When Long Beach resident Rich Charley heard on the morning of March 23 that the city’s rainbow lifeguard tower had been destroyed in a fire, he decided to see the smoky skeletal remains for himself.
“It hit me personally because I’m a vet that’s gay, and of all the places, the gay life[guard] tower gets burned to the ground,” he said.
But the community soon responded, and on Thursday afternoon, Charley was among dozens gathered at Shoreline Way and 12th Place for a festive unveiling of a new tower. It was painted by city lifeguards, just as the first had been last June in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month.
People waving pride flags cheered as a billowing blue tarp was dragged off the brightly colored tower and a red rescue can was hung on its deck — signaling it was in business.
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