More Tomorrow

The easiest way to show one of my clients some of my artwork is to have her check out my website. Because it is really just one page and really disorganized, it makes sense to, occasionally, pull some already-scanned drawings out of my media file and display them here. SO, HERE:

A Photo from the DIRTY SOUTH

This is what they, I am told, call ‘flat’ conditions on the Big Island. The wave. The move, radical anywhere.

STEPHEN R. DAVIS is back in the Northwest. He didn’t, like, hep me to the timeline for his arrival, but I was out in the very unusual circumstance of barely-rideable waves (the usual being what is known as ‘flat’ anywhere and everywhere), and I look around, and there’s someone paddling out, too much sort of burnt-orange hair hanging out from a hood. I try to focus with my better eye and the one that has developed ‘floaters,’ and can’t help but think, “Who the fuck is that and why is he trying to steal the Stephen Davis look?”

Anyway, he’s back, and, he claims, I actually and purposefully kept him from going on several waves and burned him on another. “Yes, Steve, I did. It was you ‘welcome back’ burning.” “Okay.” “Okay.”

Steve hasn’t cut all ties with the Island. A former Port Townsend ripper, Makenna (sp?), who I never, to my knowledge, met; the son of a surfer, sent Steve this photo. Yes, the guy does rip.

I don’t have a lot more to report, surf-wise. A succession of rainstorms, most centered too far south to send swell of any size down the Strait, have soaked and saturated and… yeah, kind of depressing. Welcome back, Steve; anxiously awaiting my pay-back burning.

I would endure, possibly without audible grumbling, numerous burnings, and multiple instances where people just can’t seem to not shoulder hop or be totally (not fond of bailing) in the way on a decent wave; I will happily paddle out for sessions where the wind or the tide are wrong, or the waves are weak and sloppy; all because I prefer pretty much any surf session over any skunking.

Yes, the scenery, if one looks, can be spectacular. The mountains are getting snow, leaves are still falling, some still hanging on trees. Yes, the clouds, when it isn’t just one massive and all-encompassing cloud, can be beautiful. Yeah, yeah; but I can’t wait to get that session where I set my sights on a set wave, a bomb; I’m in position. I look over at Steve. He smiles. He goes. Welcome back.

ALSO: The showdown between Nam and I, pretty much set up by Reggie’s claim that Nam is the “King of the Strait,” postponed several times because he was getting out of the water, or I was, or something; it is ON. ON I tell you. We were both recently in the water at the same time. I wanted to ask observers on the beach who outsurfed whom. I did yell at Nam on one wave that “Posing is not the same as ripping,” but there were too many people and not enough waves, and I am well aware that most (or a high percentage of) folks seem to like Nam, and I am, um, less popular.

My lack of popularity is something my friends like to point out. Frequently. Here’s one from promoter Reggie: “You know that one woman surfer… not a fan of you. Well, she…”

Nam, pointing out that neither of us caught that many waves (I’ve never caught too many waves), said the session shouldn’t count. “Oh, then I’m going to claim victory.” “Wait. Two out of three.” Fair enough. Next time.

According to Trish, all us Olympic Peninsula surfers, and the surfers who cruise up 101 or come over on the ferries; yeah, let’s be inclusive, even if it’s only to be accurate; each one of us acts as if, after this little swell window or this session, waves will never return. She’s right, of course. There will be other opportunities. And Trish doesn’t have the answer to “Okay, so, like… when, exactly?”

Stephen R. Davis out on a boat. Oh, sometimes he has a beard. Sometimes he shaves it. I believe he shaved it the other day. All orange all the time. Oh, and he also rips

WAIT, because Chimacum Tim wants to be mentioned, this because he seems to believe realsurfers is more than it is, I should mention he just had a birthday. Forty-something. This was pointed out by his wife, Shay (might be Shae, not sure). “Oh, why isn’t he here surfing with you?” “Back issue.” Now, I did send him a text on my way home. I did say, because Shay asked me to, that she was ripping (I’m really not that generous on rating ripping, and I really didn’t hang around to observe), but, because I do admit the truth when I have to, Chim Tim (and part of this is that he told a friend that, “you know, Erwin does actually surf pretty well”) is a pretty decent surfer. In fact, though I hate to gossip, someone did say Tim was doing some good surfing on a fish, impressive enough that that unnamed individual was considering adding one to his quiver.

So, Sunday, Seahawks, and, hey, is it still raining? Or is it about to rain? Or will it ever stop raining?

We’ll see.

If We are a Collection of Stories…

…I will try to make this one brief. You know, like a blog post.

Today, November ninth, 2021, is the fifty-third anniversary of Trisha’s sixteenth birthday. When I tell people who know me but don’t know Trish (other than what I say about her- nice things, and frequently- She is the person I most often quote- this means something) that I attended her sixteenth birthday party… “Um, what? Really?” “Yeah,” I usually add, “I was seventeen, so it wasn’t like, you know, that pervy.”

The only connections between this photo and whatever else I end up writing it that it is from about the same time period, late 1968 (or so), and that the father of one of the characters in my novel, Lee Anne Ransom, may or may not be a Black Panther. I googled “teens partying in the late 1960s” and nothing else really fit.

The problem I have with stories is keeping them simple. This is the problem with (not to get off the subject of Trisha’s birthday) my manuscript for “Swamis.” Too many stories.

Simple, simple, okay. So, I was at this party on a Saturday night at the house in Fallbrook that Trisha’s parents rented while Trisha’s father was in Vietnam. Trisha’s mom was playing bridge. Trisha’s older brother, Jim (back from Vietnam), was the theoretical chaperone for the event. He had a date with him and wouldn’t have wanted to seem uncool, so he wasn’t going to interfere with any teenage shenanigans that may or may not occur.

How I happened to be invited involves friends of Trish thinking friends of mine, specifically the real Phillip Harper, Ray Hicks, Dana Adler (as opposed to the fictional Phillip and Ray in “Swamis”- I won’t mention my manuscript again) would be great guests; but how to get them there? Oh, through me.

It wasn’t Trish who invited me. One of her friends. It was done over the telephone; something like: “So, you know this new girl, Trish Scott; it’s her birthday on Saturday… (cut out stuff here) …maybe, if you come, you could get ahold of a couple of your friends (see above).” “Sure… (gulp, giggle) …love to. I mean, like, I’ll see.”

Now, I had already met the thin, blonde, mysterious new girl with the Vidal Sassoon hairstyle (as opposed to the hair-sprayed-to-death poofed- up semi-beehive dos still fashionable in rural North San Diego County), and the monogramed sweaters and sophisticated East Coast clothes.

It wasn’t like Trish and I ‘met cute’ at another party (and it wasn’t like I attended many parties) in Janie Pollack’s family’s barn in Oceanside. I was, um, intoxicated (not all my fault), and I was rude and sarcastic when Trish went into the cleaned-out stall where Phillip (with his own date drama going on- Ray was in the hayloft with the sister of Phillip’s date) and I were smoking cigarettes and trying to look as cool as possible (easy for Phillip- I was only slightly recovered enough to actually look out of both eyes at once). Trish, because she had seen me pass her driveway taking one of my siblings to the Junior High, and I’m driving the exotic Morris Minor, very reasonably asked me where I lived.

Trish does remember my line. “In a house; on a street; in a town; with my parents.” She could have just left. I continued. “Debby Street. They were going to name it ‘Erwin Street’ but it was too controversial.”

Okay. My friends and I agreed I had blown that opportunity all to shit.

But, then, while I was pretty much stealing art supplies (I was a senior, fourth year of art, handed out supplies during my class), and Trish had an after lunch crafts class, and I came out just in time to see her walking into the classroom looking all classy and sophisticated and pretty and… well, I saw this as another opportunity. “Hey; where do you live?”

Trisha didn’t even stop walking. She turned her head toward me, gave me the coldest ‘drop dead’ expression. I should say the best-ever ‘drop dead’ expression.

That was a moment. The moment. This girl has passion.

And her passion was directed directly at me.

And then, because my fifth period class was almost directly across from the Art classroom, and because students seemed to gather at the doors before the bell, Trish and I exchanged enough looks that others noticed. And then Phillip said a girl in a class he had but I didn’t said, “that girl asked about you.” “Which girl?” “You know, that girl.”

Okay, okay; so I went to the party. If Ray and Phillip didn’t attend, Dana did. I may have brought a present. Some other dude thought he and Trish were, because he had tried to pick up on her at the Friday night after-football dance, and I didn’t go to dances because of my religion, kind of… together. Oh. He and I had a bit of repartee at the party. Somewhere in there I had to go to town to get cigarettes, invited Trish. My English touring car was actually a mess, with wet trunks and mildewed towels and discarded not-quite-empty chocolate milk containers and such in the backseat. And I’m digging around in the mess to find enough change to buy cigarettes. “You shouldn’t smoke,” Trish said. “I know. Oh, and, since you used to live in Oceanside and you used to surf, would you like to maybe go surfing with me… tomorrow?”


Back at the party, I gave up on the repartee. I went home. I leaned on the counter in the kitchen, suffering, as I remember, my most serious bout of teenage angst. And doubt. Everyone else was asleep. But wait, Trish had agreed to go surfing. In the morning. It was like a date.

This is my “Happy Birthday, Trish” photo. I should look for some others.

I do believe I have told the story of the day after Trisha’s sixteenth birthday before. It ends with me saying something like, “So, maybe we should… kiss.” Trish agreed. We had to set up a sort of… procedure. “Okay. One, two, three…”

I do, occasionally, get a well-deserved ‘drop dead’ look from Trish. I still, if I’m waiting for her to come back into a room, or back home from somewhere else, hate the waiting. If she makes me anxious, I can still make her nervous. If she calls me on a job and I notice I had been thinking about her, it’s because I so often think about her. She is still the person I most often quote, the person I most hate to disappoint. We can still make each other laugh. We share years of stories.

Happy birthday, Trish. I love you. One, two, three…

At Long Last, a Couple of New Drawings

I’ve been using whatever ‘creative’ time I have to plod forward on the manuscript for “Swamis.” Maybe it’s because the exterior painting season seems to end around Halloween, and because it has been raining like it’s already November (and now it is), but I have spent little time on drawing.

Well, I’ve worked on a couple, drawing, doing some magic at the PRINTERY in Port Townsend with the help of STEVEN, master copy magician. I have another one ready to get reduced, black to white switched, reduced… stuff like that. I have had some requests for ORIGINAL ERWIN T SHIRTS. Sorry, I have none. I am still hoping Tyler Meeks will reopen the DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE. We’ll see.

It didn’t quite fit on my printer. Almost. Yeah, the “Original Erwin: part is a little, um, shouty, and, since I’m being critical, Trish thought the surfer looked like a space alien, some guy waiting to get something else copied at the Printery said he thought the surfer had a ‘nice ass.’ “Oh,” I said, “it’s an alien.” “Oh.”
So, the magic. Reversed in several ways. Shortboard Aaron said it would be cool if, rather than a reflection, I could turn it into an A FRAME wave. Sure. Cool.

OKAY, quick story. Because we don’t use the printer all that often, and don’t have an actual, you know, like, office, the printer seems to get stored in the hallway. Trish is going to a GHOST CONFERENCE this weekend in PORT GAMBLE and needed tickets printed up. Naturally, the paper in the back was all twisted up, a piece fell off the printer, I had to figure out how and where and… yeah, I was surly about the whole thing. BUT NOW, since the printer’s out and I’m using it.

OKAY, I’m through. Hope you’re finding some waves. I’m still recovering from the ‘no booties, no earplugs, sudden sets’ session.