even supposed to be reading. (George
is a lifelong voracious reader.) You
are supposed to be looking and that
is not much fun. The lifeguards in
those days, as I specifically recall, we
worked for the police department.
There were no necessary qualifica-tions.
No one had to have first-aid
experience or classes or anything like
that. In addition, we had no supervi-sion.
We came to work when we were
supposed to and nobody checked on
that or checked when we left. And if
it was raining, we went home. But in
spite of the looseness, we never had a
drowning at any place on the beach
that had a lifeguard stand. I think
that’s remarkable. That doesn’t mean
that we didn’t pull a lot of people out
of the surf, because we did. I remem-ber
one Fourth of July we pulled
30-something people off of the jetty
at Birmingham Street,” George says.
Baker says the current squad is
“The purity of what we do has not
changed since lifesaving began in the
1800s, it is man against the ocean,
saving a life. That’s it, that part has
not changed,” Baker says.
The WBOR has just successfully
defended its title as the United
States Lifesaving Association’s South
Atlantic Regional champions.
George described it as an impressive
day, a wonderful day. The young guards
also enjoyed their time together.
“The crew was so excited and loved
it. George made a difference to them.
What you’re seeing is living history.
They the squad are seeing them-selves
70 years later, he did what they
are presently doing at about the same
age,” says Baker.
Ocean Rescue Captain Sam
Proffitt drove George north to south
along the strand after the ceremony
and then home.
“I was thrilled at that,” George
says. “I’ve seen all parts of the beach
over my many years, like a jigsaw
puzzle, but I had never seen it all at
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