Here’s Cheers To A Bar Buddy Who Kept An Entire Area Entertained
I don’t remember the first time I ever met Joe Anderson – that’s a pretty common thing among the single people in the Los Angeles Beach Cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach – but I most definitely remember the first time I partied with him.
It was during the Manhattan Open, a local event that is known as the Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball. For South Bay singles, the event is as much about socializing as it is sports. We were in a bar called Beaches (which is now Strand House) when a motorhome pulled up to the door. Only Joe paid it any attention and he went out to talk to the people getting out of it.
Turns out it was a couple about our age from out of town on vacation, and within minutes Joe had convinced them to pile us in the thing and go for a road trip! We wound up at a party right on the beach in Seal Beach and had a night none of us will ever forget.
And that said it all about Joe; he was spontaneous fun. With Joe, you always had the feeling something fun was about to happen. And it usually did happen.
Joe is no longer with us. He paid his tab on Earth and arrived in heaven, where they parted the velvet ropes and put him in the VIP section. I’m sure the good Lord has a seat for him at the bar, a big glass with his name etched on it and an open tab. “That’s okay Joe, it’s on me,” he’ll say.
You could spot Joe from a mile away. He had a smile as big as a Sharkeez bucket. Those huge teeth opened up to a friendly face that always seemed to be happy. And that made all of us happy.
The moments I’ll miss Joe the most are the places where he was such a fixture: Manhattan Beach’s Hometown Fair, helping organize a party bus to Old World Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach, the Halloween parties where he always dressed in the same lame costume, the Super Bowl 10K, Fiesta Hermosa, the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day parade (he was even in the parade a few times, as the Redondo Beach Street Rugby team). the Long Beach Grand Prix and, of course, the summer pro beach volleyball tournaments.
As well as on our occasional jaunts to Vegas and Waikiki Beach, where he would make sure we all did one of the Sunday champagne brunches. Joe loved Sunday champagne brunches wherever he was, home or away.
We’re all better off for having known Joe. He not only made us laugh, but howl.