Stephen Davis Still Scoring

I don’t know where Hydrosexual Stephen Davis is; still in Mexico as far as I know, but I just got a few photos. Looks kind of like Trestles; not an empty lineup, but these guys seem to be… I don’t know; you judge for yourself.

Yeah, I’ve already mind-surfed the hell out of them. Hey, I’ll put a larger version of one of them so you can say what Stephen said, “Whoops.” Anyway, still waiting to hear some in-person accounts of Stephen’s exploits; trying to have a few of my own.

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Trying to Catch That Glass

It’s all about lighting; the perfect surfing photo or drawing; and color helps. We know that waves, spray; these can be translucent. At some point, rising and throwing out, a wave can seem, or even be transparent. And foam; it’s white because of the air bubbles. And the reflections, the shine, the shimmer; maybe these are easier to capture with pencil, charcoal, pastel; something pushed and dragged across the flat surface.

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I just keep scratching.

MEANWHILE: I’m sure the northwest has been sending lots of waves, along with the rain, down south. If it doesn’t lessen the drought, maybe it’ll clean some of the toxic waste from the highways; and maybe, after a prescribed length of time to avoid getting sick from the water, surf.  Or maybe a die-hard surfer will get a course of shots and paddle out. “Just keep your mouth closed,” possibly not the best advice.

I did catch some waves recently, can’t be too specific about where, or maybe even when; trying to adhere to Clint’s Rules of Modern Surf Etiquette (which I promise to list when I get them all straight in my mind: Don’t call people from the beach; don’t talk specifics because someone will back-check against the buoy readings and figure out when the spot you named, but shouldn’t have, works; other rules); but I will say it ran contrary to the surf forecasts we all study.

Partially, what I wanted, was to catch a few waves to myself before I try to play the odds and go when the forecasts seem to guarantee waves. I’ve been on the beach before, with twenty or thirty rabid surfers (or in various stages of rabidity- a real word, I looked it up) standing around, perfect conditions on the forecast, and even the buoy readings the same as they were on days that were great (see, back-checking, or, more likely, anecdotal information gleaned over years), and there’s one guy in the water scratching for some dribblers, and the waves are just not there.

I’m just saying; it happens. And it explains why, the farther one has to travel, the more one has to invest, the more likely one (or thirty) is to lean heavily on ‘sure thing’ forecasts. But, I slid a few waves alone to sort of indemnify myself against a serious skunking.

AND, I do know Adam Wipeout got some waves. Not sure where, exactly, but I do know he did score because he wouldn’t tell me. Clint’s Rules. I think he would, and it’s probably all right to talk about sessions in crappy conditions. Come on, Adam… I won’t be posting. Really, I’m not sure why we want to know… Oh, yeah, I do. Because.

Here's a colorized version. It all gets washed-out a bit from the scanner/computer connection

Here’s a colorized version. It all gets washed-out a bit from the scanner/computer connection

The Hawaiian Bodysurfer who saved

…more of the ocean than any previous President is outahere. Say what you want, and T-Rump supporters are no less shy about shouting shit than they are about believing shit; and, being a right-winger hasn’t stopped some notable surfers from being great surfers (which kind of runs contrary to the rebel/pirate/outsider image, which probably, and sadly, always was fiction); it is a scary future we face.

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So, maybe Obama is glad he’s leaving office now. By way of explanation; I just submitted some more cartoons to “The New Yorker” a week ago, can’t submit any more for another three weeks, thought, originally, of doing a cartoon that would use one of Obama’s catch phrases; maybe two movers standing beside a moving truck outside the White House as another one pulls away. One of the guys is on a cell phone, says, “Yes, he’s clear. Perfectly clear.”

No, it’s no easier to get than this one. And, it won’t mean much a month from now.  So, here’s another one. As with many of my cartoons (and this one is a riff on the famous “American Gothic” by Grant Wood), once I get the drawing done, I’m not sure where to go with the caption. I wanted to say something about how he’s gloating now, but… but maybe her vote cancelled his out.

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With a shout out to yesterday’s Women’s Marches around the country, maybe a more fitting caption might be her saying: “You know, I never noticed how tiny YOUR hands are.”

MEANWHILE, the surf seems to be all centered around Northern Oregon. I did hit the actual Pacific Coast last weekend. Pretty good for a beachbreak, 36 degree air, amazingly cold water. HYDROSEXUAL STEPHEN DAVIS is still somewhere in Baja. He did accept my FACEBOOK friend request at Erwin Dence Jr.   Maybe he did mean he’d be spending all winter down there. Hopefully he’s getting massive numbers of great waves.

Peace. No, really.

Keep on Truckin’ 46 Years Later…

…with permission. I was going to put this in my last post, but, really, it deserves more. In thinking of cartoons to submit (submit being a perfect word for this- writers and artists are always begging someone to read or look at our stuff) to “The New Yorker,” and, with those who do look at my drawing style, unaware of the connection to Rick Griffin’s drawings in 60s era “Surfer,” comparing it to that of R. Crumb; it seems an easy step to my re-imagining Mr. Crumb’s iconic (not a word I overuse) “Keep on Truckin'” illustration.

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BUT, BEFORE I submitted the drawing, I felt I had to seek permission from the reclusive Mr. Robert Crumb. SO, I GOOGLED him (fascinating), found a connection, emailed the guy who, it turns out, is in charge of marketing. No response. I tried again. It is no exaggeration to say that getting a reply from R. Crumb is one of the most thrilling things in my long but… (I’m doing some calculating here. With the top artists being so far above everyone else, and some people never even showing their works… hmmm… so I’ll say… somewhat… no…) somewhat satisfying art history.

image-141I was, undoubtedly, so excited to get the email that I  didn’t even realize the tone of his email was sort of negative.  And, I wrote that I’d put my drawing on my wall, and I didn’t even have a wall. Maybe I did, but hadn’t taken advantage of it. I do have a twitter dealeo. I think it’s BigERwin; rarely look at it.  And, I still don’t know how to do stuff on Facebook. Trish, who has her own stuff on Facebook, occasionally  helps out. I think I’m at Erwin Dence Jr. but I’m afraid to ask people to be my Friend, for fear of rejection.

Submission, rejection; sometimes we get something positive. AND I have to thank my sister, Melissa Lynch, for pimping my site on the Facebook. Thanks to you for checking out my stuff. Keep on truckin’.

Why’s This Funny?

FIRST, let me say I’ve been doing drawings of what amuses me for a long time. Somewhere in the early eighties, bored with my Civil Service job as a painter at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton (having transferred her from the Public Works Center at 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego as soon as I could after they moved/promoted me from a temporary to a Career-conditional employee), I, along with working on a novel (during breaks/lunch- mostly reading new stuff to other bored workers), put together a little collection of cartoons under the loose title of “Absurd Delusions.”

None of my co-workers thought any of the cartoons were funny.

The caption is, "No, I said I drew them 'for' the "New Yorker," not that they were "in" the "New Yorker."[optional] I also have some that weren't 'in' "Playboy." " A reasonable explanation for my new drawings as I solicited feedback.

The caption is, “Okay then; drawn ‘for’ the “New Yorker,” not “in” the “New Yorker.”[optional] I also have some that weren’t ‘in’ “Playboy.” ” A reasonable explanation for my new drawings as I solicited feedback.

SO, HERE’S THE DEAL: A couple of months ago, while working on my Realsurfers Coloring Book, and possibly because I’d heard that several cartoonists for the “New Yorker” had died recently, but mostly, probably, because I (along with thousands of others, no doubt) got an e-mail from Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor, inviting me to get more involved with the magazine (I had entered the caption contest a few times; never really came up with a killer line for anyone else’s work- gave it up).

WELL, sure. I had a few ideas, found out the submissions are all handled online nowadays, e-submitted, maximum of 10 original cartoons per month, nothing that had been previously published, even in a blog/website like this one.

I just submitted my second batch of brilliant cartoons on the 14th, so, though I never received confirmation that they hate/dislike/don’t get/ don’t want any out of the first set, I’ll have to assume it’s safe for me to display some of them here.

Big fan of "New Yorker" staff writer William Finnegan's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Barbarian Days;" a surf-centric biography by a Real writer who lived/lives a real surfers life. Yeah, some jealousy possible.

Big fan of “New Yorker” staff writer William Finnegan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Barbarian Days;” a surf-centric biography by a Real writer who lived/lives a real surfers life. I was kind of hoping someone in the cartoon department might just… you know, pass it on. If not, expect to see the “I was different” line again. And, yeah, there’s some kissing-up obvious, some jealousy quite possible. Port Townsend librarian Keith Darrock, and I, having already solicited legendary surf writer Drew Kampion for help, are hoping to persuade Billy Finn, Finn-o, to participate, even if it’s by Skype (my backup plan idea) for the Third Occasional Surf Culture on the Strait of Juan de Fuca Event.

ACTUALLY, one of the first drawings I did was an update on the classic R. Crumb “Keep On Truckin'” drawing, imagining the character 48 years later. I thought of this, possibly, because my drawing style, cross-hatch-based (though I claim to have made some kinetic line changes), and which anyone old enough and real surfer enough to remember it, is directly linked to the “Surfer” magazine drawings by Rick Griffin. Still, my style is often compared to that of Mr. Robert Crumb, a contemporary of Mr. Griffin’s in the “Zap Comics” and ‘underground’ era of the late 60s.

SO, I wasn’t planning on doing this right now, maybe still hoping the “New Yorker” will come to their senses, but, since I’ve gone this far… No; I’ll give them a few days. I did write to Mr. Crumb, seeking his permission to use his image. When I got this response I was… I was so thrilled. So thrilled.

HMMMMM; I have to re-scan Mr. Crumb’s email and my response. That means setting up the scanner and… I’ll take that as a sign. Not really, but I’ll update this in the morning. No, really.

 

PART III- Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Goes Deeper Into Baja

BUT FIRST…I’ve have a connection with Franco Bertucci, leader of Locust Street Taxi and author of a book of poetry, Awkward Guy.  I did some illustrations for the book, and Franco and I are scheming on how to sell more of his book and the Realsurfers Coloring Book. He has ideas on how to set up a PayPal account, and other things essential to being a bit more successful in our endeavors. Check him out at awkwardguy.com 

NOW BACK TO STEPHEN- I’m not sure where he is, do know he was in La Paz, on the Sea Of Cortez side, last time he had wi-fi. The surf had been flat on the coast (so, all the way up and down), but, obviously, he got waves somewhere.

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So, it’s one photo from Hawaii, Pine Trees, which, when I said it looks like Cardiff Reef, Stephen said, “Maybe, but warmer water, ” and, he did say, he got some good waves in uncrowded conditions on a rainy day, crappier waves with way more surfers, the Haoles more of a problem, attitude-wise, than the locals, when it was nice all day long.

The other photos are a bit of a mystery. I don’t know how there were lefts breaking on the backside of Baja, but, hey, I’m still up here waiting for a swell. Yeah, I know, it’s coming.

NOT REALLY AN UPDATE: Selected Texts to/from Stephen:

mon-12/08-10:10- I’m on my way.   11:37- Looks like a huge storm hitting PNW soon?    Reply-Not great forecast though. (this was after Steve hit N.Cal, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, some spots between there and Rincon)

sun. 12/11- 6:25am- Rincons knee high/flat/longboardable/high tide… No one seem to mind my afro so far. Good omen.            Hitting San Clam.                                                             4:06pm- Is ‘pipes’ San elijo state beach? Biggish bluff?                                                                       Reply-Yes. North end.                                                                                                                                      4:08- Looks super fun!                                                                                                                                     Reply- Surf it. Mostly oldsters.                                                                                                                      4:10-  Ok.  Longboard Day.  Clean though.                                                                                    Reply- Aren’t they all?                                                                                                                                     4:11- Seriously…                                                                                                                                              6:33- best waves so far? Santa Cruz. Pleasure Point rights.

Sun.12/25- 3:27pm- Hey Erwin! I made it to Canejo. Bit like the point and Hobuck in a blender with a cobble reef and howling wind. Surfing, kiteboarding, whales, blah, blah… I miss everybody. I hope you’re dropping in on some ahole logger catching tons of bombs for xmas. Miss you. S                                                                                                                                         Reply- Great stuff. Glad you are hitting it. Glad you made it. Surfed twice last week. (bragging part deleted). Don’t worry about missing anything here. Keep me posted and score the maximum allowed. And merry x-ing Christmas.                                                               3:42- I’ll send photos when I get wi-fi in a few weeks or whatever. Glad you are unapologetically charging… that’s my game plan too.  PS I love my new short board!!!

Wed. 12/28- 7:12am- I don’t know if people are fucking with me (probable) but, supposedly a naked surf contest here on New Year’s Eve? I might be the announcer? I will keep you posted… waves have been pumping.                                                                                         Reply- Thanks. Going surfing.                                                                                                                7:25am- PS. Get some bombas. Lack of surf desperation is tangible here. Solid overhead drainers one guy out all cruisey. Oh! It’s not perfect I guess? WTF?                                           Reply- Indeed. Hoping for four ft.                                                                                                        7:31-  Sounds good. Hope you score. I’ve been wearing armor, my full suit booties. Too many sharp flesh eating/penetrating things living on the reef. Going out now.

Tues. 01/03/17- 7:57pm- Happy New Year Erwin. “Flat” here… the equivalent of epic (spot deleted as per Clint’s Rule Number 1) only warm water, offshore wind, no one out, too much sun, etc… I’m tripping out. So many crazy stories from the old timers… Oh. Orcas ate a baby gray whale just past the surf on NY eve at sunset. What does it mean!?!?! Too much to tell. Warm wishes.                                                                                                                      Reply- Wha-ah-whoa-owww!!! And I never use multiple explanation marks!!!! You better be journalling this stuff, with illustrations

I also never say ‘journalling,’ but Steve does. Maybe texting is journalling. I’ll keep you posted, and soon, once I get them all sorted out, I’ll do something on Clint’s New Rules of Surf Etiquette and Behavior. I am trying to abide by them, but, really I love to talk surf way too much to not blurt out where and when if asked. And, yes, I did drop the name, Hobuck; but, if you’re a Buckster, you’re happy to share the Ho experience, though, really, I only had one great session out there, all alone until… that’s a different set of rules; the “Oh, it must be good; people are out surfboarding.”

 

Why is my site blow-oh-oh-ing up?

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The following for realsurfers.net has been growing slowly but steadily since I started it three years ago or so. HOWEVER, it’s been getting massive numbers of hits (for me, probably low for most porn sites) over the last week or so; I don’t know where it’s coming from, and I’m kind of freaking out; thrilled and refusing to believe it’s happening at the same time. It’s, perhaps, not unlike getting locked into an overhead wave at a spot with a brutal bottom contour.

I’ve been working quite (surprisingly) hard recently, doing some writing; some drawings; some cartoons, some of which I hope might show up in “the New Yorker” (and all will undoubtedly, eventually show up here); and shipping off and working on the realsurfers coloring book. My sister, Melissa Lynch, has been helping spread the word on Facebook.

With the difficulty in convincing anyone to have painting done this time of year, the surf either not happening or not at the right angle for anywhere close, the ground frozen and the temperature brutal, I’ve been trying to do what I can to advance my artsy career, such as it is.

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Still, I’m behind on my (okay, once, I’ll call it a…) blog. I have some news and some photos from Hydrosexual Stephen Davis, last heard from wayyy down in Baja, and have some new drawings to add to existing stories “Inside Break,” and “Locals Only Kooks Go Home.” I am working on editing the coloring book down to 48 total drawings (cheaper to ship), checking into setting up a PayPal deal so people can buy the book, and cleaning up my site. Keith Darrock may be helping me with this (we’re negotiating). Keith, Associate Librarian in Port Townsend, is also working on planning for the Third Occasional Surf Culture on the Strait of Juan de Fuca Event. We’d love to get William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of “Barbarian Days,” involved, live or (maybe, even) on Skype. If you have any influence (and we’re reaching out to surf journalism legend and Surf Culture headliner Drew Kampion for help) in getting (just guessing at his surf nickname) Willy Finn involved; yeah, use it.

So, shit’s happening; and if you’re promoting/linking/doing anything that’s helping, thank you. Since the start of what may or may not be a virus, Trish, long stating that Facebook is her thing, not mine, has been helping get some stuff on the Facebook site our daughter, Dru, set up. I think I’m at Erwin Dence, Jr, Facebook-wise, and I’m also at realsurfersdotnet@gmail.com.   So, thanks; I’m getting back to work.

Inside Break- Reboot

INSIDE BREAK- SOMETHING CLOSE TO NON-FICTION
THIS IS AT LEAST THE FOURTH TIME I have attempted to write this story. I always got stuck on the fact/fiction thing, partially because I didn’t want to get too personal with people who might not want this intrusion; partially because any attempt at biographical non fiction, because of memory lapses, point of view skewed in one direction or another, detail editing, many other reasons, becomes fiction. So, fine; I will attempt to remain as truthful as possible.
WRITING IS REMEMBERING as much as it is creating; maybe more. Forgotten events, suddenly, while thinking of/writing a particular story, spring loose from whatever kink or coil of brain wiring they were stuck in: Example I stole (one way of looking at it) Phillip Harper’s car (an oil-burning/leaking Corvair) in Baja (Easter Break, 1968) while he was sick and our other friends were unwilling get up early to try (again) to surf the rock-strewn closeout beachbreak out in front, or to leave the big and over-crowded tent to surf one of several legitimate point breaks we’d seen on the way down.
Though I remembered we were staying at a place on the beach, featuring a trailer park, a motel, and a cantina that looked like a gas station, which it may also have been, I couldn’t immediately remember the name of the place. We were actually mostly staying in someone’s parents big tent just outside the trailer park. Though Phillip’s stepfather had the use of a trailer for Phillip, his brother Max, stepbrother Mark, and invited friends Ray, Melvin, and me; because Dana and Billy and Mark had invited themselves along) earlier, I couldn’t remember the name of the place when I started writing this, but, because I was sure I’d driven the borrowed Corvair to K-54, but wasn’t sure that was actually correct, I went to the computer.  Cantamar. Or course. Still there.                                                             Hmm; was it K-55? Surfline claims that K-55 is a reef break, and I’m sure this was a point break. I did, perhaps, catch a few waves; pretty big ones, then lost my board trying to roll under one (term, at that time, ‘turning turtle’). I can, actually, vividly recall the board (the 9’9″ Surfboards Hawaii noserider, ‘found’ buried in the sand at Tamarack by some member of the Brooks family, from down Debby Street from my house, when they were grunion hunting, and given to me by Wendy Brooks’ father, over her objections, when they moved back to Texas) getting ripped from my hands; the lesson being, ‘keep your grip tight but your arms flexible.’
Just to finish this part of the story, Phillip wasn’t too sick to join up with the others, Dana’s old Corvair wagon and Ray’s (actually, as with my house a few sentences back, the cars may have been owned by parents, though they were pretty crappy vehicles) Ranchero suddenly, and dramatically pulling into the dirt lot, skidding, stopping near me, six highschool age (most of us were juniors, Billy, younger brother of a contemporary for whom surfing didn’t stick, may have been a sophomore, even a freshman) surfers bailing out as I secured the board with the newly-acquired ding onto the Aloha racks. “Your mom said I could take it,” I said Or may have; something to the effect. “You were in the motel with your mom and sister (Trish. not my Trish, but prominent in the bigger story); she didn’t want to wake you up.” This was interrupted and followed by a chorus of “fuck you,” that, eventually, by “How was it?” and “How did you do?”                                                          They hadn’t brought boards. We caravanned back to camp, later surfed some blown-out beachbreak south of Ensenada; though, maybe the next day, in the afternoon, the usual closeouts at Cantamar were lifted by genuine offshore winds.                                                    Better. Much better. I had convinced/forced Max and Mark, into filming; mostly me, with my super 8 camera.
Later, I put some of the footage together, showed it at school, several times; narrated by, of course, me. “Hanging ten? Hard to tell in the glare. Let’s say…yes.” There was a part where some of us are hanging out around a table outside the trailer. This was just after (not caught on film) Trish played footsie with me, and I, shocked, jumped; and she asked Ray, “How’s he ever going to get a girlfriend?” and I said (or should have, or could have, or wish I had), “Well, try it again;” and Ray, of course, sided with her on the girlfriend issue. And there was no way she’d ever do it again. No.                                                                               So, a bit of smoke from an unseen cigarette (this was before I’d had my first one) is visible in the movie version, to which I always said, “It was very cold down there.” It got a laugh; though not, after the first showing, from Ray.

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OBVIOUSLY I GET SIDETRACKED too easily. SO, I’m going to get to, and try to stick to the story of one trip from Fallbrook, across Camp Pendleton, to San Onofre, with one of my first surfing heroes, BUCKY DAVIS. This was in the spring of 1967. Things were escalating in Vietnam, the base was crazy busy, and we, just wanting a few good waves, were edging ever closer to making critical personal decisions on life and love and war and surfing.
BUT, don’t expect a laser focus. There’s just too much overlap with other trips and other stories. I’m at this moment, stuck on whether or not Bill Buel was on that trip to Cantamar. I’ve long replaced him in my own version of the San Onofre trip with Ray, with whom I made many other surf trips (mostly because I never liked, and even had some resentment or fear of Bill Buel).                                                                                                           And, once it was Ray with Phillip and me, me riding (for once) shotgun, in Bucky’s VW bus; the story definitely became fiction. So, Bill’s back in. This should be easier.
SO, NEAR-NON-FICTION.