Monday, January 07, 2008

Laguna Beach Man a Former Hiker

An article in the Los Angeles Times of 6 January 2008, titled "Laguna Beach greeter left indelible image" and written by staff writer Cecilia Rasmussen, profiles the late Eiler Larsen. Larsen spent more than 3 decades as the town's goodwill ambassador, shouting hello and waving to people driving into town. There are now two statues that memorialize him.

Pointing out that Larsen was born in 1890 and died in 1975, the article begins:
"He had wandered the world, selling butter in czarist Siberia, fighting in France during World War I, walking the Appalachian Trail with his dog -- and strolling down Colorado Boulevard, unofficially bringing up the rear of the Rose Parade one year."
and includes this further explanation deeper down in the article:
"During the 1920s boom, Larsen worked as a bank messenger on Wall Street. He later walked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia with his dog, Happy, according to The Times' archives. Early in the Depression, he caught the "greeting bug" and began hailing visitors...."
What isn't clear is just whenLarsen and dog hiked. Not immediately after World War I and just before the Depression, that's for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the book, So Clear, So Cool, So Grand (which is actually a diary) - a young man journaled his hike down the Long Trail in Vermont in 1931 (which also connects with the App Trail). The author speaks about an amazing discussion with Eiler Larsen, and even snaps a photo of him. There is also an article about Eiler Larsen in a 1932 edition of the The Vermonter, due to his outgoing and friendly disposition while visiting for awhile in the Rutland, VT area, while heading down the App Trail.