2008 LASD Roundup Article
Awwk! A red flash and that tinny voice squawking “Ka Band Radar!” Oh oh. That was the second time CHP belted out some high frequency energy along I-40. Okay. Time to come off cruise control and acknowledge that, radar detector notwithstanding, I’d been bested by the Highway Patrol one more time. Ah, such are the travails of crossing the Mojave Desert. Well, at least it wasn’t one of those Jeff Springs moments when, standing on an overpass, two of our CHP brethren gave each other a triumphant thumbs-up and a not-so-subtle high-five after nailing him at warp nine.
Most LASD retirees make that long drive over I-40. Some, like Pete Finnegan, hopped a plane in London and flew the 5300 miles to Nevada. The annual trek to Laughlin is becoming set piece. A morning start, lunch on the road, take in the sweeping vistas and painted mountains, and perhaps notice a few wildflowers that, back in the day, would probably have gone unseen. There are also a growing number of retirees living in the foothills overlooking Bullhead City and the River. Great view. Really upscale digs. And, a short commute to the Roundup. Actually, retirees from 20 different states came to the Roundup. And, they came literally from all four corners of the country, including Alaska.
The 2008 Roundup– it just keeps on growing. There were 823 registered attendees. For those who haven’t yet made it to a Roundup, here’s the general scheme of things — arrival and hotel registration followed by a check-in with the Roundup in the Starview Room aka the “Briefing Room”. The Briefing Room overlooks the Colorado River. It’s the hub of activities for the four-day event. There is plenty of space and of ample seating to meet and chat with old friends and colleagues. There are beverages of all sorts, snacks and a no-host bar.
However, it’s all the one-on-one contact and additional events that make the Roundup what it is. There is an HR 218 Certification course supervised by the LASD Weapons Training Unit consisting of Sergeant Dave Nell and Deputy Ed Corrette. Two days are needed to process all the shooters. This year 234 retirees qualified at the BLM range site. I’m told that the green ammo has all but disappeared. Sheriff Baca has been a consistent supporter of this event and once again authorized on-duty range staff to attend the Roundup and administer the qualification test. Thank you Sheriff Baca! Steve Remige and the ALADS Board of Directors provided the financial backing for the Certification Shoot. Retirees Ollie Taylor and Walt Bouman kept it all organized. Talk about a team effort and retiree support.
In addition to the all-important HR 218 Certification, Norm Copping organized two full days of golf. There were folks doing both golf and the shoot, but they had to really hustle. It was a demonstration of just how well some people have utilized on-the-job-training to combine golf with other required activities. Monday saw a four-person scramble at El Rio. On Tuesday, there was a skins game at Avi. The weather was absolutely perfect. I’m not a golfer, but I think it’s even possible that money might have changed hands.
There were a few other organized games for those who found the links to be too fatiguing — namely, an intense muscle-burning slots tournament and a Texas Hold-em poker tournament. Elizabeth Peterson cleaned house in slots. Bill Riordan and Frank Waldron tied for 1st place in poker, while Gary Kotler zapped 3rd place. Clearly, skills learned in Chinatown and elsewhere have relevance in other stressful and competitive environments. Just kidding Elizabeth…
Another tradition is the 50-50 Raffle. These tickets are purchased at the Roundup registration tables. Each ticket costs $1.00. The drawing is done on the last day at the evening Hors D’oeuvres and Dessert affair in the Starview Room. Pay-offs are anything but shabby. For example, Don Forsyth was the top cash winner at $800. Rumor has it that he lost that much downstairs, so the IRS is out of luck. Ed Walsh, Mary Dailey, Ron Moya Gordon Carn, Dave Schriefer and Norm Mcollam also collected some cool 50-50 cash. Molly Lambert won an SRA Commemorative 357 Ruger Blackhawk. Grown men cried about that. Good for you Molly! Maria O’Neal managed to grab the 7-day Hawaiian condominium stay.
The Daily Drawing is another winner. Two free drawing tickets come with each Roundup registration. Every day a new list of winning numbers is posted in the Briefing Room. Most winners here are kicking themselves for forgetting a corkscrew!
Believe it or not there were three father-son duos at the Roundup — Brad and Larry Brademeyer, George and John Gentzvein, and Walt Hill and his just-retired son Richard. Hats off to Merv Neis, 87, and Lillian Faralla, 83. They were the oldest deputies at the Roundup. We’re pretty sure Lillian also has the honor of being the only LASD deputy to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY.
SEB/SED held their Parking Lot 924 adjacent to the Riverside. Old habits are hard for good people to break. Similar, but more civilized functions were undertaken indoors by FPK, WHD, NWK, LKD, LNX, MAL/LHS, ELA and
The triumvirate of Homicide, Narco and Vice. It just occurred to me that as resourceful as SEB is, perhaps they could arrange for some classic Parker-style drive-by entertainment out on the river. On second thought, maybe Vice could do a better job with that kind of scenic task.
Probably to the chagrin of Don Laughlin, there’s a time when one has to break free of the comforts of the Riverside and check out the surrounding area. Downstream is Lake Havasu. Just across the Colorado River and up the hill from Laughlin is Oatman, an old gold mining town that is very much alive. Saloons, Wild West shootouts in the street and burros on the sidewalks are the rule in Oatman. Watch your step…literally. Boulder Dam, Lake Mead and Las Vegas are within easy driving of Laughlin. And, if you want to make a day of it, the mountains around Flagstaff offer a picturesque drive and luncheon opportunities.
Moon & Robyn Mullen don’t seem to change much. I don’t know what they’re drinking but it seems to work. Most of us keep getting older and they somehow seem to stay the same. Their energy is phenomenal and the Roundup and all it’s activities reflect their efforts. Thanks once more guys. There are some additional key people that should also be mentioned. Charlie and Linda Englebart organized and supervised the volunteers. Do they ever sleep? Ike Sabean, photographer-tech guy extraordinaire. Tony Hollins – thanks for all the work on the Slots Tournament. More thanks go to Robyn Mullen for the making the Texas Hold-em Tournament work. All those prizes didn’t just happen. We’ve got John Sullivan and Chuck and Corky Jackson to thank for that. Good work folks!
Special thanks go to Sheriff’s Relief, ALADS, PPOA, and PPOA Federal Credit Union. Their financial support of LASD retirees is noted and appreciated. A special thanks to LACERA for sending their Out-Reach Program personnel who answered many retirement issue questions.
The 2009 Roundup is set for March 29, 30, 31 and April 1st. Clearly Moon and Robyn have a sense of humor. I wonder what that last day will bring? See you next year folks!