In Celebration of CIYC’s 50th Anniversary:
Random Recollections of Certain Caliente Characters
Earlier in thinking about this activity designed to recount some of the “real beauts” that have come and gone through our club, I remembered two “gals” who might have fit this definition. In fact, there have been a few women in our club, however briefly, who clearly stand out as characters. Two come immediately to mind. Neither one’s name is remembered, not necessarily because of the passage of time. Rather the two I write about below really don’t deserve to be remembered as among Caliente Isle Yacht Club’s most stalwart folks.
The first is a woman who lived on her houseboat, moored on the levee side of Caliente Harbor. She was middle aged and wasn’t seen much in or around the clubhouse. I’m sure she was very new to the club. Her houseboat is remembered because on its roof was a surplus ejection seat out of a military plane of some kind (you can’t make this stuff up.) This contraption was mounted as an easy chair, serving sort of as Barcalounger done on the cheap. She could sit in this thing and look all around, including up on the levee with its public access. Of course, she could be seen as well from all over the harbor -- not that any of our guys were looking.
Now, it is only a rumor because the principals in this story moved on long ago. But it was said that this particular gal was a "pro"—that’s right, “they” said she was hook’in. Of course, there are no details to back this up and it surely could just be one of those nasty stories that really get listened to when whispered a bit too loudly. Who wouldn’t pay attention to such a murmur? Surely, word got around to Sam and his harbormaster and it wasn’t long before this woman, her house boat and her Barcalounger were gone, leaving behind but a story of a particular and peculiar Caliente character.
The second woman that comes to mind does so in the same vein, a story a bit off color. The incident comes to light in the context of one the club’s great Halloween parties. We had some of the best, and we often saw costumes that were truly over the top. Well, on this particular Halloween, a woman came dressed in a man’s grey trench coat. She had kind of a man’s hat on, but overall it didn’t really look so much as a costume as it did just unusual woman’s wear.
The parties often hit their stride when everybody in costume lined up and each person paraded through the clubhouse with party goers offering applause and, often, commentary. There was a point in the parade, probably in front of the judges, where each person sort of did their thing—a dance, a twirl, a few lines from a song something that put a strong point on their costume. Well, when the trench coated “man” got to this place, where judges and all the highly interested kids were clustered, she put the “point” on her costume by quickly throwing open the coat. What sprung up hugely from inside that coat got her kicked out of the club. Everyone was speechless, including the little kids.
Over the years there have been just three or four folks asked to leave our good group for one reason or another, usually for very bad behavior at the bar, and these decisions were often controversial. As I remember it, this particular decision to kick someone out happened on the spot, and without controversy. She was one of only a handful of Caliente Characters easily dismissed.