Dennis "Denny" Stetler

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04/04/13 09:52 AM #1    

Jim Nunn

I miss the Denny who lived right down the street, between us and Oak Grove.I spent many days at his house  I got to know Denny, the boy, very well.  He literally did have a sparkle in his eye.  I also got to know his mom and his brother, Lynn.  His father was often away. When he was home, he lit into the boys pretty good. (Not that they didn't have it coming sometimes). Denny was inventive, playful, and loving of his pet hamsters.  We spent hours making mazes for them out of playing cards. He also liked baseball, and, like me had an addition to baseball cards. (Or was it that gum--so hard you could scratch glass with it).  The last time I saw Denny, he was with Ross. We were at Ralph's family's house in Corona Del Mar, having spent the day at the beach.  The Rollins were not at home, but I had asked Ralph if I could sleep in his backyard. He said I could, but not to make any noise.  Ross and Denny showed up. They had been drinking and got into it.  Punches were exchanged.  Denny, particularly, was out of control. To keep warm, someone broke up a piece of furniture and set it afire.  A neighbor must have called the police. They left in Denny's car, a little tin rattler of a convertable--I think it was a Singer he got from the Silverthornes.  I was caught.  I spent what seemed like a couple hours in the back of a police car while they tried to get in touch with Ralph's dad.  That was the last time I saw Denny.  I barely recognized him from the kid down the block I once knew. I miss that Denny.  I guess drinking finally got him.  But something quenched that sparkle long before.

05/23/13 08:48 PM #2    

Brian Rood

I knew Denny from almost the time I was born.  Friends at Oak Grove, at LCJHS, room mates at UCSB.  I remember him running his car into the bridge support on the freeway near Devil's Gate and nearly killing himself in 65, and kind of knew that was how he would end.  so sad when he died in a tragic auto accident in 74.  We drifted apart years ago, but i still remember him and his family well.  Sweet, troubled guy.

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