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The Working World's a Wipeout for Surfing Champ Who Just Wants to Have Fun

June 14, 1987|Herbert J. Vida

Charles (Corky) Carroll was a world surfing champion at age 18, but some say he probably performed better at sidestepping jobs. He's not against people working. "It's just not for me," he said.

That reputation for a fun-filled, workless life led to Lite Beer television commercials, which show him in a beer bar deciding whether to get a "real job." He ends up saying "Nah."

"I've always had a good time," said Carroll, 39, who recently returned from a surfing camp in Fiji. "It beats working. This is the way I want my life to go."

So far he's made it.

"I don't really have a job now," said Carroll, who was considered a pro surfer at age 11 and now survives by making television and radio commercials, acting as an advertising consultant and commentating on a television surfing show. He also endorses surfboards and sunglasses and markets his own line of "Corky" casual clothes.

In between, he plays tennis in celebrity tournaments, such as the July San Clemente Fiesta Pro/Celebrity Tennis Classic.

"That's my kind of work," said Carroll, who lives in Capistrano Beach.

Surfing has provided the former Huntington High School student a fun life.

For instance, he once was paid to open a surfing park in Tempe, Ariz. "There it was," he said, "right in the middle of a desert. It looked like a large toilet."

And while competing in the Big Wave Surfing Championship in Peru, Carroll became ill and was admitted to a hospital, where doctors prescribed a two-week stay. "No way," he remembers saying, and with the help of a friend he stole his way to an elevator.

Unfortunately, Carroll was wearing a hospital gown without a bottom half.

He said the elevator stopped in a kitchen filled with women, who screamed. Carroll made his way to a waiting car but was later detained by police for leaving a hospital without paying the bill.

Carroll still surfs but not in competition, one of the rules he accepted with the other professional athletes who appear in the Lite Beer commercials.

He said he once had a band and toured, "but that was too hard work. Work is a bad name, and I didn't like that. I like the fun in the sun."

Sitting barefoot at his desk overlooking the Pacific Ocean across the street, looking at the rolling surf, wearing shorts, T-shirt and drinking a can of pop, Carroll summed it up: "I have a good time."

Seal Beach Police Officer Rick Paap, 37, has been talking to kids through dummy "Officer Safety" to teach them safety rules in the community as well as walking to and from school.

Now Paap is about to expand his teachings with "Prisoner Pete," a loser he hopes will teach kids that dropping out and getting into trouble is the wrong way to live. "He's also going to help me teach kids to say no to drugs," said Paap.

"Prisoner Pete" will make his first appearance at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on Channel 9. His message? "Don't be a loser."

Now there's a pregnagym.

"It's a new concept especially for expectant women," said Debra Shell of Cypress, spokeswoman for Humana Hospital West Anaheim, which operates the gym. "We feel we have a different type of exercise program, but we're not trying to compete with other gyms."

She said doctors have always prescribed exercise for pregnant women, "but this differs in that we have a fully monitored and climate-controlled program."

Shell said the equipment in the gym is the result of testing by an obstetrician who developed Pregnagym. The gym opened last month in the West Anaheim Medical Plaza, across the street from the hospital, and has about 40 pregnant women enrolled.

Women who have their children delivered at the hospital can have free use of the gym, and women who deliver elsewhere are charged $100. All must have their doctors' permission to participate.

Jeffrey S. Glueck, a senior and valedictorian at Newport Harbor High School, was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by the graduating class, and no wonder. His academic and community accomplishments take two single-spaced typewritten pages to record.

Jeffrey was so impressive, he was accepted by all his college choices: Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Harvard.

He'll be attending Harvard in the fall.

Acknowledgments--Danielle T. Gastineaw, 13, of Fullerton, was named Honorary Bat Girl for the June 21 Father's Day home run sweepstakes at Angel Stadium. The Woodcrest School student will be outfitted in an Angels bat girl uniform and will be introduced with her family to the baseball crowd.

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