Updated July 17, 5:17 p.m. A memorial service will be held for Skip Harvey on Saturday, July 21 at 3 p.m. at Canyon Lodge in Mammoth Lakes.
Stanley Thayer “Skip” Harvey, two-term Mammoth Lakes Town Councilman, Owner of Base Camp Cafe and longtime ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area died in his home on July 16, 2012 surrounded by close friends. He was 60.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Skip moved to California in the fall of 1974, and got a job managing Pat’s Liquors in Manhattan Beach.
He’d been there a few months when a young guy walked in one day, took a case of beer off the shelf, and started to walk out. Skip chased him, thinking he was a thief. “Don’t worry,” said Pat. “That’s just Gordon.”
And so began a lifelong friendship with Gordon Clements. The pair opened the Annex Deli together in Manhattan Beach in April 1975. Their Deli was known throughout the beach cities, as the pair chose to advertise their shop on females’ bikini bottoms.
Gordon sold his share to Skip in 1978 to move to Australia, where he is a builder in Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast. Skip remained running the Annex.
His other best friend, Larry Getzoff, opened Beach Pizza across the alley from the Annex Deli in 1984. As recently as 2012 the pair worked together to open up another of Larry’s restaurants in Playa del Rey.
Skip began skiing Mammoth in the ’70s and bought a small condo at Krystal Villa West sometime around 1980.
In 1993, he made the big lifestyle change, selling the Annex Deli and moving to Mammoth full-time where he was already working as a ski instructor and Ski School Supervisor. His instructors consistently voted him as one of the top supervisors at Mammoth Mountain.
Skip later opened Base Camp Cafe.
Through the years, Base Camp has been just that for many a Mammoth resident and visitor, offering comfort food and service with a smile, a place where you can go by yourself to be by yourself or go to find some friends to share a meal.
And through the years, Skip had a knack for finding great staff who understood and perpetuated what the place was about, most notably former Manager Sofi Spiller and current Manager Janet Matthews.
In 2004, Skip ran for Mammoth Lakes Town Council and won. He served two terms and served two years as Mayor. He completed his last term of office in June.
Skip will always be remembered for his rock-solid integrity, his easy laughter, his staunch friendship, his humility, his comical obsessive-compulsiveness and his love of the Sierra.
Skip is survived by his sister Constance Harvey of Portland, Oregon; half-sister Ginger Coco, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey; nephew, Michael Coco, and his wife Jen and son Myles of Mammoth Lakes; his dear friends Larry Gertzoff, Gordon and Meredith Clements and Therese Hankel, and his beloved cats Jewel and Jack.
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