerned that we didn't seem to have enough iron to finish the aid section further on. We were at the belay station, p2.

You wonder why I put this up about Tommy. I figured you might.

I can't tell you of any Flame with kids whose kids climb.

One of the Bircheff's maybe, that I don't know of. Ariel, don't think so. Avery Jones has been seen in a rock gym, but that obviously doesn't count. My stepson Scott the skater, he's been to the base of Lurking Fear as a porter for me. He was alrady into the boarding when he was fourteen when we met, and he was happy with it, so I never really offered to take him out climbing. Michel-Jon would never try it, I'm sure. Bevin would rather knit in her free time.

John Yeates hardly climbed at all, in fact Delectable Pinnacle was the pinnacle of his achievement climbing-wise, so far as I know,
though "A climb does not a climber make." I can't think of any other climbs he did, as a matter of fact. He must have done Sunnyside or Monday Morning or something.

He had a boy with his wife, the former YL maid, Sha'ala, who let the child nurse till he was old enough to be cranky about not having the tit. When she was away from the house, and John had the con, the kid would just throw a fit like Joe Cocker, sprawling on the floor, wailing at the top of his lungs, embarfassing the sh#t out of me for John's lack of discipline over his boy. Sha'a'la was in La Leche League, and it was like her life, her touchstone, which said little for the marriage, which failed eventually with more kids. I thought That Kid was totally out of order, and gone-dog spoiled. I don't think the kid had climbing in his blood. Just lots of calcium.


Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Dec 1, 2012 - 02:27pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson

Tom Herbert on "witches", while Dano belays -- indian head rock 92- ish
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
Tommy got further up than I did. On everything...
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
How do you know Randy is looking at Jim Shirley? The photo was taken before I met Randy--probably in 1970 or early 71 by a man named Ron who lived in Portland. He was the then boyfriend of Terry Altman who worked at Degnan's. And long before Randy worked at North Face.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
No, no, Gypsy. It appears he's looking at Jim (or the baby) due to the juxtaposition of the photos is what I meant to convey.

I was wondering if he had ever inter-acted with Jim while he was on the sales staff at Telegraph and Stuart.

Asfar as that is concerned, I am more interested in finding whether Randy ever climbed with Doug Ross.

I also want to track down Doug or his sister, who was an NPS ranger, and is named Darin or something like it.

He may well have some photos or she may.


Let me compliment you on the MM show this week. I think I'm on my fifth or sixth listening. Alison Krause, ma o ma!
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 03:58pm PT
I haven't seen Doug or his sister since the 70's. I don't remember if Randy knew Jim Shirley but the name is familiar.

Credit: unknown

Here is a photo of the North Face staff of Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley when Randy worked there. We were on a x-country ski trip. I believe we skied to Dewey Point. I recognize Jeremy, Randy, me and Becky in the front row. Tom Applegate is in the back row along with Gretchen.
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 04:02pm PT
Here is a set of proof sheets that Doug gave to me on a trip we did to the Marin Headlands.

Credit: Gypsy
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
Yep, that's Becky and she looks much younger in the picture to me than she was. The hairstyle's young, so that might be it. Tom is definitely the Tom I remember. I never met Jeremy. That's Gretchen Baugh, student at Cal, and that's likely her BF Charlie standing next to her on the far right.

Tom and Linda Applegate were living in San Rafael. She was a one-time hopeful in the LA area in acting, but don't quote me. He and Mitch made it to Berkeley from one of the LA sports shops, and Mitch left the management to pursue something, I know not what, and left Tom the gig. I never met Mitch, I don't know the fellows in the shot other than those we've IDed, nor do I remember the blonde sitting on the right.

Where' Doug, what happened to Doug, unless that's him in the beard, which I don't think is the case. Forty plus years and the Captain still looks the same. How does one do that? L'Oreal? Avon? What's your secret, for that matter? Don't tell me it's the young hairstyle!
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
Well it was about 1973 so Randy and I would have been about 23.
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
Credit: Gypsy

I must have taken this one and my position in the photo was taken up by Tom Applegate's wife, Linda
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 04:23pm PT
No, I am pretty sure that is not Doug in the long hair and beard. I have no idea where he has gone too. He had some pretty far fetched stories. I've known a few other people who could tell stories like that. But I always said; 'I don't care if a story is true; as long as it is a good story."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 04:29pm PT
Uh-yep! That's the lovely Linda A. They had a daughter named Signe, born about '77.

Uh-yep! The truth is strictly over-rated around here. Gotta loosen up the imagination and Entertain and Educate.

Our memories are like didoes in the ice. They vanish.

Yet they are simply covered with the snow of old age.

They remain till the thaw.

Imagina!
Gypsy

Social climber
NC
Dec 1, 2012 - 04:37pm PT
Credit: Dennis Wapienik

The funnest rope swing ever--somewhere in the Marin Headlands.
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