MARVIN VAN ARTSDALEN: Our bedroom started to look like a shrine to Mexico. Butch was bringing home souvenirs like sombreros, serapes, and Mexican blankets. Posters depicting the bullfights started adorning our walls. He was really into it.
FRED VAN DYKE: Someone ought to do a psychological profile of that La Jolla group. Carl Ekstrom was one of the few that seemed well adjusted and who took care of himself. The majority of them just seemed so screwy. They all appeared to have such potential, but there seemed to be these flaws or insecurities in their personalities that they covered up. I suspect that’s what all the partying and heavy risk taking in the water was all about; great guys, but totally out of control.
BILLY GRAHAM: We didn’t tolerate any bullshit. Nobody was allowed to just march down to Windansea and start shit with any one of us. Even if you didn’t care for a certain individual within our group, you still had his back. That was what was one of the great things about being from there. We backed each other all the way.
CARL EKSTROM: There were some rough characters down here that were really into survival and were very practiced at what they did. They didn’t want to lose and saw no future in “backing down.” Miki Dora was always afraid of the people from Windansea. I got the feeling he thought we were from the jungle, just uneducated savages. We were savages, but there were a lot of really bright people as well. The intellectual level was way the hell up there, and if you weren’t that smart you had to at least be really shrewd, which Miki should have been able to appreciate. He could have his way with the people from his area up there in Malibu, but he couldn’t pull off his shenanigans down here. We’d see through it in two seconds.
It was an “us against them” kind of thing. I always got along with everybody, but I didn’t get along with the cops. They would shake you down, give you a ticket for anything. We were always getting interrogated, hands up against the car and frisked or thrown in jail on trumped-up charges. They would always find something. “Oh, you don’t have any money on you? You’re going to jail for vagrancy!” Then there were the attitude arrests: They didn’t like your attitude; you were going to jail. They seemed to have a lot of jail space. They really liked it if you would fight because that was an automatic six months in jail. I remember seeing Jim Fisher all beaten up because the cops had worked him over. Another time somebody had flattened the tires on their car, so they grabbed the nearest beach guy they could find and made him get on his hands and knees and try to blow up one of the tires. You were always at their mercy.
Read "Windansea, Butch, and the Art of the Caper" by Douglas Cavanaugh in its entirety in the TSJ archives.