Mike Curren left early on the morning of December 30 on what he promises to be "the
ultimate road trip." As per his usual, he left no hint of his route or destination or even
how long he planned to be away. I'm guessing that he'll be visiting long-time friends
Ronnie "The Fox" LaPolice, Weasel, Bob Dawg, VonTon the Atom Bomb, Pell Mel and
the Rag Man en route before meeting up with his parents and myriad other friends
(whose names he could never remember but they always had a good time whenever
they met). There might be a few casinos and race tracks to be visited before reaching
the final destination which will probably be a broad beach where the Over-The-Line
courts are already set up. The Good Lord knows that there will be drinking on that
beach and the BC's will be iced and served without limes.
Mike was a proud child of Mission Beach, attending Mission Beach Elementary before
moving on to Pacific Beach Junior High and La Jolla High School (Go Vikings!). His
studies at San Diego State were interrupted by the Korean War although he was
fortunate because of surveying training to spend his time in service mapping the
Philippines. Returning to San Diego, he was able to earn his degree in civil engineering
although it took the assistance of a fellow bowler who happened to be the Dean of
Admissions and Records to get it posted.
Mission Beach was different then; it was a place where folks without a lot of money lived.
During the Depression and war years, most parents were doing their darnedest to keep
their families afloat and the kids were left to their own devices. Friendships and
competitions abounded and were long-lived. Over-The-Line was just a game to be
played between body-surfing and volleyball. It was the interest in volleyball that
prompted the establishment of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (so members could
get into the better Southern California beach tournaments) but it was Over-The-Line that
took hold as a tournament that welcomed players of all levels, genders, and abilities
from around the world. It helped if the player or fan had an irreverent sense of humor.
Mike was proud of his association with OMBAC as a founding member and served in all
club offices and roles from the presidency to the grunt work (which was frequently the
same). He was recognized as the founder and chief promoter of the World
Championship Over-The-Line Tournament which grew from eight teams to more than
1300. But he would be the first to tell you that he was only one member of OMBAC and
there were many, many more who were not recognized but who contributed significantly
to any and all of OMBAC's sponsored events.
Mike was a licensed land surveyor who happily plied his trade for more than six
decades. The son of surveyors (his mother was the first female land surveyor licensed
in California), he was an avid student of San Diego's history and enjoyed being
informed by the land and the people. He wasn't quite so fond of the bureaucracy.
Mike was fortunate to travel, visiting countries throughout the world - particularly if they
were more out-of-the-way. Many trips were taken as part of rugby tours with the
OMBAC team; others with friends who shared in the spirit of adventure. Disneyland
was not on his list.
Hoping to get postcards from Mike's current road trip to worlds-beyond-imagination (but
not holding their breaths) are his son Jamie, daughters Amy (Ed Chevalier) and
Shannon (Yossi Langer), grandsons Isaac and Elie, brothers Pat and Terry, and
erstwhile companion, the ever-lovely Helen Duffy.
In Mike's mind, he's just gone off on another adventure so there's no reason for
services. He didn't like them anyhow. If you would like to make a donation in his
memory, donations are welcomed to support OMBAC charitable endeavors (of which
there are many) at Angels of OMBAC at https://angelsofombac.com. If you prefer
something simpler, just pick up a piece of trash from the beach, meet a pal, meet a
stranger, buy a drink, have a laugh, make a friend and enjoy your time together. Mike
never had any fun.