Frank Doll gets a date | VailDaily.com
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Frank Doll gets a date

Shirley Welch
Vail, CO Colorado

At the hotel, Frank did a myriad of jobs; he learned to wash and wax cars: Packards, Pierce Arrows, Buick Roadmasters, and many other expensive cars.

He caddied for rich golfers at Torrey Pines, and became adept in the things to do along the shoreline: spearing sharks (sort of similar to fishing for trout back at Deep Creek), breaking Abalones away from their favorite rock, fishing under the cliffs and in deep water.

Another job of his was to tend the private beach at the hotel. He raked the sand early in the morning, setting out deck chairs, and putting up badminton nets.

Those folks staying at the hotel routinely lounged at the beach until 1 p.m. and then left to have lunch and nap or shop or whatever. Frank would then take down the nets, collapse the chairs, and return everything to a cave on the beach that had doors that he would then lock.

On a little shelf inside the cave, Frank and the other beach boys kept salt and pepper for when they could go to town and with 5 cents buy a fresh avocado and bring it back to the cave, open it, douse it with salt and pepper and eat the sweet inside. To this day, Frank can imagine the taste of fresh avocado with salt and pepper.

Back at the hotel, with the beach chores finished, Frank would report to the garage for work. Oh my, did Frank like working on those cars. They were the most expensive cars on the road and had to gleam and shine at all times.

The owners of these cars were the super rich of rich people. Salt water ” even the dew ” was not good for these cars, so they had to be washed every day and hand-polished. For something like a Pierce Arrow Straight 8, an owner paid the hotel $1 a day to wash and wax the car. Frank earned 25 cents for his morning work and 25 cents for the garage labor. Thus he made 50 cents a day.

In the late afternoon his day was over and he had time on his hands to explore the wonders of the ocean and the ocean fishing or to wander into town. Sometimes they would go to a movie or better yet, go to Mission Beach where there was a huge indoor dance floor almost like an arena and they brought in the best bands to play.

To get there, he and his friends would pay 5 cents and board the “Galloping Goose” ” a bright red street car ” from La Jolla to San Diego. Frank enjoyed just watching the people dance and taking in all that the city had to offer, and while Frank didn’t take a date to the dances in Mission Beach, he did go one date while in La Jolla.

It happened this way. One morning at the beach, a bleary-eyed couple came down the steps leading from the hotel.

A man with a plain face and shocking red hair led the way, followed by his wife who had jet-black hair and olive skin and a pretty daughter of about 16 years and a 12-year-old son.

Frank eyed the daughter right away and she gave him a demure smile. As Frank tended to their needs, he learned that the father managed the largest lumber yard in Denver and had just finished driving his family non-stop from Denver to La Jolla.

Needless to say, the man was drop-dead tired and collapsed in a beach chair after removing his shirt. In minutes, the man was asleep and lay there for several hours under the California sun, with the sand and water reflecting more rays on the porcelain-skinned man.

Meanwhile, Frank made small talk with the daughter and decided to ask her to the movies the following day. However, he needed to ask permission of the father, and the next day Frank learned the man was in the hospital with severe blisters all over his body from too much sun.

Not to give up, Frank later located the mother and asked her permission to take the daughter to the movies and it was granted. They went to the movies, had a marvelous time, and after that Frank never again saw the family on the beach.

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