Out On Surf Route 101…

…there are many sites to see (I feel as if I should do some rhyming here),

On the south side of Mount Walker, there’s this place owned by a Hippieeee;

Name’s Hippie Bob or Hippie Mike, I just can’t quite recall (or retell) it;

But have to wonder about the panel wagon, and what tragedy befell it.

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Adam Wipeout James told me I had to check out the board the next time I headed south. The wagon has been parked there, in this little clustered patch in the midst of the Olympic National Forest, for years. The board is a newer addition.

Hydrosexual Stephen Davis was riding with me when we pulled over. “I think that board was made by John Edwards,” Steve said. “You know John Edwards?”

“Yeah; up in Port Townsend. Of course. I once saw John, and I think it might be Jonathan Edwards,” I said, “try to surf in a gale on the windward side of the Quimper Peninsula (I wouldn’t have identified the location in this way to Steve, it’s for the reader’s benefit).  Ridiculous, I thought, and unsuccessful- more so when (the same) Adam Wipeout convinced me, or we convinced each other, to try a similar feat- also unsuccessful; though, while Adam caught at least one wave, I went over the falls sideways onto the rocks adjacent to (I may have said ‘next to’) the boat ramp. First big ding in my first SUP.”

“Uh huh. Um;” looking around, “what do they do here?”

“I don’t know. Never knew.”

“We could find out all this, for sure. Just go to the door.”

Not immediately able to tell which door was the proper entrance, and a bit intimidated (or just polite, or, maybe, in a hurry), the mystery will remain.

The fictionalized versions might be better, anyway.

So… we loaded up and headed down, along Hood Canal, past forest and towns; with the water sparkling in the September sun; down on Surf Route one OH one.

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If There’s NO SURF…

…maybe there’s work.

That’s what I tell myself. It’s no longer High Season for exterior painting in the Great Northwest, but it’s definitely Crazy Season; everyone trying to get their project painted before the rainy season (November is the rainiest month around here) hits.

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Still, I’m as anxious as anyone for some serious swell activity. Thanks for the photo, Stephen, probably double-overhead, Hawaiian (bigger by NW standards) and, hey, this isn’t an ad for Noah Harrison, but, speaking of voting…VOTE!

Vote when you can, because you can.

Original Erwin Illustrations

A few samples:

SWAMIS- In Progress

SWAMIS

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On June 8, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon said 25,000 troops would be out of Vietnam by August.

SECOND WEEK OF JUNE, 1969

Almost leaping from stair to stair, I was looking at the water, the fuzzy horizon, the lines; counting, then recounting the surfers already in the water; trying to beat any other surfers who missed the true dawn patrol. Swamis was, finally, it seemed, breaking; tide dropping; swell, hopefully, increasing. It would get crowded.

Two surfers were walking from halfway up the point, along the water’s edge. I wasn’t focused on them; they were shapes, so familiar; surfer and board, nose-up or nose-down, more-or-less crosses in the grainy light, the shadows of the bluff. One was walking faster, trying to catch up. “June,” I heard, or thought I heard; then, more like a question, “Junipero?” Then, closer to the guy in front of him; “Jumper.”

“Jumper,” I thought. Jumper. Now I almost focused.

Almost. It was a moment, still just a moment, between a surfer reaching for, and touching the other man’s shoulder- it was Sid, reaching; Sid, a locally-known surfer; Surfboards Hawaii team rider; known to thrash his boards; known to take on crazy waves, to burn valley cowboys and out-of-town surfers, even Orange County magazine surf stars down to trade crowded beach breaks for a chance at Swamis point break magic- Sid, featured in a small, grainy, black and white ad in “Surfer” magazine.

I must have blinked. Sid was flat-out, on his back, parallel to that line where the sand turned hard with the receding tide. His board was floating in the shallows, Jumper’s board pressed, nose-first, to his neck; Jumper’s foot on his chest.

Jumper. Fucking Jumper. He was back in town, back at Swamis.

If we could just ‘backspace’ time ten seconds, not all the time, but for those moments we witnessed but couldn’t immediately process. Maybe ‘replay’ is more accurate. Ten seconds.

Fifty years gone, I’m trying to replay moments, bits and fragments and images and strings; strings of time; so many strings; some tangled, some free.

Oh, I broke free of the North County scene years ago; lost my contacts, forgot names, confused and overlapped stories from Grandview and Pipes and Cardiff Reef. I do still remember specific rides among thousands; remember, almost precisely, the times I was injured; held down, hit the bottom, was hit by someone else’s board; but, and I’ve tried, I can’t remember Sid’s last name.

But I remember Jumper.

In another moment, with me even with them, trying to be cool, to not look, both surfers were sitting on Jumper’s board. Peripheral vision. No, I probably did turn my head. Never was cool.

Jumper’s hair was shorter than mine, but, even with the patchy start of a beard; he was recognizable, the same guy from, probably, four years earlier, back when I was just switching from surf mats to boards; back when he caught any wave he wanted any time he showed up.  The Army or prison; stories about his disappearance varied; rumors among high school friends who quoted various upper classmen, scattered pieces from other people’s beachfire conversations.

“I heard he moved to Hawaii,” or, “No, Buttwipe; Australia. Or New Zealand.” Or, “Chicago.” “No fucking way.”  “San Francisco, then.” “Nooooo.”

Then someone would go into a Jumper surf impression, with play-by-play commentary, on any nearby surfboard; Right arm back, elbow cocked, hand like a conductor’s, flowing with the up-and-down movements on the imagined wave; subtle, the left arm lower, hand out flat; punctuated with, rather than the classic cross step to the nose, the quick shuffle, the jump; then a crouch and a shift to a more parallel stance, right hand in the wave, left hand grabbing the outside rail. Twist, weight forward; the fin would pop out of the sand.

“Island pullout.”

Someone else would repeat the performance, only, left foot on the tip in a solid five, upper torso shifting to face the wave, arms spreading wide; he would pull the skeg, make the rotation, yell, “Standing island pullout”, and shuffle back on the board, casually drop to his knees, ready to paddle out.

Yes, I participated in this. Yes, I tried to develop that “Jumper” conductor-dancer flow on my skateboard, pivoting, slaloming down my block, on inland hills, miles from the ocean. I had a long enough board, eventually, to go with the cross step; more like Phil Edwards, Micky Dora.

Style.

Jumper was probably my second surf hero. Maybe third. Heroes dominated lineups, kooks and kids gave way, gave waves, watched them.  Now Jumper was, quite possibly, crying, one hand on Sid’s shoulder, one of Sid’s on his. It was Sid who looked around at me with a ‘fuck off’ look.

Peripheral. No, I’d looked back.

I looked away, kept walking.  Still only a short distance away, I did what every surfer does, and always has; studied the ocean for a moment before committing; disciple before the alter.

When I looked back, from out in the water, from my lineup, the inside lineup, Sid and Jumper were half way up the stairs. Sid was one step ahead, one above. When two guys came down, Sid, probably because he didn’t know them, or because he did, made the down-stair surfers split up and go around.  Jumper moved behind Sid’s block.

A set approached. Surfers, who had been straddling their boards in the lull, dropped to prone, started paddling. At this tide, some of the waves from the outside peak were still connecting all the way through. The first one didn’t; the surfer on it lost behind a section. Two surfers went for the shoulder as I stroked past. The second wave swung wide, peaked-up on the inside. I had it to myself; another takeoff, drop, turn, cutback, back and forth to the inside inside, fitting my board into and through that last little power pocket, peeling over the palm of the finger slabs that opened to the sea. A little standing island pullout into the swampy grass. Swamis.

 

THIRD WEEK OF JUNE, 1969

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If the Noah’s Ark trailer park wasn’t still there, there on the north end of Leucadia, yet another trailer park squatted up against yet another bluff along 101, protected from the south winds; if it wasn’t still there in 1969; it had been there on those trips with my family, down the coastal route to San Diego.

I understand there’s a jetty there now; Ponto.

I also can’t clearly remember if the fields north of Grandview, the original Grandview, the fields along those bluffs were fields of tomatoes or strawberries. I know there were no houses. There were the Leucadia greenhouses. Flowers. It was what Leucadia was known for. Poinsettias.

Maybe not these particular greenhouses.

Turning off 101, I drove past several. One, and this had been pointed out to me by several of my high school surfing buddies, belonged to the family of Jumper Hayes. On this morning, still dark, what the forecasters called ‘early morning and evening overcast,’ or ‘June gloom’ hanging on, almost misty; I saw Jumper’s old pickup, almost-flat paint a weird shade of green in the light of the yard lamp, parked outside one of the greenhouses. Only the tail, fin over the tailgate, showed this farm rig was a surfer’s vehicle.

I gave myself a bit of a self-congratulatory nod, a quick smack on the shifter, three-on-the-tree; double-clutched down to second, gunned it.

It had become my workday predawn move, up and down Neptune, checking out Grandview, Beacons, Stone Steps; possibly surfing whichever one had a more consistent peak. Or a peak at all.  If it was bigger, big enough, I would push the fourth-hand Chevy four door farther, along the bluff, the increasingly-fancy houses blocking any view of the water, past Moonlight, down and around the Self Realization compound, to Swamis.

Or, depending on my hours; if it was still light when I got off work, I would turn onto 101 at Cardiff reef, pass the state park, try to get a glimpse of Swamis over the guardrail. If it was breaking big enough, you could see it. I would hit the parking lot and get out. Even if it was dark, I’d check the view from Boneyards, past what my high school friends and I called Swamis Beachbreak, onto and beyond Pipes.

And then back. And repeat. Maybe there’d be some last-lighters, still hanging in the parking lot; their stories of new and past glories punctuated with a hoot or a laugh; headlights and streetlights in a descending darkness and a dim glow from the horizon.

Swamis was where I wanted to surf. June gloom or bright offshore glare; breaking or not. What I felt, and was totally aware of feeling, was that my choice of route and destination was mine, mine alone; that I was pretty fuckin’ close to being free.

Within reason, of course.

NOTE: For a short period of time, but right about this time; well past ‘groovy,’ way past anyone remotely cool (or young) calling anyone a ‘Hippie,’ I made the adjustment, from ‘fuckin’, dropping the ‘ing,’ to Fuck-ing, emphasis on the ‘ing.’ This was after running into a guy, Gordie, from my high school at a liquor store in Vista. He now, suddenly, sporting long hair (longer- Fallbrook had a dress code and we’d just graduated), parted in the middle (of course), and clothing that denied his quite-upper class upbringing. “We just don’t fuck-ing see each other, man; like, like we used to.” And he was, obviously, stoned, an even more-stoned girl, possibly still in high school, headband, boutique-chic top, nodding, eyes unable to focus, next to him. Gordie put a hand on my shoulder. I looked at his hand, put my package of Hostess donettes and quart of milk on the counter, pointed to a pack of Marlboros, turned back to Gordie. He sort of gave me a look when I scooped up the cigarettes. “I know man, Gordie; you probably don’t fuck-ing smoke… cigarettes.” He and the girl both giggled. So uncool. “Peace, man.”

Yeah, flipping the peace sign was probably pretty much over, also.

My relative freedom isn’t, perhaps, relevant to the story. Maybe it is; these were times when ‘freedom’ and ‘peace’ and ‘revolution’ were frequently used in the same sentence. For someone just out of high school, working various shifts at a supermarket with a view of the ocean; joy and loneliness and a sense of being part of some magical mystery could all be felt in a very short span of time; and repeated, randomly. Mysteries.

Why, I had been asking myself, did Sid call Jumper ‘June,’ with a hard J; not a H sound. If his real name was Jesus; well, anyone would instantly know it’s not Jesus, like Jesus Christ, but Hey-Seuss, like Hey, Doctor Seuss, dropping the ‘doctor.’

Mysteries ask to be solved. Beg, perhaps. Rumors. Surfing, waves, surfing waves was a mystery. Board surfing was more than just drop and hang on. Tamarack was obvious; one peak in front of the bathrooms on the bluff, a bit of a channel; a parking lot at beach level. Good place to learn; sit on the shoulder; wait, watch, study; move toward the peak; a bit closer with each session. Get yelled at; get threatened; learn.

Eventually, you would have to challenge someone for a wave.

But there were always rumors of better waves, great waves, magical and secret spots, places uncool  freshmen kooks weren’t supposed to know about, weren’t supposed to show up at.

Grandview was fairly easy to find. There was a Grandview Street off 101 in Leucadia. Still, when I showed up there with my friends, now sophomores, we got looks. Punks, Kooks; not ready for Grandview.  The hardest looks were from other San Marcos, Vista, Fallbrook, Escondido surfers; other inland cowboys.

ANOTHER NOTE (SORRY): Inlandness was in direct proportion to distance from the coast. Where I lived we called Escondido Mexican-dido. That was, of course, insensitive; maybe; but I understand Meth-condido has replaced it.

As with, probably, anywhere, in order to fit in, you had to persist. I did. As my contemporaries and I searched out new locations; San Onofre, occasionally Oceanside; as some dropped surfing, traded it for parties fueled with liquor purchased by Marines, marijuana bought from friends of friends, I had become another surf addict; and Grandview was still on my route.

By the end of my senior year, I had become accustomed to going surfing alone.

And now, here I was, almost a local, slipping and sliding down the more-sand-than-sandstone between houses, original Grandview, the real Grandview; and ahead of the ultimate local, back after four years or so, Jumper Hayes.

Just ahead.

Peace and freedom and revolution.

MAY OF 1969-

I have to drop back for a moment. The story hinges on this. Chulo Lopez had been killed, murdered. His real name wasn’t Chulo; nickname; I can’t remember his real first name. It was in the paper, even on the San Diego TV news.  “Horrific” the reporter said.  “The Sheriff’s Office said he was probably dead… probably… when his body was ‘posed’ against the thick white walls of the Self Realization Fellowship compound, doused with gasoline, and set ablaze. Set ablaze.”

The reporter stepped aside. The blackened areas on the white white walls formed a sort of outline, similar to that around a candle. The TV camera followed the burn marks up to the gold bulbs atop the wall. There was a sort of symmetry, a repetition.  “Set ablaze.”

The walls were back to white when I next went to Swamis, against my parents’ warnings, two days later. It was a Saturday. Weekend. A predicted swell hadn’t materialized, a south wind was blowing. Maybe it would clean up, even get bigger. So, wait. Surfers I knew well enough to give or return a half-nod, four of five guys, one girl, were sitting on the guard rail; a small carton of orange juice or chocolate milk in their hands; maybe a cold piece of pizza; one or another of them glancing back toward the compound.

I lit up a cigarette, noticed none of them were smoking, squeezed the cherry out, pulled the donette package out of my windbreaker pocket. Frosted, never chocolate.

It seems wrong to me, now, it’s obviously wrong; but, somehow, when I was a teenager, it seemed all the surfers were somewhere around my age. Some younger kooks, some older surfers. Not many; or maybe I just didn’t focus on them; maybe the ones who were well known; names spread through a parking lot or lineup: L.J. Richards, Mike Doyle, Rusty Miller; surfers you would definitely keep track of; just to see if they were all that good. Better. Were they better?

How much better?

But these were days of evolution in surfing; shorter boards, more radical moves, backyard soul shapers, V bottoms and downrail speed machines; and the new heroes were younger; more like my age; s-turns and tube stalls and 180 cutbacks.

“Chulo,” someone said. In my memory there was a sort of muffled chorus, “Chulo,” from the surfers on the guardrail. “They’re saying it’s some sort of cult thing. Maybe it’s related to… you know, those monks burning themselves up over in Vietnam.”

May of 1966, in protest of corrupt Vietnamese Regime…

It was an older man, Wally; who threw pots for a living; sold them wholesale up in L.A. He had walked from the direction of the outhouse (still there at that time) and the stairs (probably two other systems since then), stood between the bluff and the guardrail surfers. There were a couple of us in the parking lot. Second tier.

“Jesus freaks,” someone said, actually more like a question…

 

Dirty John Ain’t Quite Gone

The official greeting from Dirty John, if you pass him in traffic along the rag-tag stretch of Surf Route 101 that goes through Quilcene, Washington is the double eagle flip-off.

This also might be the greeting (if you’re lucky enough to be his friend) at the Post Office, at the Fire Hall, or pretty much anywhere else in town. The proper response is to return the favor.

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Not that I mind.

If we talked about surfing (and I seem to include it in most conversations), John always recounted his childhood on Coronado Island, Admiral’s Row.

“I had a big, long board, and my thing was to go out on the biggest days, and just take off.” “You mean, like, um, go straight?” “Yeah.” “Sometimes I’d paddle across the bay to Ralph’s.” “Across San Diego Bay?” “Yeah, why?” “Because it’s crazy.” “Oh. Maybe.”

The ‘maybe’ was accompanied by a bit of a smile.

I’ve known John for over 37 years. We were new guys in the Quilcene Fire Department in 1981 (Trish filled me in on this). John’s a tough guy, as tough as they come; but, send him on an aid call where a child is hurt (Trish, John, and I were Emergency Medical Technicians for years), and John’s empathetic side would be revealed. And he loved cats. Our kids called him John McKitty.

John got to Quilcene because there was a halfway house here at the time. He freely admits he, son of a career Naval officer, abused drugs.

That was years ago. John traded hard drugs for working hard, drinking copious amounts of Pepsi; he held on to smoking cigarettes, added chewing tobacco.

When he got COPD, emphysema, he quit smoking. He refuses to be on oxygen.

It would embarrass John if I… shit, even knowing about this piece would embarrass John. If I listed the times he helped us out, cutting down dangerous trees in our yard with fellow curmudgeon George Hansberry, towing my truck when the wheel fell off… more; it would definitely embarrass him; might just anger him.

Tough.

I saw John the other day in the local bank. There was a line, and he was waiting in a chair. “How’s it going?” John’s voice was a whisper. I tried to whisper. “Not so good.”

He told me about the cancer. “Lung cancer?” “Pancreatic.” “Oh.” We all know the prognosis. Not good. “When did you get the, um…” “Two weeks ago.”

“I just inherited a… money,” he said. “Oh.”

There was a pause. “Spend it,” I said. “I am,” he answered. He nodded toward a new Suburu outside. “I bought that for Melinda,” he said. “Good. Uh, hey, sorry, man.” “It is what it is.”

When I was done with my transaction, John was standing at the counter, next teller over, saying something about having chemo the day before. “Um, uh, yeah; but you feel better, huh?” “Yeah. Better.” “Um, what was your last name, again?”

“You probably think his first name is ‘Dirty,'” I said. “it’s actually not.”

“I couldn’t do this is it wasn’t in a public space,” I said, giving John a sideways shoulder hug. “He’d hit me.”

He didn’t, but he did give me a semi-hidden version of the official greeting.

 

 

Reggie Hustles, Stephen Travels, Wipeout Schmoozes, and…

…I keep on painting.

I just told Adam “Wipeout” James, on the phone, he recounting how I ‘should have been there’ for a session Reggie Smart, who could have been painting with me, did attend. Great; all-time; yeah, yeah, yeah. I had to work. It happens. AND I hadn’t really recovered from my last outing; right ear still plugged-up.

Labor Day is coming up, real surfers have plans. Adam is headed to… oh, can’t really say where; it’s kind of an invitation-only deal somewhere on the coast. “Were you invited,” Trish asked me when I mentioned it. “No, but if I asked Adam…” “Oh, sorry, Dude, but, um, last time, friends of friends showed up and…” “Okay, I’m busy anyway. Kind of a tradition. Last time I didn’t work on Labor Day was… 1971. I had just quit Buddy’s Sign Service, in Oceanside; and was starting work with the government on Tuesday, so…” “Hey, got to go. 1971. Wow.”

Okay, so Reggie Smart, artist, tattoo artist, van restorer, frequent Hobucker, sometimes house painter (who ditched-out early to attend above-mentioned session- “Killer!” he said), is now, in coordination with Sequim/Port Angeles surfboard shaper/glasser Chris Bauer, designing and manufacturing Local Stoke wave machines.

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Meanwhile, Stephen R. Davis, having survived Hurricane Lane (outside the usual hurricane lane) on the Big Island; and having helped Cap patch up the catamaran the good Captain (I’ve still never gotten a name) is trying to sell; is headed, and, with Steve, this could change; on a red eye to Seattle, ride (not with me- too late at night) to Port Townsend, work on the brakes on his van; drive to Portland to meet with Lisa, up from San Diego, and head somewhere on the Oregon/Washington coast. Again, I wasn’t invited. But, he claims he’s available to work on Tuesday. Great.

Here are a couple of shots Stephen sent from Hawaii:

MEANWHILE, I’ve got to get going; trying to finish this house before it rains.  HOPEFULLY, you have some plans for the Labor Day weekend.

Or, maybe I’m just saying I’m working so I can sneak off to some unnamed spot; not that you wouldn’t be invited; if you asked. Good luck; gotta go.

Surviving the 50th Anniversary of My 17th Birthday… and More

Swimming in to retrieve my board, so close to banging, again, against the sealife-encrusted rocks, I couldn’t help but think my fears of surfing this spot were being realized.

Not only did I lose my board on my first wave; but it was on my birthday.

Okay, really can’t say too much about the particular spot. It’s kind of a secret spot, accessible by winding roads, trails, a steep cliff, rocks; and then there’s the water; cold, bull kelp heads floating with the rising and falling of the inshore.

I did take a couple of photos of the spot. A friend, who was way out on the Olympic Peninsula, camping; and had agreed to meet me there, but, and this is not atypical; by the time I got close enough to take the photos, he was already dropping into wave after wave.

Okay, so, if I had fastened my leash before I paddled out (didn’t, because of the kelp), or had fastened it securely once I got out (they’re made to easily remove, rather awkward to put on underwater), or if I’d made the drop (the face dropped under me, I freefell) I wouldn’t have been swimming.

I’ll probably sneak the photo onto the site some time in the future.

Yeah, I did make some waves, and did wipe out a couple more times; but, with crazy indicator waves even farther out, with lines coming out of deep water; suddenly steep, scary steep; getting pitched, getting hit by the lip, getting a few quick barrels; hooting way too loud on my rides, or when watching my friend freefalling, blasting through sections… the session was, as memorable, magic ones often are, intense.

It was all pretty much over in an hour and a half or so. I had managed to save some energy for the paddle and climb and walk… and it was great. Thanks for sharing; it was my favorite birthday present.  Here’s my return present: I won’t say more about the spot. As surfer Tim Nolan, who will always be older than me, says, “If you tell people too much about surf spots, you take away their joy in discovering them.”

So, this session goes in the mental file with the time I got perfect peelers at a rare (tide/swell direction/magic factors) sand bar at Noluck, the time Crescent actually had lined-up rights (45 minutes and gone- shared with my friend Archie), a list of other outings including three hours at a Sunset Cliffs peak with Steven Penn, 1972, and… hey, go through your own list.

In surfing, I’ve long believed, we sort of pay for the gifts we receive. The thrashings, the wipeouts, the relentless impact zones, the cold (let’s throw in the crowds), the skunkings; and then… again, think about the gifts surfing has given you.

Just to calm down, and since it was my birthday and I had no strict schedule, I stopped off at a well know break on the Strait. No one was out. It was small. It was so easy.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest logo design for the DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE:

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Now, If Layla had said “Squintz”…

…instead of Mike, I might have figured it out. As it was, in my usual state of not knowing how to behave in any given social moment, when Tyler, at DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE, busy with yet-another customer, asked LAYLA if she knew me, and she said, “Yeah; I think we met at the beach… with Mike… who used to work with you (I’m still not getting it)… curly-haired Mike.”

It was, obviously, not (yet) ringing a bell.  So, I stuck out my hand; “Erwin Dence. Where you headed?”

I might not remember whatever Mike she was talking about, but I did know that, although a phantom summer swell had sneaked into the Strait a few days earlier, it was gone; smoke was back, heavy fog on the coast.

“We’re just going to go until we find waves.” “Well, um; Layla, good luck.”

I was just in Tyler’s shop to give him a copy of the logo I’d been working on (with help from my daughter, Dru), discuss possible t shirts, and, surprise, pick up a check for illustrations he had recently sold; but, it seems, every time I do go to Disco Bay, I run into someone I’ve seen at one of a number of beaches.

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Oh, that Mike (I stole this from his Facebook page); Mikel “Squintz” Cumiskey; ex-Big Island surfer, ex-Florida surfer, ex-Port Townsend surfer; currently back in FLA.

Yeah, Mike did work with me; quit me… twice.  So, wait a minute; now I remember Layla. I pulled onto the beach where Squintz  (one of the best nicknames ever, given to him by Brett, who may or may not have broken the glasses he’s wearing in this photo) was taking a break. Scanning the water, there were only two surfers out, and Layla was one of them. Always conscious that any wave activity draws a crowd, I said, “She doesn’t look like a threat.” “You’re an asshole,” Mikel said. “Uh huh.”

A while later, four of us out, Mikel paddled over to me, said Layla had one of those “Oh my God” audible gasps when I’d taken off deep on a wave, and, possibly aware of the variously-sized rocks at various depths; was, possibly, concerned.

“You should consider wearing a helmet, Dude.” This was from a guy who refused to wear booties so he could ‘feel the board.’

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Mikel “Squintz” Cumiskey, back in the day, down in Florida, “Feeling the board.”

MEANWHILE, here’s the logo for the front of t shirts I’m working (again, with Dru- she to add some lettering) on for Discovery Bay Outdoor Exchange. And here’s the design for the back. See you there, or out in the water.

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THE Stephen R. Davis and…

…his new board; the one he claims to have been ‘perving-out’ on a while. I forgot the name of the board; like, “Baby Blue,” or “Barely Legal,” or… thinking…

Stephen has been on a bit of a surf trip to the Oregon coast with his son, Emmett, and friend, Porter Hammer.

“Yeah, yeah,” you’re saying, “waht’s the story?”

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Yeah, there’s a story- or three; must check on my retell status; but, with Stephen, there’s always a story. Or three- the difference between Oregon and Washington surfers, scenes in the water and a particularly interesting story involving a stranger asking Steve to buy him a beer.

Meanwhile, I’m working; sweating, smoke from fires mixed with the usual summer humidity; waiting for some sign of a swell; my surf rig loaded, my wetsuit totally toasty dry.

Okay, not talking about that right now. Not secret, just a gift; but, surfers know, wetsuits are made to get wet. Jobs can wait.

Well; sort of. There’s a certain amount of guilt.

A job that’s waiting for Steve to get back is for a husband and wife who are both Psychologists, Doctors; and, through clever questioning, we discovered that, though Stephen and I, and other surf friends, have thought we, and other surfers, might be sociopaths; the Doctor said we’re probably actually narcissists, surf addicts out for our own pleasure. What?

Narcissists?

We want a second opinion, but we’ll have to wait until Doctor and Doctor are back from a motorcycle trip, and we’re around to ask Mrs. Doctor.

“If you wanted other surfers to have a worse time, rather than you having a better time,” Mr. Doctor said (paraphrased), “You might be sociopaths.”

Well. Relief.

Anyway, I’m thinking about how some of us are like addicts, always saying we’re going to knuckle down and be regular kinds of people (who don’t check buoy readings every hour or so, don’t keep our surf gear ready to go, don’t just sometimes go on a hunch), but, really, realsurfers don’t want to be cured.

Hey, I’m working on the theory.

As far as Stephen R. Davis; the result is- somewhere between Short Sands, and Pacific City, and Cannon Beach, and Seaside, Steve traded a board, added $200, and, yeah; brand new, forward-trim, egg.

So, back to normal; working, sweating, checking those forecasts and buoy readings. Surf addicts. Not nearly anonymous.

Logo for Disco Bay

Discovery Bay is on your way.

Oh, maybe accidentally clever. I’ve been working for a while on a logo for the DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE, but, yeah, if you’re going to go hiking, camping, surfing, kayaking, whatever other outdoor activity you’re addicted to, and you’re coming from just about anywhere other than the “STILL WILD” Olympic Peninsula, you probably pass through Discovery Bay.

And, another little slogan I’m claiming, once in Disco Bay, you’re “ALMOST THERE.”  If you’re passing through on a Thursday through Monday, might as well check out the new and pre-trained gear and clothing Tyler Meeks has to offer.

So, my daughter, DRUCILLA, Dru, helped immensely with this project. I wanted ‘machine’ lettering, the circle, rectangle… anyway, we went back and forth only a couple of times before…

Image (85)

…HERE’S where we’re at; and I haven’t sent this to Tyler yet, AND there might be some minor changes, but… hey, I have to go; see you around.

 

…well