The Forgotten Men of the Point Reyes Life Saving Service

12 min
The graves of the four "surfmen" in Point Reyes' Historic Life Saving Cemetery. (Carly Severn/KQED)

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There was a shooting at YouTube, teachers are striking in Oklahoma and President Trump ordered National Guard troops to the border. But that's not all.

1. 'You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back'

The original Point Reyes Life Saving Station (1889-1927) at which the four surfmen would have served.
The original Point Reyes Life Saving Station (1889-1927) at which the four surfmen would have served. (Point Reyes National Seashore Archives)

One of my colleagues, Carly Severn, has a knack for doing these stories about bizarre places she stumbles upon. This week, she takes us to the Life-Saving Station Cemetery in Point Reyes.

It's the final resting place for four members of the Life Saving Service, or what we know today as the Coast Guard. Their motto was, "You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back."

The four graves belong to four young immigrants who died out on the brutal seas of Point Reyes.

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"I don't see this as a depressing story. It's definitely bittersweet to me," Carly tells me. "[The four men] traveled thousands of miles by water, worked in the water and then died for it as well, saving lives. And I just find that really poignant, but not depressing."

2. What happened before the YouTube shooting?

A screen grab image captured from Nasim Najafi Aghdam's YouTube page. The page has since been taken down.
A screen grab image captured from Nasim Najafi Aghdam's YouTube page. The page has since been taken down. (YouTube)

I wasn't working on Tuesday, so I missed a lot of the details of the woman who shot three people and then killed herself at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno. But KQED's Sam Harnett and Tonya Mosley were on it from the start, and Sam put together this really helpful timeline that explains what happened in the lead-up to the shooting.

3. Happy birthday, Jerry!

Gov. Jerry Brown turns 80 on Saturday.
Gov. Jerry Brown turns 80 on Saturday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There must be something in the water that California politicians drink. Sen. Dianne Feinstein turns 85 this summer, just a few months before she hopes to be re-elected to another six-year term in the U.S. Senate. And Gov. Jerry Brown turned 80 on Saturday, extending his reign as the oldest governor in state history.

To celebrate, KQED's politics editor Scott Shafer went to a senior community in San Francisco to get some advice for Brown from his fellow seniors on how to enjoy old age. In the words of one octogenarian, "No matter how gooda shape you’re in, once you’re 80, you are one old 'motha.'"

4. How cars and highways have made and broken California

Four-level interchange of the 110 and 101 freeways looking northwest, 1956.
Four-level interchange of the 110 and 101 freeways looking northwest, 1956. (AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ARCHIVES)

I've recently become obsessed with cars, highways and the way they've shaped our society. I have a lot of time to think about this during my daily one-hour commute each way, which will eventually add up to seven years of my life spent driving to and from work—let that sink in.

KPCC's commuting and mobility reporter Megan McCarty (yes, that's her real title) traces the origins of California's freeway system back to the mid-20th century and how it set the course for the world we live in today. The piece comes to a bit more of an optimistic conclusion than I think most of us have about traffic and congestion, but it's well worth a read.

5. Looking for a new human-sized hamster wheel?

A human-size hamster wheel is up for sale by Kink.com at the San Francisco Armory.
A human-size hamster wheel is up for sale by Kink.com at the San Francisco Armory.

I've never been a big garage sale guy, but I was definitely intrigued by the sale going on at the San Francisco Armory this weekend.

The fetish porn site Kink.com is having a four-day sale as it moves out of the Armory, where it once made more than 100 films a month. They stopped filming there last year and sold the building earlier this year, meaning it's time for a garage sale!

Among the more unique items available for purchase are a giant hamster wheel, a torture rack and several old dentists chairs. But there's also a bunch of gym equipment, some nice rugs, handsome furniture and works of art.

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As the company hosting the sale says on its website, "There is something for everyone at this sale."

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