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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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December 11, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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December 11, 1997
 

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, December 11, Ga.zeu,; on the street... What do you like or dislike most about the l00olidays? Pahrump BILL LINDSAY -- Retired administrator -- "I like the festivities. The parties and dinners and getting together with friends and relatives." Pahrump Pahrump I RYANNE DUDENSKI -- Student -- "I get to see everyone in my family." PHILIP CASE -- Respirator)' therapist -- "My dislike is the cost of everything, it's too high. But I like the Cl'ffistmas lights on houses, it's fun to go around and see them." 1997 17 Pahrump PahrUmp EVA owner-- "What I like is that my birthday is onthe24a, of December and I like reminiscing. I like all the love at Christmas." fun time with the family." Compiled by PVG staff photographers Neva, ta- then a00!d now Lake Tahoe endurance swimmers by Phillip I. Earl Nevada Historical Society ake Tahoe is not only one of America's premier resort areas, .but also an enduring challenge to long distance swimmers. In the early years, locals be- lieved that the clear, cold waters of the lake would not support a human body, the bodies of drowning victims sel- dom being recovered. Many early attempts to swim either the width or lengih o1 the lake went unrecorded, but on August 24-25, 1931, Myrtle Huddlesoncovered the 20 miles from Deadman's Point, Nevada, to Tahoe City, California in 22 hours and 53 minutes. In June 1935, Clay Sherman of Oakland, California, 21, showed up to train for a planned swim from Deadman's Point to Tahoe Tavern, some 14 miles. He estimated that the swim would take fifteen hours, but he was seized with cramps after cov- ering eight miles in four hours on August 4. When asked if he planned to try again, he replied "I wouldn't take that again for nobody" Two years later, Paul Chrotteau, a 37 year-old Frenchman who held a num- ber of long distance records, an- nounced plans for a lengthwise swim from the south end of the lake to Brockway on the north, 23 miles which he estimated he could negoti- ate in 15 to 17 hours. He was unable to find a sponsor, however, and de- cided against the attempt. On August 16, 1952, BiU Long, a 37 year old swimmer from Van Nuys, California, became the first man to swini the width of the lake, stroking the 17 miles between Cave Rock and Meeks Bay in 12 hours. Two years later, July 23, 1954, Bert Capps, a former College of the Pacific football star, made the same swim in seven hours and 12minutes. For his efforts, he picked up a $500 prize offered by the Tahoe-Sierra Chamber of Com- merce. Three weeks later, August 15, Glenda Ortlip, 18, of San Francisco covered the same course in seven hours, 57 minutes and 13 seconds. Two days later, Cuban-born Jose Cortinas, 37, made the first known attempt to swim the 21.6 mile length of the lake. Stateline casino operators had offered $1,000 for the first successful lengthwise swim and he gave it his best, remaining in the water 11 hours and 29 minutes before Fred Main of the U.S. Coast Lake Tahoe, a challenge for long distance swimmers. photo courtesy Nevada Historical Society Guard Auxiliary Flotilla pulled him out. In July 1955, Bert Capps was back, this time to attempt his own lengthwise swim, Stateline to Kings Beach. Slathered with lanolin to ward offthe cold, he set offat 10:08 p.m., July 21, making some 15 miles before he was seized with chest pains and pulled from the water at 9:23 a.m. the next morning, five miles from his intended destination. San Franciscan Johnny Kyne swam 11 miles out of Stateline in seven hours and 40 minutes on August 23, but it was Fred Rogers, a 29-year-old San Francisco bartender, who finally made the first lengthwise swim, completing the course on August 28, 1955, coming from the north and reaching the beach at El Dorado Campground after 19 hours, six minutes and six seconds in the water. Considering the waves and the currents, swimming ex- perts estimated that he may have swum over 29 miles. He did not collect the $2,000 prize put up by the Lake Tahoe Swimming Asso- ciation, however, since he had not paid the $300 entry fee. Jose Cortinas had started off with Rogers that morning, but came out of the water at Bitler's Point, some four miles short of Roger's landing point. Three days later, August 31, Fritz Hertleinofthe Desert Divers, Rent, made an attempt to be the first to swim the width of the lake underwater. Just a mile from Meeks Bay, his starting point, Tommy Farrar, another diver who was bringing him a replacement aqua lung, ran into trouble and dropped the device. Hertlein was forced to surface when Farrar seemed to have trouble getting his bearings and the attempt was scrubbed. On July 29, 1962, Erline Christopherson, 16, of Lodi, Cali- fornia, became the first woman to successfully complete a length- wise attempt. On her try the previous year, August 30,1961, north from Tahoe Keys Marina, she was pulled from the water just a mile south of Crys- tal Bay when the wind shifted, blowing directly in her face. Her second attempt on July 8, 1962 was frustrated by the onset of stomach cramps, cold and three-foot waves, but she was suc- cessful three weeks laterin a seventeen-mile swim from Baldwin Beach on the south to Dollar Point on the north, covering the distance in thirteen hours and 17 minutes. Her father, Maurice Christopherson, who hlso served as her coach, was pleased. "l hope she never does it again," he told a reporter. "It was a childhood dream and now she's done it."