Sending Off a Diving Legend
On a personal note, I mark the move to more heavenly pastures of Lad Handelman, a pioneering abalone diver who parlayed his underwater pastime into a successful commercial diving operation for the offshore gas and oil fuel industry.
Lad, who grew up in New York, founded Oceaneering International Inc. and Cal Dive International Inc., which became two of the largest independent diving companies in the world.
Despite suffering a broken neck in a 1985 snow skiing accident that left him a paraplegic, it didn’t stop him leading an active lifestyle from his magnificent aerie on TV Hill overlooking our Eden by the Beach.
His July 4th parties were legend and I was lucky enough to be invited regularly when his miniature cannons were fired to compete with the piercing siren of the Amtrak surf liner train which I dubbed “Boom With a View” in my News-Press columns at the time.
Octogenarian Lad, who hated mentioning his age, was also a passionate supporter of the United Boys and Girls Club, and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.