GET OFF YOUR ROCKERS
A BRIEF HISTORY
Curious about the 'Rocker' DNA? How and when we were 'born'? Who were the leading instigators? What stories and adventures are part of our history? It's a fascinating history of this now 26-year-old organization, with roots older than that.
EARLY YEARS - LATE 1980’S TO 2004
A group who remembered happenings back 30 or more years sat down recently. They recalled, reminisced, laughed and joked about those early years. And now we are putting those recollections to paper for all to enjoy and so our history is not lost forever.
Our ‘birth’ evolved from an earlier ski club called Over the Hill. Made up of avid skiers, it was a large organization, but with requirements and rules too restrictive for a group wanting to expand the club’s interests (and not wanting to pay national dues).
So in 1992, a group of about 100 pulled away from that ski club and named their new ‘offspring’ Off Your Rockers. The first newsletter came out. Sally Rothfus wrote it - having the only computer in the club at the time. In a month, they changed the name to Get Off Your Rockers (didn’t like the double meaning, I guess). You hopefully know some of these early ‘pioneers’: Sally Billig, Betty Brown, June and Fred Kubli, Bob and Nony Milmoe, Charlotte and Art Gumbrell, Edie Roach (Akita), Sally and Dick Rothfus and Myrna and Terry Hickey.
The big sports then were SKIING, TENNIS, GOLF and SAILING, which involved TRAVEL. They sailed 13 times all over the world! The Virgin Islands, Greek islands, and the Caribbean to name a few. They skied many places, even Argentina in our summer, of course. Ski caravanning for 2 months was popular - hitting Utah, Idaho, Mammoth, Taos then Colorado! Even local tennis ‘traveled’ around the city, using a different location each week, all scheduled ahead. The golfers traveled outside the area too - to Nevada and even to Maui,
June K. had the idea to have one or two ALL CLUB events each year, bringing into being the Spring Brunch and Holiday Gala. With a club bank account boasting $3000, these events started out totally funded (at classy venues too - Torrey Pines Inn and Lomas Santa Fe Country Club)! Then for a number of years, these events took place in downtown San Diego on the top floor of the Imperial House, until we started using the present venue, the Admiral Baker Golf Club.
Statistically, by 1997, the club had 174 members and the beginnings of a website. Potluck attendance was 25 to 40, mostly in private homes. The ski group numbered over 40, sailing nearly that many and tennis at least 20. The club was indeed going strong! According to newsletters from that time and a nice article in the LA Times, activities included skiing, tennis, hiking, sailing, camping, golf, potlucks, dancing, bridge and cultural. Wow!
In the late 90’s, a decision was made to concentrate on ACTIVE activities. Although over the years, activities included bridge and a book club, the emphasis has been on active!
Stories about those earlier trips - The group recalled a sailing/ snorkeling trip to Tonga and Fiji landing them in the middle of revolution between the Indians and the Fijians struggling for power. Our group stayed out of trouble - remembering an outdoor beach BBQ and ladies going to church in huge, colorful hats.
Another adventure while canoeing in Guatemala - One of the canoes overturned, and the young, new guide nearly had heart failure worrying about those ‘old ladies’ dumped in the water on his first guide trip! Needless to say, they all survived quite well.
MORE RECENT - 2004 AND THE NEXT 10 YEARS
The next EVOLUTION came in about 2004 when a group from yet another ski club, Top of the Hill Gang (a singles group losing members because of marriages!), joined GOYR. Wanting a few more social opportunities, Dolores Buller started social hours and Sharon Pearsley the now popular Wexers. Sometime in there, Charlotte G. started a biking group that was then was led by Betty Brown for years. Par 3 golf was brought into being by Linda Sterger. Linda recalls the club paid for and sent her to training in computer publishing so the newsletter became much more professional. John Pearsley became the webmaster for many years. Charitable activities sprouted up too, and the club now makes significant impact in the community.
From 2005 to present, our history is in newsletters on the website and can easily be researched.
WHAT ARE WE TODAY? – 2018
The club has changed and continues to do so. A steady increase in membership of an additional 100 members (as of this writing, 284 in all) has necessitated potluck venue changes (record attendance has been 75) and more picnics for greater space. The biking group is now well over 50 with attendance regularly at least 25, sometimes 35. Wexers has at least 15 every week. Par 3 golf, foot golf ( a Sally Rothfus inspiration), kayaking, boogie boarding (summer only) , hiking (a good 15 at least), bowling and camping are popular and growing opportunities. Our cultural activities are broad in scope as well. Our Spring Brunch and Holiday Gala always ‘sell out’ at more than 100 in attendance. A fun, added feature is the awarding of special ‘golden ski boot’ or ‘golden tent stake’ or ‘bowling’ prizes to a few who either by outstanding deed, mishap or funny happening deserved special recognition.
Whether because of increasing cost or the challenge of weather, the ski group was shrinking but is now growing again with up to 12 or so ‘regulars.’ Sailing could use some energy - to faraway places perhaps. Travel remains big, always arranged through travel agencies. Our members go everywhere! Some favorite, memorable trips have been Bike and Barge in the Netherlands - really outstanding; a fantastic Roatan, Honduras, snorkeling adventure hosted by our own Diane Coming at her B&B; biking along the Erie Canal in the fall; and nearly annual outings to Borrego Springs with biking, hiking, camping and just enjoying the desert. Possibly becoming a repeat event is enjoying those same activities in our local Big Bear mountains by the lake. The club moves on.
For more insight into our ‘past,’ the newsletters from 1988 to 2005 are now on the website under ‘Newsletter Archive.’ Go to ‘Documents’ on the menu. For more details of our past, have a ‘look.’ They make very interesting reading!
Please understand this is not intended to be a complete history in any way. It attempts to hit highlights of the past so that those memories are not lost forever. Many members who have contributed much to the success of this club may not have been mentioned by name. Apologies to the many omissions - time, space and fading memories you know - please forgive!