Down Surf Route 101 at the HamaHama

I did a little project for the HamaHama Seafood Company, family-owned-and-run for five generations. The business is located about halfway down the portion of Surf Route 101 that snakes between the back side of the Olympic mountains and the Hood Canal.

If I wanted to be clever (and I do), I should add that the Hood Canal is, itself one of those TENTACLES that reach from the ocean, SURFROUTE 101 widely used by surfers coming up to the Strait, or down to the various surf opportunities to our south.

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SO, here’s some old guy sitting on the toilet in one of two bathrooms (easily available for customers, and there’s a sani-can outside) now sporting octopus graphics. I’m pretty proud of this illustration, adapted from drawings provided by a designer, but the second bathroom’s drawing…. WELL, my original contact at the HamaHama, Adam ‘Wipeout’ James, fifth generation of loggers and seafood folks (with a sixth growing up quickly) said, of the second illustration, a reverse of this one; “Now you’re really killing it… (or something similar- hip and positive and suggesting that one was even better- ‘crushing it,’ maybe).

ACTUALLY, I was working for Adam’s sister, Lissa. The second I showed up to start the painting portion of the store renovation project I got a call from Keith Darrock. Something about buoy readings and wave possibilities. I told Keith I was working for Adam Wipeout’s sister, Lissa Wipeout.

“ACTUALLY,” Lissa said later, “it’s more like Lissa Freakout.” This may have been a bit of pre-employment intimidation (possibly based on what Adam may have told his sister about my pre-surf mind games- guessing); Lissa has only been gracious to me.

IN FACT, everyone at the HamaHama, from those who work the tides, the folks in the retail store; those workers who shuck oysters, and prepare them for markets all over; those who talk to bigtime clients; Louie Lakeness (who grew up in the oyster business up the canal in Quilcene, and who does several jobs AND is a childhood friend of my son James- JJ to him); and Adam’s sister-in-law, Kendra, who his brother, Tom, met while earning a PHD in Forestry at Yale, and who is now the CEO; they all seem so… so HAPPY in their work. WIERD.

I mean Weird. Unusual. Happy. ALL I’M SAYING IS, when you’re headed up or down 101, stop in. If you have boards on your rig and Adam is around, expect him to talk you up on where you’re going or where you’ve been; what you expect or what you surfed.

ONE MORE THING. We were told, when driving over those two double bridges (look like the bridge at Haleiwa, huh?), it’s good luck to repeat “Hamahamahamahama…” as many times as you can on each one. Maybe it’s to distract you from the narrowness and the log truck coming at you, but… try it.

OH. There is a more flattering photo of me, on Facebook; but I don’t do Facebook, but my wife, and Adam’s newest Friend, Trish, won’t let me download it from her Page. OH, and there are less flattering photos you’ll never see.

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Drawing off the bottom Drawing

Yeah, I know I just posted a drawing yesterday, but, somehow, too much time on my hands, maybe, not wanting to watch any football after the Seahawks were eliminated (the team who should have, and could have beaten All World Cam and the Campthers, and, at least, did [almost] come back, and didn’t get humiliated- sorry Arizona], I kept working on this drawing. And I like it.

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I don’t always love everything I do, and I’m always worried that I’ll screw the whole thing up by adding color; but I do like this one.

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I do wish I could figure out a way to sell some of these images. I’ve been building quite a portfolio. Any Ideas?

Illustration for “You’re a writer, too… Right?”

It’s fiction. I wrote the piece first. I added the illustrations to the short story (next post down), and because I just can’t not edit, change, clarify, hopefully improve whatever I write (or draw, but can’t once the drawings have been scanned), I made a few changes.

Image (28)Partway through the drawing I decided to add the coffee. I totally lost control after that.

 

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You’re a Writer too; Right?

 

“Not professionally, not really. Not like you.”
“No,” he said, “what I am is under-fucking-employed.”
It was the wrong day; the swell at the wrong angle, size, and period; the wind and tide not optimal, the forecast slightly north of dismal; and it was rain just-warmer than snow. And it was dark. But, we both were available. We could go. We were going. He threw off the straps, loaded his (probably too short) short board on top of my (probably too big) board, threw the wet straps back at me. That I flinched amused him. I smiled as if I was also amused. And we were off.
“What I need,” he said, along the stretch that seems the most like freeway, more vehicles coming down the onramps, headed for work, “is a sponsor. All the great artists had…” His words faded off as he had to help me pour some coffee from my work thermos into my cup. “I envy those assholes who can just… write. Like it’s easy. Oh, they… I’ve seen these types; going to workshops, hanging out; so, so…But…” He removed the plastic lid and poured some coffee into his cup from some espresso stand he hit last night, “Maybe all real artists were, are, just as desperate as… how’s your work going?”
Maybe I mumbled. Maybe it mattered. Probably not. My work isn’t creative; at least he doesn’t think so. He interrupted whatever it was I tried to say.
“My work;” he said, tipping his coffee toward me like a toast, “it’s like… I mean I don’t have children… you do; it’s like my babies. I send something off and I worry, ‘is it allright? Did I say too much? Too descriptive? Not enough… enough…’ You get it, right?”
“Sure.” Sure.
“And it all… whether it goes somewhere, dies, all depends on some intern who probably doesn’t know shit, or give a shit, or even know something decent from some sort of, um, pedestrian, trite, tripe. Crap.” I just nodded. “You send any of your stuff off?”
“Not in a while. I send some to you.”
“Well. You know…” he exhaled as if he was already exasperated.”If you don’t… geez; is it all so precious?”
No. Not precious. “I’d say ‘high end mediocre.’ High end.”
“Well; dumb it down, dork. Readers want simple.”
“Yeah; but simple’s so, so hard.”
“Tell me about it. No, don’t; might be too complex and, you know, internal and shit.”

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We disagreed on which route would get us through the traffic lights and school zones. I was driving. We went by my route, got stuck behind a bus for a block before I made a cut to a back road.
“It was breaking yesterday,” I said as we turned onto the coast road.
“Who said so?”
“I heard.”
“It’s just, some people exaggerate. If I trust their word… different story.”

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Though we couldn’t see the break from the muddy-rutted logging road, we had already seen there were signs of swell. “Might as well make the hike with the board,” he said as I threw the straps toward him. “Of course, easier to walk with my appropriately-sized board than…” He just pointed. I just smiled, tried to make my board seem lighter than it is, grabbed my backpack, locked the doors. We could hear the rhythm of distant waves while still walking on fairly level ground, a narrow path between trees, ferns and bushes, everything wet, and no fresh tracks.
“You know that story you emailed me?” It had been a while since I’d sent him anything. He was way too slow to reply; and never with anything close to praise. He paused as we negotiated a downed tree in the path, “The one about the, you know… all surfing stories are pretty much alike… huh?” He followed me down the bank, my board sliding as much as being carried. “I don’t want to get hit when you lose your big-ass board. In the water, either.”
I looked around, up. “Which story?”
“I’ll tell you later. Hey, is that a… whooo… wave?”
I won’t bore you with the session report. You might not trust my word. We didn’t talk about writing on the way home; nothing about precious words, nothing about other people deciding whether your words have value, nothing about how all surfing stories are, pretty much, alike.

Three Hours To Kickoff and…

…I have to take our friend George Takamoto to SeaTac, then, because I have a job over near Manchester, and there’s a ferry that goes there, I get to listen to the game instead of watching. Not that I wouldn’t trade watching for surfing, but the big blob of red, almost-purple, did not, as I hoped, move to a better angle to cause the Strait to work.

Not that others weren’t checking the buoys; or even driving, walking, looking; each surf fanatic hoping; all using their mind-power, singular and collective, to achieve victory. Yeah; my friend Archie was out surfing on sub-one footers, reported there were a lot of people looking. I checked-out the spot I thought had the best chance of receiving an off-angle swell. Nope.

VICTORY! Oh, maybe, with the swell angle still around 220, I’m now switching my mind power to the Seahawks. I actually googled “Seahawks real surfers” to get this drawing, rather than searching for it, realizing it’s probably saved on some unsaved computer, somewhere in a drawer or on a shelf.

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Now I’ve got to go. I tweaked and beat on and finally got the radio in my Toyota to 97.3. We never seem to like the commentators on the network coverage, but we always love Steve Raible and Warren Moon’s announcing. Totally biased. As are we.

So, if all the Seahawks fanatics pool our collective will… concentrate, don’t give up… with a little extra mind-help for Marshawn…

How do we spell VIC-TOR-EEEEEEEEEE!?

Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Pig-Dogs One

More than one, actually. John the Calendar Guy took some photos of a rare northwest break. Hey, I have to go. I’ll get back to this. There is a story. Yeah, always a story. Here’s 1,000 words…

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Okay, so Stephen, whose wave riding posture is more typically a casual stand-and-almost-slouch (hope you’re imagining a confident, defiant, hips-forward, wave-challenging stance), but, on these little bombettes, was just tucking-in from the takeoff. Some he made, and on some the wave won; not that getting rolled while inside a tube isn’t the very best way to not make a wave.  If being absolutely parallel to the wave would give you a score of 100, I’m giving Stephen 105. Hey, do your own scoring.

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So, on the right, on the same day, in one of several photos taken by John the Calendar Guy, Librarian/surfer (totally alternate egos) Keith Darrock in his typical posture, tucked-and-driving. I’m saying 95, but, if you’re on the shoulder, hoping to take off, and don’t think Keith will make the section, think again.

And, thinking again, on the left, some unnamed spot on the Far Northwest Coast, with whiplash offshores; and because I like to give people nicknames, and a nickname just won’t stick if it doesn’t ring true, and “Stay at Home Nate” obviously didn’t, and I don’t actually know Nate’s last name; I would like to offer “Seventy-five percent Nate” as an alternative. Oh, yes; “75% thinks he’s barreled.” If I get called on this, I’ll probably cave. “Eight-two percent Nate;” no, doesn’t sound right. “Big Bic Nate?”

No, that’s right; Adam Wipeout told me it’s not a Bic.

 

On Wildcard Sunday…

The actual drawing is a bit too big for my scanner. This is, however, most of it. Thinking posterization, I started the drawing on Saturday, worked on it off and on, then, up early on Sunday to maximize the pre-game preparation, I added more up to and during the Seahawks/Vikings game.

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When I decided, sometime after my wife, Trish, decided she couldn’t watch any longer, probably about the end of the third quarter, with the Seahawks behind 9-0, that I should pay more attention, give a more focused fan, um, whatever it is fans, and, in particular, fans watching on TV, might be able to contribute to a team effort, I set the drawing aside.  I went back to it before and after dinner, put my name on it some time during our delayed viewing of “Downton Abbey.” Look for a color version some time before the Seahawks take on Carolina next Sunday. I’ll be listening to most of it on the radio, cosmically cheering, as Trish and I have decided we can’t really watch close games together.   GO HAWKS!

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to will some favorable buoy readings. Okay, I’ll focus a little more; see how that works.

It always works.

Eventually.

Satiated, Satisfied, Ready for More

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I was dissatisfied with the results when I added color to this drawing. I may try it again. Meanwhile, here’s a drawing for something I haven’t written yet. So, I’ll contemplate the complicated issue of wave lust while I scan the forecasts and the horizon, think about how great it might just be, and, probably, consider how long it’s been since I got a really super-satisfying surf experience, and how… you get the point. Even those who participated in, and were completely satiated by a recent feast of wave action, are ready for, ready for more.

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Okay, so maybe I have now written enough. May your wave lust never be completely (as in, only, completely) satisfied.

 

Oregon Secret Spot Secretly (at least covertly- sort of) Photographed

UPDATE: Here’s a shot of my nephew, Fergus Lynch, at Waikiki Beach in Ilwaco, close to my father’s house in Chinook, Washington. Wait, is this a surf spot? Ooops.

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It isn’t really a secret spot, but it is really quite well protected. While I was driving around looking for a place to park where I wouldn’t have to hike past a beachfire attended by what, from a distance, I would have to think were surfers, parked in someone’s back yard; surfers who would, no doubt, be unhappy to see yet another non-local drawn to the unmistakable (to another surfer) long distance view of glassy, heavy, twirling barrels, my nephew, Fergus, did take the hike. Not a surfer (other than the times we hit Seaside Cove while visiting my Dad- Not this trip, however, on Christmas Day), Fergus got some great shots. This is, in my opinion, the best of them.

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When it was evident that he was taking photos, one of the surfers came in, walked up to Fergus, said, “You better hide that camera.” With his next breath, he asked, somewhat excitedly and unexpectedly, “Did you get my last ride?” Fergus gave him a digital review of his photos. He had just caught the last of the surfer’s last ride, an attempted kickout close to the rocks. Perhaps Fergus, not looking like a threat, probably more like a hipster (and this is the last time I will ever use the word- hipster, that is, not tourist) tourist, and maybe more so when his parents caught up to him, got away with taking a few shots on what had to be a rare, but definitely epic (by any set of standards) day. What’s amazing to me is how great his eye is. But then, his mother is an artist. Great work, Fergus.

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I actually had to bug my sister, Melissa, to bug her son to get the photos to me. Then, because he sent it in one format… not a big part of the story; I have the photos now, and next time I’m down visiting my father, I might take that hike.

UPDATE: Just received photos from Melissa. The last one is of furtive photographer Fergus and his father, Jerome, in disguise. No, I won’t be hiking-in anytime soon.

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