Don’t Challenge the Locals, unless…

…I was just about to leave, anyway; after my third trip onto the rocks (boulders, really); but I figured I’d paddle a little farther up the point, just to see… what?

That was my mistake. It’s clear now; but it wasn’t at the moment the white-haired guy started yelling at me. Yes, he had been silent when I was surfing the next peak down, though he had given me the stink eye when I sort of approached the main peak, a glare in response to my nod (and a nod, unreturned… ooh, that does say something).

But this time, I had paddled past him, farther up the point, taken the ‘inside’ position. This was, at any break, and particularly at a notoriously localized Oregon break, criminal. And I was on an SUP. True, bad knees, a bad ankle, and way too much weight (confirmed by photos my sister Melissa took) tends to keep me from standing on any but the longest waves) and these barrels all ended up on those boulders.  Stay too long over the boils, or get caught inside, it’s, well, difficult; but (this guy, probably my age, was on a short board- and I never really saw him make a wave- irrelevant, I know, but…) I was on a big board, pushing to the head of the pack (three other surfers, pack-wise), the point of the spear. It was like I, the non-local, was making a statement. He had to say something.

“Why don’t you… those things… one of our guys had to be airlifted outahere…geez… why don’t you go over to…” he nodded (unfriendly kind of directional nod), toward the miles of mushy and/or closeout beachbreak to our north… “those things don’t belong…”

“Yes, they can be dangerous,” I said, and paddled north, catching one more barrelling rock-roller, careful to pull out the back over the outside boils.

I had some time to think about the little confrontation, that, obviously, the local won, on the long paddle back, (catching another couple of mushburgers in the kook/non-local/SUP-allowed area. “One of our guys.” This wasn’t me. Only a little ironically, I had a discussion earlier with a guy in the parking lot on how locals “get all butt-hurt” when someone they don’t know makes the trek or paddle over to this semi-sacred spot.

Butt-hurt.

Another surfer, over at the showers, said a sponsored shortboarder he knows had to walk past the fire on the beach, in someone’s yard, where the locals sometimes hang, got heckled; then ripped it up enough that he was ‘nearly embraced’ on his way back past the same fire. The next guy in line for the shower (and I gave way) actually was the guy who was hit by some SUP A-hole’s board, suffered a concussion, and had to be airlifted out. Was that a lot ironic, or merely a lot coincidental?

He was nice, 68 years old, thin, formerly of the Sunset Cliffs area of Ocean Beach, San Diego. “Luscombs; that’s where I cut my teeth.” “Yeah, I’ve surfed it; mostly when I lived in PB.” He knows the guy who asked me to leave. “Yeah, well; give him my best,” I said.

I immediately went back to thinking about the confrontation. “I’ve never run over anyone,” I had said to the SUP victim, not forgetting (but not mentioning) that I had once run into Archie’s board. And I told him about my worst-ever, non-self-inflicted injury, a full-body hit by a guy on a regular longboard. Still, he had to mention how SUP’ers can catch more waves, overwhelm a lineup. No, that hadn’t been me. Not that day, anyway. I did wait my turn; I did sit ‘down-wave’ from the main peak.

Melissa told me that no one owns the ocean, and I shouldn’t help carry someone else’s garbage; and, when I didn’t, she said “just get over it.” I’ve had more time to think about it. Maybe a couple of those locals might show up to a beach I frequent some time. Thinking, still thinking. I’m back home on Surf Route 101 now, another spot on my list of places surfed (next to Luscombs, maybe); but I am going down to do some work on my Dad’s house soon.

Thinking, just thinking. Oh, and now I’m wondering if the victim, who hadn’t been out at the sacred spot on this day (though he said he reached his quota- 15) was hit over in the main break. I mean, wouldn’t that kind of suggest it wasn’t the board, it was the paddle-past?

 

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A Comment on Archie Endo and Drawings for (Almost ready) Coloring Book

I received this comment on a piece I wrote on running into and dinging the board of my (and, evidently our mutual) friend, Archie Endo. Since the odds are against you finding the original piece, and, partially because I do miss Archie, working most of the year now in Thailand (he went surfing twice when he was here last, one quickly blown out session with me, and one great session without me), I’m posting Jeremiah’s piece here:

One thought on “Running Over Archie Endo”

  1. A great deal of what I know about surfing was learned through an amalgamation of my own trying and failing, reading, conversations with Frank at nxnw, and watching Archie. It would go like this: I would see Archie surfing, try to emulate and fail, go do a ton of research about what I saw and how it worked and how I failed, then talk to Frank about what I was reading and get some well-needed trimming and redirection from him. Eventually, it got to a point where it all started coming together, and Archie and I were surfing together quite a bit; and it was so incredibly beneficial. What a smart, stylish man…simultaneously capable of wise, incisive critiques and nearly limitless patience delivered with a special economy of language derived from being an already reserved man operating in a second language.

    It’s not the coast, there isn’t going to be waves all the time. The straits are a place made for a surfer like Archie, a fickle, intricate, complex set of oceanography where the payoff is glassy, longboard gliders. I saw Archie ride 6″ waves all the way into the rivermouth crouched like a baseball catcher and, incredibly, 20 or 30 yards upstream into the river. It’s slow, foggy, winding, damp drives on mossy roads and cold water. I followed the Torino and the Ranchero rumbling along in my pickup at mellow speeds into town for dinner after cold sessions. It’s a skunker, a day wasting, soul crushing gas burner for those who cannot or will not put in the time and effort to figure it all out and arrive at just the right moment for the magic….it’s a natural club when you figure it out and start showing up to find the same people every time.

    When my work and living situation changed, and I was forced to leave my surfing gear and move to make a living; Archie made a tiny, perfectly-shaped longboard out of driftwood from the strait; and he sent it with a small note saying that now I would always have a board. Having this arrive while I was driving trucks in the plains was so incredibly meaningful. It was perhaps one of the most thoughtful gestures anyone has ever made toward me…setting in stone my resolve to work through hard times and return myself to the sea.

    Literally, today, I’m working through projects with my 79 Ford…which was bought because a surfer should have a stylish and functional rig, it was bought with memories of Archie’s Torino wagon rolling snow tires on cragers. Waves here are fickle and infrequent as well, not nearly as tricky to call but colder and more physically demanding. I carry a synthesis of Archie with me as I go, in my internal jury, carefully discerning what would be the most stylish, most efficient, most refined, most balanced way…regardless of my ability to achieve those levels, I carry the standard he set and it makes me a better person.

    I’m not sure if I’ve met (almost said ‘run into’) Jeremiah, but, hey, the best to you. Yes, it has been pointed out that Archie and I are an odd coupling, surf friends-wise.
    Maybe some of his manners have rubbed off on me. Yeah, let me think about that.
    2013 photos 407
    This is a drawing derived from an earlier sketch. I’m trying to leave a little more blank space for coloring, trying to keep the drawings simple; it just doesn’t work.
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“Awkward Guy” and, um, me…

…that would be Franco Bertucci, and I are getting ready for an event, Thursday, June 29, 7pm, Port Townsend Library. This is a flyer I passed on to PT Librarian Keith Darrock so he could do some publicity. First he has to add the copy. Glad it’s him; I can’t seem to keep it simple.

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I did some illustrations for Franco’s book a couple of winters ago, opting, because I have a lot of faith in Franco, and his chances for success, to take a percentage (sort of vague on that) of the profits. Because, in order to get it out there in some form, he did a Kendle book; all fine, and you can buy one, and some have; or, if you’re an Amazon Prime person, you can just download it for free; or, it seems, you can just look at it for free.

http://www.amazon.com/Awkward-Guy-Poems-embarrassing-things-ebook/dp/B01EIOLDI6/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461706483&sr=1-3&keywords=awkward+guy

I think that’s a link. Check it out; free; if you can.

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I’ve been getting my drawings for the “Realsurfers Coloring Book” together while searching for the originals I did for “Awkward Guy” (evidently I scanned them to a computer that no longer is alive- but Franco has the color versions). The plan is to have both of these available in a paper, hold-it-in-your-hands version for the event. And this might be where I get into trouble in describing, simply, what Franco and I plan on presenting to whoever shows up. The leader of “Locust Street Taxi,” a very tight and professional group, Franco is a talented musician.

So, the deal is, since I have a lot of songs, copyrighted under the title “Love Songs for Cynics,” and though I play an acceptable harmonica, my singing stylings are, one could say, underappreciated; Franco has agreed to sing at least one of my songs, and, in return, I’ll read or recite several of his poems. And a couple of mine.

That was my idea. Franco’s was to open with Q&A and go from there.

 

Real Surfers Coloring Book Cover,

sort of. I couldn’t get the scanner to do the other half of the cover after I did the preview. It must have been tired. It’s so exciting for me to do this layup and printing stuff, with lots of help from the folks at The Printery in Port Townsend.

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So, I’m still working on how to present the actual book; which and how many drawings to put inside, whether to go two-sided or not… I’m thinking it would be really great if I could do a thing like the old pee-chee folders, loose drawings one can pull out of one side rather than a book style. I’ll investigate.

So far, the main criticism has been that I’ve pretty much filled the space where color could go. Okay, probably because I didn’t originally start drawing them with a coloring book in mind.  Then there’s trying to sell some of these.

Oh, and I have to do a drawing of a stand up paddleboarder before I can go farther.