Almanac Music: Dave Kimber – Scavenger hunts in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

A Scavenger Hunt at Malibu

 

Let me tell you about a wild game of ‘Scavenger’s Hunt’.

 

During our high school surfing days we would go surfing every week-end and different friends would drive or I would drive. I had a little red Ford Falcon Woody. Gas was about thirty cents a gallon. Our driving rules were that if you were driving you didn’t have to pay for any gas. Everybody else in the car had to pay one dollar. So my car sat three people in the front, four boards in the back, and sticking out the back window was one person sitting on top of the boards. A lot of time we wouldn’t have any money for food after a big date the night before. I remember eating food from cans we’d bring from home like spaghetti and Campbells soup…I liked chicken noodle. I didn’t exactly like it undiluted but it was food, and, it was free.

 

My father was a lawyer in LA and a very good one. He spent a certain percentage of his time getting many of my friends out of trouble. We lived in a nice house in our home town of Montrose in the Foothills of L.A.

 

My mother was a member of the Motion Picture Council and had a lot of very wealthy friends who lived in unbelievably beautiful houses in Beverly Hills. One night she asked me if I wanted to go to a party at one of her Motion Picture Council friends Homes. It was one of those huge Beverly Hills homes that had a driveway that took ten minutes just to drive to the house. I said, “No, I didn’t know anybody there.”

 

 

Well, she talked me into it. Maybe there’d be some rich, pretty girls there. Well, everybody got paired up. I was with the hostess’s daughter. We both wanted to be somewhere else. We actually became slightly a couple for a while several months after this party but, for this party we simply tolerated each other.

 

It was time to play an old game people had been playing for many years in these neighborhoods. It’s called ‘The Scavenger Hunt’. Here’s how it worked. Every couple got a scavenger list of various items. Here is an example of the Beverly Hills list.

 

A peacock feather

A ping pong paddle

A tennis ball

A brass doorknob

A piece of balsa wood

A black sock

A rose

A dust pan

A piece of red paper

A fountain pen

A Hershey bar

A new comb

BONUS…A coin with date of your birthdate on the coin it

 

Each couple had to collect as many of the items from the list as they could by going around the neighborhoods and knocking on doors. The couple with the most items was the winner and they got a prize. I don’t remember the prize but probably each person got a new Jaguar. It wasn’t that but something out of the ordinary and expensive. The neighbors were fantastic when we knocked on their doors and told them what we were doing. It went something like this, “Hi, my name is Dave Kimber and this is Ginger and we’re at a party down the street at the Greenbaums, etc.,etc”. We’d show them the list which was printed and written with real gold ink, I think. Scavenger Hunt List.

 

Each couple had to collect as many of the items from the list as they could by going around the neighborhoods and knocking on doors. The couple with the most items was the winner and they got a prize. I don’t remember the prize but probably each person got a new Jaguar. It wasn’t that but something out of the ordinary and expensive. The neighbors were fantastic when we knocked on their doors and told them what we were doing. It went something like this, “Hi, my name is Dave Kimber and this is Ginger and we’re at a party down the street at the Greenbaums, etc.,etc”. We’d show them the list which was printed and written with real gold ink, I think. Scavenger Hunt List.

 

It took them back in time to when they played the same game and they searched their houses for something that would fulfill one of the things on our list. One person actually gave us a brass door knob. We didn’t win, I didn’t hook up and the next morning we were on our way to Malibu for a day of surfing.

 

We took my car and left before the sun came up. We surfed all morning and into the early afternoon. When we surfed together it wasn’t just the surfing that we loved . It was also the camaraderie and the constant laughter. My best friends have always had wonderful sense of humor. For example: We were all standing on a little ten foot cliff above the sandy beach and we had forgotten to bring our towels from the car which was a ways away. George said to Gary, “I’ll flip you to see who goes back and gets the towels.” Gary says,”OK”…and does a back flip from the cliff and lands in the sand, perfectly on his two legs. I laughed about that all day.

 

We all finally came in and we were starving. We had no money and I had an idea. I told my friends about the night before and the scavenger hunt around some Beverly Hills neighbourhoods. We all kind of had the same idea at the same time. After all, we were at Malibu which is like Beverly Hills on the beach. All the houses are worth millions of dollars each and a lot of the inhabitants are stars in the entertainment world.

 

Well, we found some paper and a pen and wrote our own scavenger lists. Ours was a little different than the Beverly Hills list. Ours wasn’t so esoteric and ours had simpler easier things to find. We also included food. Here is a sample of our list.

 

Surfer Scavenger Hunt List

 

A feather

A tennis ball

A jar of peanut butter

A clam shell

A white sock

A can of fruit cocktail

A Frisbee

A can of soup

A piece of red paper

A quarter

A ping pong ball

A loaf of bread

A smooth rock

A colored pencil

A candy bar

A dime

A pen

A rubber band

A piece of string

An apple

 

As you can see, we had more food items on our list and having ‘a quarter’ as one pick on the list was a stroke of genius. Everybody had a quarter and it was an easy way for people to get rid of us. I think it was Gary who thought of that.

 

Gary and I started walking north on the beach and Bill and Mike headed south. This was the week-end so most of the people were home. A lot of these multi-million dollar homes were just week-end get-a-ways. Most of the people were either involved in their own parties, or, just not very friendly when you knocked on their doors. Other folks were happy and very generous and figured out pretty fast what we were doing. In no time at all we had two bags of food!

 

A large number of the people would grudgingly put something in our bag after quickly looking at our list. Here is a typical reply. Me:”Hi, we’re at a party down the beach and we are having a scavenger hunt. Can you please help us with anything on our list?” Most people would find the most convenient thing like peanut butter, a candy bar or quarters. Some people were generous but rude – like, “Here’s some peanut butter, now get lost.” We didn’t care about the feather or the ping pong ball.

 

The only movie or TV star we saw was very nice and helpful. It was Larry Hagman of ‘I Dream of Jeanie’ and ‘Dallas’ fame. He was JR Ewing in Dallas, but, that show hadn’t happened yet.

 

 

Larry Hagman looked at our list and said, “What are you boys up to?” He was very suspicious and caught on right away.

He said,”Boys, please excuse me for just a minute.” He closed his front door and went back into his house.

He returned in an instant and said, “Do, you have peanut butter?
“Yes,” we said.
“How about bread?” he asked.
“Yes”, we said.
“Well, then you’ll need this…I didn’t see it on your list” and he held up a new jar of strawberry jam. What a great guy. I was thinking that no else did anything like that all day. Leave it to an entertainer to do something clever like that. Larry had a big heart.

 

When we all met up two hours later we had a feast with plenty left over for our surfing buddies who smelled the food. Oh, and about that ‘quarter’ we collected $16.75 between us. We didn’t observe the ‘wait 45 minutes rule’ before going back in the water after you eat. We were all raring to go and the surf was up…that means it was big. The word got around about our scavenger hunt ploy and we weren’t able to do it again, but, that was many years ago. I’ll bet there’s new people in those houses who never heard of our scavenger hunt scheme. Happy eating.

 

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