In Memory

David Gordon Chalmers**

DC Chalmers

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06/20/13 08:01 PM #1    

Judy Tschogl (Harris)

Just found an article about DAVID DC CHALMERS ( deceased 2007) and his surfing dog. Posted July 22, 2010 in Surfer magazine. There is a picture of David and his dog Max.   Great story.

I remember David and Judy Bush being a couple in Jr. High.

Thinking  of old friends. Rest in peace David

06/21/13 10:03 AM #2    

Joe Stetser

My sister Olivia visited David in the hospital before his death. His father died by falling in the bath tub there was no safety glass, ironically his mother fell through a plate glass window when we were young and Mr Chalmers never replaced the glass in his own shower, which caused his death.

I also have the postcard of David and his dog surfing when he was running for mayor of Coronado. It also hangs in a little restruant on Palm Bl. We ran into David on one of our trips to Coronado, we take George our dog to the beach for a week He like the Crown Hotel. My daughter was amassed how someone could live with nothing and talk 60 surfer. David and I paid his way to the 20th reunion, couldn't find him for the others. He lived at the time of the 20th in a shack on a million dollar lot, but when the lady that let him live there died the relatives threw him out.

06/22/13 12:27 PM #3    

Bruce C. Harris

Aloha, Stetser:

There was a bit more to the Chalmers story than that.  From the mid-1960's through much of 1970's, I hung out in Coronado a lot, having grown up on "Central Beach" before moving to CV and meeting you at Rice Elementary.  During that time I hung out with the people at Free Brothers Market there on Orange Avenue.  Chalmers married a Coronado girl, (Candy, as I recall), and moved there, and so the "connect".  "DC" and I hocked up for several surfing photo shoots I did for him in Mexico and Coronado, and we stayed in touch.  At that time he was heavily into marijuana.  From what he told me later, he was "introducing" his son to it, when the wife came home, and seeing what was going on, took the boy and left the house, divorcing DC shortly there after (he did not see the boy again until he turned 18, on order of the court).   About 1972 I happened to visit the Free home on a Sunday morning and walked into what was the beginning of the "Coronado Company" affair.  I reported what I had seen to a friend with the San Diego Sheriff"s Department.  The rest is history.  But David was caught up in the web of the "Coronado Company", and though a minor player, he was sentences to "time served" and "community service", and now had a felony conviction.  He also lost his job at Rohr, and spent all his savings (some $5000, a goodly chunk of money at the time) paying attorney fees (some say it was one of the Ronis' that defended him).  The community service involved the "care taking" of the elderly lady you spoke of in your recent post.  I saw the both of them every Sunday for a lengthy time at Graham Memorial Church there in Coronado where I also was a member of the church.   When she passed, her heirs evicted him.  From mutual acquaintances in Coronado, I learned he moved with his dog to the trailer he had there on the beach in Baja.  Same place I did one of the "surf shoots".   In a bit of irony, a number of years after we all graduated, I happened to be at "Central Beach", and ran into John Biggins, his girl friend Sally (he may have married her ?)and Dennis Evans.  We were talking about "stuff" (like Art and Ceramics), and Dennis noticed DC playing volleyball with Marty Jensen, and made a comment something like: ". . . . . DC's "mister cool" now, but by the time he reaches 30, he will be so "zero" you won't be able to find him. . . "  Funny, how that pretty much worked out that way.  I always liked the guy, having worked with his dad at the San Diego Union-Tribune, and my old man working with his mother in the same department at Chula Vista City Schools, and so our paths crossed in numerous ways.  On one of those Sundays we were at church together, I gave him one of the pieces that had been in my graduate show at San Diego State Univeristy in 1977.  I will never forget the enjoyment it brought him.  Somewhere in all the "Art junk" I keep are all of the pictures I took on those surfing adventures we shared. For what all this is worth.


Harris "the Tuareg Corsair"

06/23/13 09:03 AM #4    

Joe Stetser

Bruce I forgot about the conviction, but yes a lost soul. Never did get back in the good with his Dad. Sad deal to watch a friend go down the tubes!

06/23/13 12:58 PM #5    

John Biggin

Bruce thanks for the update.  BTW, Sally and I were married in 1966 and have been living in Humboldt County since 1969.  We both have fond memories of DC and his free spirit.

06/24/13 07:45 AM #6    

Linda Thornton (Burge)

Hi everyone. Jack B. just sent me this site.  Always wondered about Dave.  How sad is this??????  Wow......

06/24/13 09:19 AM #7    

Bruce C. Harris

Aloha again Joe:

DC was never "lost" in where his life went, it was just "different" from the direction you and I (and the bulk of the rest of "us") went.  I came to have a great admiration for him, especially for the "freedom" and the "in the moment" quality he exhibited in how he lived.  Sadly, like my parents, his were never able to come to appreciate the great individual DC was. For what its worth.


Bruce "the Tuareg Corsair" 

Member:  Democratic Party National Committee

(sorry Joe, I just had to through that in)

06/24/13 11:51 AM #8    

Alex Duckworth-Ford (Alex Ford)

An on-line site is called for to view the Harris ceramic art. That way we can buy and be a part of the cosmic experience that the /63 Hilltoppers had then, in a sense, 50 years later! Alex

06/28/13 02:08 PM #9    

Alan Hayashi

David "DC" Chalmers

4/6/ 1945 - 5/3/ 2007

"I trust the process of life.

I'm on an endless journey through eternity,

and I have plenty of time"

--David Chalmers--




I was in Castle Park Junior High School with you.  From there you went on to Hilltop High School.  Recently so many of your classmates and friends have posted comments and memories about you. The comments made me a little curious about your surfing lifestyle so I decided to investigate it.

I found the following posting on the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center website.  It describes your life in so many colorful details that I thought I would share portions of the narrative with your classmates.  


David Chalmers, known as "DC" to his friends, didn't work.  He didn't have a mortgage or a credit card.  He had no computer or cell phone.  And typical of so many from his generation, surfing was the primary motivation in his life.

And yet, people will be talking about him for generations to come.

Dave Chalmers was half of the surfing team of "DC and Max."  With his terrier mutt, he surfed every major point and reef break from Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas, sharing his philosophy and homegrown wisdom with everyone in his path.

He would spot a peak on the horizon before anyone else, paddle into the right spot, drop to the bottom of the sizeable wave, hit the drop-knee turn, and then Max would join him.

Surfer, gardner, surfboard repairman, poet, David Chalmers died peacefully May 3, 2007 following a long bout with cancer.  His family was with him and he was happy.  He was 62 years old.

"My time is not of money, but of living and giving what I have learned in life, to those good friends of mine who have the time to listen."

A paddle-out took place on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. between Gator Beach and Shipwrecks near Coronado Shores.  In memory of David Chalmers.


Dave, in a few months your classmates will be have our 50th year reunion for CVHS and HHS.  We know you won't be there but we all know that you and your faithful terrier Max are on some wave enjoying the "Endless Summer." We will scan the horizon for you.

  Surf's up.



08/12/18 12:35 PM #10    

Cynthia (Cyndi) Doering (WIlson)

What happened to Max?

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