My sister, Suellen, sent me the program from the 1966 Oceanside Invitational Surfing Contest and an article about her and me in the Fallbrook “Enterprise” from 1968.
Here’s the story: I’d been board surfing for about a year, and I was totally embarrassed that my sister was cruising around the beach at Oceanside Pier collecting autographs. She may have been, or should have been, equally embarrassed that her kook brother was out surfing, warming-up with the likes of… well, check out the list.
You may notice that she circled the surfers she got autographs from. Now, I did witness her trying for a signature from Mike Doyle, who was just receiving a bag lunch from his mother. Embarrassing.
In retrospect, of course, I’m stoked to have a copy of a copy.
Here’s the article:
So, here’s a brief correction/explanation: Suellen was holding my 9’6″ Surfboards Hawaii pintail, my last longboard for twenty years or so; and I’m holding Phillip Harper’s brand new Surfboards Hawaii ‘V’ Bottom, the latest thing at the time. It does sound like the reporter listened to me more than Suellen. There are a few mistakes, of course; like “Balsa surfboards,” though my first surfboard was a balsa Velzy-Jacobs.
Oh, maybe the reporter couldn’t keep up. Also, when our local trash collector next spoke with my father, he said something like, “Oh, you can afford a nice little vacation at the beach, but, when it comes to paying for trash service…”
Also, as regards the little trip, seven kids and our parents in a pretty small room in Leucadia, really close to 101: Several of my friends, Phillip Harper, Ray Hicks, Mark Metzger, and Billy McLain, all showed up, having, possibly, told their parents they were staying with us (the article providing backup), while actually planning on sleeping on the beach, close to the bluff (to fool lifeguards- also did this once at Swamis), and, while hanging out, hey, why not walk on down the beach to the state park, look for some chicks.
Yeah, I said ‘chicks.’ I will, no doubt, tell the entire story, but, short version, it was all Billy McLean’s fault that we all got to ride to the Vista substation of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, all in the back (it’s procedure, we were told) of a California Highway Patrol cruiser, stuck in two adjoining cells while someone’s parents were called. So, of course, we sang “Doors” songs, cell-to-cell, talked about how badass we were, until my parents came to pick us up. Luckily, they had a station wagon, room for all. “So,” my dad asked, “You say you were looking for food. Snack bar? Vending machines? Huh?” “Yes, Mister Dence, we were. Hungry.” “Shut up, Billy.” “So you weren’t looking for, um, girls?” “Oh, no; Mister Dence… honest.” My mom wanted to believe the food story/lie. “If Junior says they were looking for food…” “Food. That’s right.”
Many years later, I admitted to my dad we were looking for girls, and the only ones we saw, and cute ones, too, were hanging out at the place where campers check in. Billy’s idea to head over there. “What’s your campsite number?” “Huh?” “Do you have driver’s licenses?” “I don’t need one. I’m only fourteen.” That was Billy. He would have passed for sixteen AND this wasn’t the only time he got us in trouble.
But, it’s the only one I’m telling here.
But, as a reminder, I will be adding some pages from “Swamis,” soon, but I was pretty excited to get the stuff from Suellen. AND, it’s only a week or so until I’m reading from “Swamis” at the Port Townsend Public library, Uptown, 6pm; with music, food, and a string band.
There has been some surf action I could report. Hey, if I see you at the reading…