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2016 Reunion… we have received some inquires about when are we going to have another reunion? Well we have nothing planned but would like to know if there is any interest out there. So post on the blog or email us at:

We still have a few coins (approx. 10) left so if you want one you had better move quickly. Just ask anyone that has one and they will tell you about the quality of the coin. DO IT NOW!!! For coin information read below.


We still have some of these beautiful coins left so if you are interested in purchasing one or more here is the information you need. Each coin is $5 plus the shipping cost. All proceeds for the sale of the coin will go to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Contact Larry Boggs at 530.343.1989 or email Larry at: Your going to want one for your children and grandchildren.

Larry is also taking orders for Oak Grove Hotshot Tee shirts. They come in either long or short sleeve and one color black. If you’re even thinking about it, do it, because this is not going to come around again.

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What are you doing these days. Drop us a note so we can let everyone know.

We here on the Oak Grove Hotshot web site are wondering what crew members are doing these days. Well Chuck Grennell, has been painting and has submitted his beautiful watercolor below. If you have something your proud of and want to show up, let us know and we would be happy to post it.

cow camp cabin 008

I’ve been working on this watercolor, Cowboy Cabin Near Highlands Lake, for a while; I recently finished it. This painting is based on a photograph that I took of a cabin near the top of Ebbetts Pass off of State Route 4, in Alpine County. This is a transparent watercolor on a half sheet of 300 pound Arches Aquarelle paper; it measures 22.5” X 15.25”. Chuck Grennell

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We are getting down to the last of the 2014 Reunion coins and it is beautiful, and your going to want one. They are $5 plus shipping. Get your order in now. Email Larry Boggs at: All profits will go to the Wildland Firefighter Fund. We have raided over $400 selling coins for the fund so please join us with this great cause.

OK for all of you that attended the Tahoe reunion, please send us your photos so we can put them on our site.
Thanks to all that attended and please make comments on our site for all to read. Steve


If you have not already registered you need to by April 21st to secure the great deal at this 5 star hotel.

If you register after that date, call Theresa Hiatt-Downer, the Hotel Conference Sales Manager at: 530.543.2114 direct to register. If the hotel is not full she will honor our special low room rate.


The hotel has agreed to reduce the daily room rate from $119 + tax to $99 + tax. This is a great rate for this hotel.

We also found an option while visiting the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. It is always fun to get out on the lake and one way is to travel to Emerald Bay on one of two paddle wheeled boats. You can get discounted tickets through: Go to there search block in the upper right corner and type in: $23 – Lake Tahoe: Scenic Cruise to Emerald Bay Reg. $49


Due to not having enough requests for a minimum order we are unable to fill the few requests we did get. If you still want a Tee shirt contact the company below. They have our artwork and will fill your order.

730 W. 9th Street
Chico, Ca 9598



Oak Grove Hotshot
2014 Reunion
May 20th and 21st
South Lake Tahoe

Happy New Year, the clock is ticking and if you have not looked at the clock lately, time is ticking away for the May 2014 Oak Grove Hotshot Reunion. To secure your room and rate, you need to make your reservations now. There is a limited block of rooms available with excellent rates which are way below the standard room rate for this time of year. If something comes up you can always cancel your reservations up to 72 hours in advance of arrival date.

Collectively, all of you know where more Oak Grove and Chilao crew members are than we do, so we are asking you to contact fellow crew members notifying them or reminding them of the up and coming Oak Grove Reunion. Todd Heckert found Gerry Himango, crew of 1960, and both are planning to attend. Come and join us watch beautiful Lake Tahoe dry up along with everything else in California.

And please reply to this reminder telling us if you are planning to attend or not.


It has come to our attention that there maybe some folks that either want another “Tee shirt” or missed out on getting one at the 2012 reunion. The organizing committee wants to help but here is the reality.

The artwork will be the same as for the 2012 Arcadia reunion, so your cost will be the price of the shirt(s). Shipping adds cost and time to the high tee shirt cost so we will not ship but will bring the shirts to the 2014 reunion and deliver there.

We will only offer one color, BLACK in either short or long sleeve.

Price for short sleeve will be $21.00
Price of shirts includes taxes.
Price for long sleeve will be $25.00

March 1 will be the cut off for shirt orders.

Send shirt orders to:

Larry Boggs, 838 Jacobs Court, Chico, California 95926.
Shirt orders are to include Name, phone number, email, mail address, shirt quantity, size, specify Short or Long Sleeve Shirts and a check for the full amount of the order.

If you have questions you can contact Larry: or call 530-343-1989


Oak Grove Hotshot
2014 Reunion
May 20th and 21st
South Lake Tahoe

Our next reunion is informal, no speakers, no raffles, no nothing except seeing each other and talking old times. Our basic plan is to have a place, a time and we hope you show up. Bring your family and tell your old fire fighting friends. This reunion is open to all not just the Oak Grove Crew.

Make your reservations now so you don’t miss out on this reunion. You can always cancel if plans change.

We have made discounted block room arrangements for the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel; formerly the Lake Tahoe Embassy Suites. For room reservations call: 800.988.9894 The group name is: HOTSHOT.

Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel really does it all. Free Breakfast Buffet served in the atrium, and nightly Happy Hour, also in the atrium, are included in every reservation at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. Lunch and dinner are served, for your dining pleasure, in Echo, featuring California Casual Cuisine, in a relaxed environment where you can catch all the latest sports action on the many flat screens surrounding the room.

We have had a challenge coin designed specifically for this reunion. All former Oak Grove Hotshot crew members that attend the reunion will receive this beautiful special coin.

If you have any questions please call Steve at: 888.532.5196 and email us at and let us know your coming. We would love to hear from you and don’t forget our blog at:

The images below represent both sides of a 1 3/4″ coin that will be given to every former crew member that attends the 2014 reunion.

Oak Grove Hotshot Challenge coin

Oak Grove Hotshot
Challenge coin

Oak Grove Hotshot
2014 Reunion
May 20th and 21st
South Lake Tahoe

Our next reunion is informal, no speakers, no raffles, no nothing except seeing each other and talking old times. Our basic plan is to have a place and time. We have both now and we hope you show up.

We have made discounted block room arrangements for the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel; formerly the Lake Tahoe Embassy Suites. For room reservations call: 800.988.9894 The group name is: HOTSHOT.

We are also having a challenge coin designed specifically for this reunion. All former Oak Grove Hotshot crew members that attend the reunion will receive this special coin.

There has to be at least one of the activities below that is still on your bucket list.

Just some of the area activities include:

Golf at six area golf courses

Lake Tahoe Cruises.. Either the Tahoe Queen or MS Dixie Paddlewheel Boats

Tahoe Ducks… tour boat


Balloon Rides

Spa Services

Horseback Riding


Charter Boat Rentals

Helicopter Tours


Power Boat Rentals

Bike Rentals

Bike Tours

Almost forgot Gambling

I am going to be there so make plans now and do not forget to network with your fellow crew members. If you missed the 2012 Reunion you do not want to miss this one.


Due to everyone having had so much fun recounting stories with fellow crew members at our 2012 Reunion, we are planning another in May, 2014. This will also give crew members that were unable to attend the 2012 Reunion, a chance to catch up.

The 2014 Reunion will be much lower key with no speakers or fan fare. Basically, we are just picking a place and a time to get together.

The place is Lake Tahoe, and as America’s largest alpine lake, it’s easy to have a fun time at Lake Tahoe. The recreation at this mountain vacation paradise is virtually unlimited. Hiking and biking, world class golf, water sports, paddlewheel boat cruises, trail riding and so much more.

Lake Tahoe is famous for 12 months out of the year. Casino gaming. Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and Sports Books are all there. Tahoe casinos also boast a wide variety of excellent restaurants and the biggest names in entertainment perform regularly.

We are planning two nights at the Embassy Suites ( Embassy Tahoe is located in the heart of South Shore’s action, right on the state line.

Fly into Reno (approx. one hour away) or into the South Lake Tahoe Airport.

We will keep our blog up to date and remind you as we get closer. Until then continue to help us find former crew members who would like to join us.

We know this is two years off, but please let us know if this sounds interesting to you so that we can get an estimate of attendance.

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IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE 2012 REUNION PHOTOS, GO TO: Reunion photos can be purchased from this site.

PASSWORD = crew1 (the number one)

If I spelled your name wrong, let me know at

Please post comments and let us know what you think.

If you wish to purchase a photo CD from Doug Beck, he can be reached at: 707.443.2639 (H) or 707.834.4646 (C)

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January 17, 2013

Due to the great financial support of friends and fellow crew members at our 2012 reunion, we have paid all our bills and have been able to donate $3,000 to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. This was a promise we made and have kept. Oak Grove Hotshots will continue to support our fellow Hotshots as they go into harms way.

Read the details at:

The Oak Grove Hotshot 2012 Reunion was held on May 23, at the Supervisors office of the Angeles National Forest. With over 140 crew members and their families attending from as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska (Dave Maxell) and Huntsville, Alabama (Ron Shurney). The Reunions master of ceremony was George Roby, former Arroyo Seco, District Ranger and Angeles National Forest Supervisor. The Reunion started with members of the Forest Service Honor Guard presenting the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. Welcoming former crew members was current Angeles Forest Supervisor Tom Contreras and District Ranger Mike McIntyre. In attendance were five former Oak Grove Superintendents, Tom Ralls (1961-62), George Pond (1963-64), Larry Boggs (1965-71), Chet Cash (1971-73) and Steve Arney (1974-78). Acknowledgements included the Reunion organizers Larry Boggs, Bob Serrato and Steve Arney, as well as those that donated cash and auction items. Doug Beck (crew of 1968) supplied professional photography for the Reunion and Gordon Rowley brought in an impressive historical display of firefighting equipment. Crew members from the Del Rosa, Little Tujunga, Dalton, Chilao and Los Padres Hotshots, also participated. Lively conversations, yarn telling and reacquainting with old friends and crew members continued on at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

More details on our donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and crew photos to follow.

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Crew Stories

I was a forester attached to the Oak Grove Hotshots in 1976 through 1978. Whenever the crew was short, I was just 5 minutes from the office so I got called out a lot. I spent two full months with the crew in 1977. Since I am in several pictures with the crew in 1976 and 1977 I thought I would send along a few of my best pictures from the Hog Fire on the Klamath. This was a 9 day assignment on the line and as I recall, we had one hot can meal on a ridge that whole assignment. Now they call this coyote tactics, then it was called “being hung out to dry”. C-Rations…I still can’t look at pork in a can, but I would fight over a the English Toffee in a B-2 unit. Still have my P38 on my key chain, just in case.

Steve Arney had modified his Dodge emblem to read DOG on the front of his pickup truck in 1976. The crew switched the first and the last letters and he didn’t notice until the end of the 1977 fire season. We did have fun.

I retired as the Stanislaus NF Forest Silviculturist. Still working on a Type 2 Incident Management Team as Plans Chief through City of Sonora FD. I had an assignment in September where I saw Bob Serrato who told me about the reunion possibility and your site.

Sorry, I can’t remember the other crew members names in these pictures. I am working our my logistics for attending the reunion. George Roby was my first Ranger when I got picked up.
John Schmechel

The two photos below are of Oak Grove Hot Shot Crew 1-4-2 laying a pipeline from a spring in upper Millard Canyon to Sunset Ridge to a place I believe called Sierra Saddle. It’s a couple miles, give or take, east of the Sunset Ridge Station. If I remember the story correctly, a group of equestrians, maybe a club, stopped there one day and thought it would be nice to have water there for their horses. They passed the hat and collected several hundred dollars and took the money down to the District Ranger at Oak Grove. That summer, 1959, we built the water system. It consisted of a water trough and drinking fountain. A bit of historical trivia.
Dick Willamson.

The Great Oak Grove Shaving Cream Massacre of 1968
A short work of non-fiction
Chuck Grennell

This tale takes place during a time that I was employed on the Oak Grove Hot Shot crew and working in the Angeles National Forest. As the reader of this work might imagine, when a bunch of eighteen-year-olds work and are housed together for a summer, there would be more than a few practical jokes played. This story is the account of one such event. It is specifically chosen (and slightly modified) for its “G” rating. Not everything that happened that summer can be revealed, even after the passage of forty four years.

This is chronicled with some speculation and conjecture that assumes information that is not in the possession of the author. The author would therefore not be in a position to testify, under oath, to all of the details that will be told here. This is, however, chiefly intended to be non-fiction.

The plot was hatched by those two well-known practical jokers Frank Hacker and Paul Evens. They were always known as “Hacker and Evens.” Most of the crew members were called by their last names; that part wasn’t unusual. The unusual part was that their names were perpetually intertwined, linked and paired. They were seldom referred to singly. When their names came up, it was pretty much always as a duo and pretty much always Frank’s name first and Paul’s name second.

I don’t know which one of the two came up with this plan; I’m fairly sure that they both put their minds to it with a will. In the final analysis, they seemed equally at the bottom of the attack.

The Great Oak Grove Shaving Cream Massacre occurred late one night, in the summer of 1968, after the mandatory lights-out time. As I recall that would have been after 10:00 Post Meridian. There were three different wings to the barracks that we all shared. Frank and Paul were together in a smaller wing. The rest of us were spread out in the two larger wings of the building. My associates and I were in the middle barracks wing and either asleep or trying to get there when this all happened.

Without warning the lights in our wing suddenly came on. There stood Hacker and Evens in their boxer shorts. They were each holding a can of Barbasol shaving cream in both hands. And they were both hollering: “Shaving cream fight!” They began running up and down the length of our barracks wing spraying shaving cream on everyone and everything. The reader will easily be able to imagine that they clearly had the advantage in this endeavor. This was partly due to the fact that none of the rest of us had been forewarned about this impending and unwarranted attack. It was sort of the shaving cream version of Pearl Harbor as far as the element of surprise goes. The degree of injury that was inflicted was, of course, considerably less.

The natural reaction of the group under attack was to jump out of bed and try to extract some amount of revenge. The advantage, in this instance, being on the side of the Hacker/Evens team, led to their ability to make good their escape without suffering any retribution at all Or so they thought.

They had apparently worked out most of the details with some degree of precision, including their getaway. They ran off into the night and hid somewhere outside that we never did discover. It turned out that they’d made one small miscalculation in this otherwise brilliant escapade. When they made their egress they had dropped their arsenal on the floor; I suppose that they thought that they might run faster with empty hands. They did run fast and there’s no denying that.

When the posse returned to the barracks, after having given up on finding the shaving cream terrorists, I happened to notice the abandoned cans of shaving cream on the floor of the barracks. An idea came to me that I felt a need to act on. I don’t know that I would have done this without the extreme provocation that had led up to all of this.

I grabbed up all four cans of shaving cream and completely emptied the remaining contents into each of Hacker/Evens’ bunks. I pulled the sheets and blankets back up to the top. I disposed of the empty cans in the bathroom waste basket, so as not to leave any obvious clues behind.

Much, much later that night I knew exactly when they had returned. The rest of the crew did, too. Everyone woke up to hear a very loud chorus of “Oh, no! Oh, crap! Not this!” and other spontaneous utterances that I’ll leave to the imagination of the reader, this story having a “G” rating.

I don’t know that Frank or Paul ever did know who accomplished this successful counterattack. I don’t recall that I ever took credit for it prior to the writing of this story. I am writing this now so that I can send it to Frank’s widow Mrs. Gisela Hacker. I had told her that I’d try to come up with something that I could remember about that summer that I’d spent with the Hacker and Evens duo. Frank passed away way too early. His kids were young and didn’t get normal lifetime to get to know their Dad. I hope that this story will let them know that he had a good (if somewhat unusual) sense of humor. I often think that is one of the most important senses that a person needs to develop. Frank had managed to develop this one early on in life.

Chuck Grennell January 19, 2012

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We need your help


Our list of those that have worked on the Oak Grove Hotshot crew is far from complete. Below are names, and in some cases, not complete names of fellow crew members we need contact information for. Please take a minute and look at the list and see if you have any information that will help us find these folks. We want to find them and alert them to the reunion on May 23, 2012.

Paul Hogan,
Ron Harper, Keith Humphry,
Victor Ortega, Howard Clearman,
Richard Gettmen, Steve Hassel,
Doug Petrie, Glen Howard,
Art Brunston, Mike Dunn,
Jim Geer, Steve Pock,
Rusty Ramsey,
Jim Comer, Gene Kaldhusdal,
Frank Helper,
Joe Perez, John Alexander,
Larry Humphrey,
Leo Edmo, Roger Richcreek,
Robert Switzer, Otto Heisis,
Dennis Begay, Earl (Skip) Pike,

Bill Padinick, Phil Main,
Mike Czamecki, Ed Smith,
Jack Horton, Norm White,
Tommy Brumfield, Tom Deal,
John Stutler,
Bruce Stevenson, Kee Tsosie,
Bob Powers, Dana Crapa,
Dick Cramer, Tom Holden,
Dave Ohlson, Dave Busch,
Richard Reardon, Don Bingham,
Robert Murphy, Chris Paulson,
Don Fritchman, Pat Burgess,
Pat Felde, Rex Johnson,
Donald Glauthier,
Doug Disckson, Vincent Antone,
Allan Fowler, Sam Bennet,
Michael Yow, John Lavato,
Byron Crocker, Calvin Tane,
Ed Hook Tom Zwoa,
Johnny Lewis, Pete Roble,
Bob McDonald,
Brett Higbee,
Oscar Martinez, Randy Sewalson (sp),
Bob Slate, Charles T. Smith,
Pete Miller,
Carl Lannon, Bill Cummings,
Roy Hendria, Jerry Harris,
Lewis Blades, Daryll Norwalk,
Ron Hammond, Ken Vistad,
Mike Gross, Art Romero,
Jim Funk, Paul Hope,
Phil Perkins, Paul Johnson,
Dick Gitman, Danny Bangs,
John Bowman, Tom Dell,
Begay, Chris Hazen,
Lorni Hazen, Phil Seeley,
Dennis Mitchell, Brian Warner,
Mike Pepkey, Shawn Walls,
Mark Closet, Mike Terry,
(?) Shuman, (?) York,
B. Barnard, (?) Robinson,
(?) Alvarez, M. Smith,
W. Poepke, (?) Compos,
Ken Tolen, (?) Ridgeway,
(?) Shoop, (?) Johnson,
K. Burnes, J. O’Malley,
W. Berringer, Frank Hacker,
(?) Evans, Clifford Penny,
Richard Boatwright, Albert “Bobby” Harris,
Denny Ales,
Howard (The Old Man) Drake,
Ken McCool, “Speedy” Gozales,
Robert E.Begay, Frank Halper,
Don Benda,

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