If you’re headed to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, or Neah Bay, or La Push, or anywhere on the West End, and you’re not coming up from Aberdeen; whether you’ve taken a ferry from Seattle or Kingston or Keystone, or driven up the Hood Canal on Surf Route 101, or from the Tacoma/Gig Harbor area; you have to go through Discovery Bay.
If you do, or, rather, when you do; headed out with dreams of cold peelers; or headed back to civilization with memories (these, of course, vary, depending on how you handle disappointment); please check out Disco Bay Outdoor Exchange. You won’t be disappointed. Tyler’s there Thursday through Monday, 10am to 6pm.
OKAY, my reasons are partially self-centered. TYLER MEEKS, the owner of the shop sharing space with the Discovery Bay Village Store, and adjacent to a log cabin selling marijuana products (with another one nearby in an old train car- exotic locations, indeed), has agreed to sell some of my illustrations; limited edition* prints, numbered, signed, framed; with, as it turns out, the original of this drawing, hand-colored, 11″ by 17″, also available.
Without the lines from my scanner. *I control the number of prints, so it’s not like #3 of thousands.
I’ve known about the shop for awhile. Tyler opened the consignment shop in late summer, gathering boards and wetsuits and leashes and such, as well as gear for other (non-surf) outdoor activities. Tyler is personable and friendly, and is getting familiar with the various sub-sets of the larger surf tribe. I first stopped in there last week, on my way home from what was a quite-satisfying surf outing (and I’m not one who writes off a skunking easily).
Discussing selling my artwork was easier because Tyler knew about realsurfers. “Oh, that’s you?” “Um, uh, yeah.” I do usually feel people are a little disappointed that I don’t seem more, uh, artist-ee.
So stoked that I’m going to have some of my work in a surf shop for the first time since 1972 (Phil’s shop in Pacific Beach, San Diego, where all the kids went through the stuff; liked them, but were saving their money for new skateboard wheels or something), I came back in Saturday morning, freshly-framed art in my arms. There were three rigs with boards on them in front (granted, one had two Costco Soft-tops, but I’m not judging…right now).
And a surfer (Joyce local- yeah, that guy) I already knew was inside, some folks I don’t know bought a wetsuit for one of their kids, and another guy I sort of know showed up while I hung around for forty-five minutes or so, mostly talking surf with Matt Butler, up for a week or so from Oregon, where he works at Pura Vida Surf Shop. “Hey, you need some surf art down there, huh?”
Anyway, I am trying to (sort of) follow the lead of Todd Fischer, formerly a plumbing contractor, who has been pushing forward in his art career for the past several years, opening a gallery in Port Angeles to go with having his stuff on display in Westport, and at various locations, including some at Disco Bay.
As (dumb) luck would have it, I saw Todd in the water on the very day I stopped in at Disco Bay. He said he’s willing to check out my work. Whoooa!
I do have some pieces at a gallery in Port Townsend; also trying to do a bit more non-surf illustrations. Here’s an example:
Incidentally, my scanner sucks. Things are always a bit crooked. I don’t use it for printing
SO, here’s the other story: Same day I ran into Todd Fischer and Tyler Meeks. I was out at a spot on the Strait, sitting on the hood of my Toyota, coffee cup in hand, just trying to will or wish waves into lining-up, cleaning-up, and, mostly, getting bigger. There were two other surf rigs nearby. This black van drives up, goes to the far end of the parking area. No surf boards, no tell-tale decals.
NOW, I wouldn’t ordinarily be suspicious, but Trish had asked me about the security of my cell phone, wallet, Costco list (all the important stuff) while I was surfing. I assured her it was fine. Then these four or five (I have to say) thugish looking white (again, have to say) guys (not surf-garbed at all) start climbing out from various doors, headed toward me and the private property beyond.
SUSPICIOUS. If they were doing work at the property, why wouldn’t they park there? Why was one of them in thigh-high waders when none had fishing gear? ANYWAY, one of them looks at me and comments on how I didn’t seem friendly. “Huh? Me? (that’s me, thinking). THE OTHER THUGS CHUCKLE.
THEN, when he’s almost even with me, he says, sort of to me, but mostly for his gang, “He’s got the stink eye on lock.”
IF I DIDN’T think that was memorable, if not factual; I would have been more offended. I have been on the receiving end of the stink eye. Usually I shake it off and keep on surfing. But, hey; “Me? I’m so, um, approachable; so friendly, so… I mean, maybe my Dad; he could have that kind of look; but, me? No.”
Left to Right: My daughter’s late cat, Mr Puggsley; Mr. Approachable; My late father, about the time I was born; and a drawing of an eye. I’ve told this story a few times. Evidently, others believe I can look a little fierce.
MEANWHILE: check out Todd D. Fischer on Facebook. His new space is on 2nd street in Port Angeles. I’m working on getting some ‘tight’ art works ready.