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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Jack LaLanne, 1914 - 2011 [Updated]





  Oct. 4, 1974, Jack LaLanne  


Oct. 4, 1974: Jack LaLanne celebrates his 60th birthday by swimming from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf  in San Francisco -- with his hands and feet tied and pulling a 1,000-pound boat.

In addition to his usual training program -- rising at 4 a.m.  for 90 minutes of weightlifting, 30 minutes of swimming and 30 minutes of running -- he had sat for an hour a day in a bathtub filled with water and 100 pounds of ice, which brought the temperature to 55 degrees, The Times said.

[Updated at 9:32 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said LaLanne was handcuffed. His hands and feet were "bound by cords that allowed minimal freedom."]




 
  Oct. 4, 1974, Jack LaLanne  

  Oct. 4, 1974, Jack LaLanne  

  Oct. 4, 1974, Jack LaLanne  


 
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Comments (5)

In the 1980's, Jack LaLanne lived 3 blocks from me in Alameda, California. I remember going to the end of Pearl Street (this was when the west end of Pearl Street ended at the Bay) and trying to see him during his 1954 swim. I don't think we saw him, though.

Jack takes me back to the b&w tv of the '50s, with the organ playing to his jumping jacks, he in his ballet shoes and tights-tight pants, which was queer to me then tho not to say gay, of which i knew nothing.

Which reminds me of the barefoot, bearded and long-haired Gypsy Boots, who lived in the trees in Griffith Park, and who Steve Allen thought enough of to bring him on his show and let him wax funny philosophical, and that was in the '50s. He too, like Jack, constantly touted raw, natural, healthy food, calling his fruit juice blends "smoothies". When almost all of us knew nothing beyond white bread. Gypsy also lived to 90.

Who says we don't progress? As most all else falls into ruin, including our diabetic-creating diets, we still retain the knowledge they helped instill in us of the good earth many graze, living long, healthy and active.

Off camera, Jack LaLanne was a teeny, tiny, little, Jewish guy. Soft spoken too. A very nice man who lived as he appeared, with great integrity.

A pioneer who used television to spread the belief of exercise. I know many a housewife that was raising youngsters or babystitting others (like me), who would work out with him in the morning, I believe either on KTTV, KHJ, KCOP or KTLA TV. (Maybe, all of them?)

I can't remember the dog's name that he used to have on, but it was very apparent that Mr. LaLanne enjoyed what he did and walked it as he talked it.

I remember jokes that the comedians used to talk about, in the '70's, saying he'd live forever. Mr. LaLanne leaves a legacy that few individuals can claim. I still remember that Alcatraz and the Long Beach swim.

A TV show

An Entrepreneur - Health Clubs, juicers, foods, etc.
and a way of life.

Jack, we'll truly miss you (and your dogs). Comedians aside, at least Jack will live forever in our hearts and our minds.

We just posted an article from 1982 when he was moving to Morro Bay.
http://sloblogs.thetribunenews.com/slovault/2011/01/24/remembering-jack-lalanne/


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