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Judge Robert Baxley, 76; a lifeguard who also loved the law

Judge Baxley, the Lifeguard

Judge Baxley, the Lifeguard (see “BAX” bracelet on book cover)

Link: Judge Robert Baxley, 76; a lifeguard who also loved the law | The San Diego Union-Tribune

I’m heart sick. Why can’t I meet anyone before they die? Wouldn’t it have been great to hang out with “Bax”? Maybe he could have taught me to surf.

Judge Robert C. Baxley was as a doer and a dreamer. He poured as much energy into a vigorous recreational agenda as he did into the legal profession he loved.

“He was a total Renaissance guy,” said Superior Court Judge Frederic Link, a friend and longtime colleague. “His friends ranged from surf bums to Nobel Prize winners.”

Judge Baxley, who retired from the San Diego Superior Court bench in 1998 after suffering a stroke, died Monday at his home in Point Loma. He was 76. He had been suffering from respiratory complications, his family said.

Appointed to the Superior Court bench by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1992, he “loved being a judge and was heartbroken when he had to leave,” Link said.

After retiring, Judge Baxley wrote the second of two books, “A Miscellaneous Lawyer,” and traveled the world.

“A lot of us say we want to do things and never do,” Link said. “Bob would do it.”

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The WindanSea Surf Club Story

This article was originally written for the WSC Menehune contest program, October, 2005

It has always been about the place. Without the fortuitous geological formation of an underwater reef during past eons, just offshore from a steep, sandy, south-facing beach on the bulbous spit of land called La Jolla, none of this would have happened. But it did. The earth cooled, the reef formed, the ocean levels rose and settled with the ages, the summer south swells came, and the first intrepid wave riders who took the time to look noticed how perfectly the waves broke there, peeling left and right from a peak, with deep water channels surrounding it, and a thick kelp bed growing offshore to smooth the surface of the waves. It’s a glorious and beautiful place, this beach we call WindanSea. Continue reading

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