With all the time I spend at THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend, I can’t really explain why I didn’t get a scannable 8 &1/2 inch version of the white and black version of my third attempt to draw a bottle on a beach. BECAUSE of an accident in which the illustration part of the poster was reversed, color-wise, with some very interesting results, I attempted to add some color to what would otherwise be black background. Two attempts, with the colors from the first used as a sort of chart to narrow the palette for the second. Purple becomes kind of, almost yellow, green becomes one shade of blue- like that.
Live and learn, experiment, fail, try again. I am not yet satisfied with the results, with my next attempt at coming out with something, perhaps, less psychedelic, more like… I don’t know. We’ll see. I got the white and black version printed on watercolor paper (or something close) and I’m going to do a sort of wash.
Bear in mind, everything that is in color here would be black. Not horrible, but not nearly as much fun. SO:
KEITH DARROCK is the Librarian/ripper and the curator for the EVENT. I called him over to the Printery to check out and pay for the posters. He assigned me to getting some distributed out to the JEFFERSON COUNTY locations. “Wait a minute, Keith,” I said, “I’m, like, a volunteer, and…” Yes, I took on the task anyway. IF YOU are cruising up or down SURF ROUTE 101 between now and the 30th, check out the sign the folks (actually one folk) at the QUILCENE VILLAGE STORE (QVS to Adam Wipeout, Mary’s Village Store to longtime locals) made from a postcard of mine. It’s at 101 and Columbia. AND THEN, go inside, check out this poster at the checkout counter. YES, Quilcene is a way hipper place than when we moved here.
AND, even hipper, the CHIMACUM FARM STAND, a cooler version of the Sunny Farms in Sequim, also has a poster AS WELL AS some copies of STEPHEN R. DAVIS’S latest postcards.
Steve is one of the eight artists currently lined up for the event. And there will be, as advertised, music and some talking story. It’s coming together. MORE NEXT TIME.
Remember, as always, to respect ownership of original material. I do reserve all rights to my stuff, BUT, when you show up for the BIG EVENT, you might have the opportunity to purchase works by a member of a pretty eclectic group of artists in a pretty wide range of styles. And I’m hoping to have some ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirts (unofficially) available.
Maybe I should just put up the images without explaining what I was going for and why I decided to do some water colors. NO, I should explain. Jealousy, competition, that sort of thing. I am very impressed by what TIM NOLAN has been doing with photos and watercolor. In particular, I was super stoked over some colors he used on a work I have not yet posted, BUT WILL. SOON.
AND, I do want to get some froth building for the upcoming THIRD OCCASIONAL SURF CULTURE ON THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA AND THE SALISH SEA EVENT, Friday, June 30, Port Townsend Public Library, 6pm. The event will feature story and music and art works by local Olympic Peninsula artists.
MORE INFO TO COME.
OKAY, so I am perfectly willing to refer to these watercolors as studies or sketches. The poster… um, I’m not totally stoked on it. Even though it is a surf ‘culture’ event, when you add people to the mix, the risk is of getting cartoony, which I kind of did. SO, I’m redoing the poster. The deal with three surfers in the glare was designed to put in the middle of a poster. The darker version was a mistake by Steven at my favorite non-surf, non-work hangout, THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend. I had just gotten a reversal done for the new attempt at the poster. SO… whoa! I like it. And what I liked about the color on the original, the splotches in the breaking part of the wave, I like the colors in reverse almost equally. Happy accidents.
THE BOTTOM two drawings are… okay, studies. I am working on (Today, actually) some other possibilities for new ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirts. IF you own one now, hang onto it. I, most likely, will not print more shirts with those designs. They are authentic and ultra-exclusive and, and… yeah, if I ever hit it big…
IN other dream scenarios…
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers. I’m scrambling to get past my me-time and maybe buy something special for TRISH, the mother of our three delightful children. I mean, I do have a list: Toilet paper, paper towels, some vitamins, stuff like that. I’ll see when I get to Costco.
Oh, yeah; please respect the copyright restrictions on use of my, you know, studies and sketches, and… fuck it, why didn’t I go to the coast? The NEXT TIMES are piling up. But, yeah, next time, man…
I did take basic AND advanced drawing, like, um, fifty years ago, though my main medium of choice (didn’t want to say preferred medium) is pen-and-ink. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t resist going back in with the ink. I tried to go over the “Glass” drawing with darker lines. Didn’t like the results.
Figuring I’d do a quick mid-week posting (still going to have a Sunday by-high-noon post). Then… problems with the scanner, the connection, the actual scanning, the finding my ‘new post’ saved thingie. Now I’m late.
Hope you’re getting some surf. I’m in the scamming and scheming phase. See you Sunday on the web/cloud/fog.
Remember, the stuff is copyright protected, all rights reserved.
We have to, occasionally, scroll. My fault. I haven’t figured out how to tighten the borders on Drucilla’s Mac.
BY WAY OF EXPLANATION:
The ORIGINAL ERWIN LOGO thing came from trying to simplify my drawing style, such as, I’m often afraid, it is. Yes, I am planning on doing some more t-shirts as soon as I pay my taxes. I tried to make both sides of the wave match, then went to THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend, had Steven do the reversal/blue thing. I was so excited that I didn’t really perfectly align the reflection part. Close.
BECAUSE the SAILBOAT RACING THE SQUALL drawing was already being copied, a version came out blue (and reversed).
THE SALISH C tugboat illustration is the subtle color version, the colors all the more subtle(ized) by the vagaries of multiple copiers and printers and computer screens. Subtle and Simple are so fucking hard (I can say fucking because, so far, no one has told me not to. Still, I’m fucking cutting back… damn it).
THE YOUNG WOMAN illustration is another attempt to draw women without overdrawing. It is another possible cover or title page for “SWAMIS.” I have Dru working on adding some perfect non-hand-drawn lettering. She has, but, because I don’t know how to sign in to her acrobat account, it is unopen-able on her computer. It would be able to be opened on the laptop Trish is hanging on to, but then I would probably have to fucking (sorry) find it. AND YES, I’m so so close to finishing the final go through on the manuscript, trying so hard to keep it around 95,000 words.
FANTASY POINT. Here’s the point: Two local artists, JESSE JOSHUA WATSON (I insist on calling him Jesse Merle Watson- easier for me to remember) and STEPHEN R. DAVIS have done paintings of fantasy point breaks. I’m competitive.
I would put Jesse’s version up, but I would have to contact him and… and, anyway, no one wants anyone to believe any rendering or abstraction of lineups that don’t actually exist (yeah, maybe Indonesia or Surfer’s Journal) might be real. BUT, both Stephen and Jesse surf, so we do share similar inspirations. Maybe… okay, I’ll call someone who might have Jesse’s number. Meanwhile, google him. I DIDN”T SAY my interpretation is better. To quote another surfer/writer: “I wouldn’t say ‘better,’ I would say ‘different.’ ” I will gladly accept DIFFERENT.
PLEASE REMEMBER, all the rights to all original works on realsurfers.net are owned by someone.
It was almost coincidental that I found a photo from Ron Stoner of Swamis in about 1966, a year or so after I started surfing. Here it is:
So, here’s my version:
Usually I can’t keep well enough alone. I did several modifications to another possible illustration for “Swamis,” the novel I’m now over halfway through my latest rewrite/edit (definitely making the manuscript easier to follow if less, um, colorful- Still too wordy, too much dialogue). This drawing is based on another Stoner Swamis photo. Before and after, with another after in the neverland file.
SO, I have several copies of the newer drawing and will attempt to show some discipline and restraint in coloring them. Results forthcoming.
MEANWHILE, I am getting some drawings together in preparation for the zoom event with the PORT TOWNSEND PUBLIC LIBRARY. I was actually volunteered by PT ripper Keith Darrock; and, since I don’t really need folks being forced to watch me talking all about my writing methods and such stuff, the plan is to get a selection of my art works together and have a slide show. It’s all supposed to happen August 20, but I will certainly post reminders as the date approaches.
AS ALWAYS, stay safe, surf when you can. OH, oh, yeah; Stephen R. Davis is in Hawaii, flight delayed by a hurricane; not sure about his current status, quarantine-wise. Checking the Big Island forecast fourteen days out… hmmm.
I probably should start with the color version of the Ginny Cole illustration for “Swamis” before I get into anything remotely political. I am making progress on the novel; with at least one new character and so much concentration on how Jody’s father, Joseph DeFreines, Sr. died that I may have to severely cut back on the drama and adventure involved in the killings of Chulo and Gingerbread Fred.
Sequel? Not yet. Trish asked me if I wanted the drawing to be sort of mystical. Yeah, definitely; reflecting the time, 1969, and, more specifically, how a young person felt about the time, the place, life, love, surf, everything.
I’m not actually through doing satirical political drawings. There is just too much material out there. For example, Ivanka Trump leading a public relations effort to encourage desperate and out of work folks to just ‘find something new.’ Yeah, like, um, with jobs at a premium and Republicans claiming the unemployed are just living it up on all the extra money; maybe what folks need is a new daddy. Works for her. Cake, yeah; let them eat cake; oh, and, because the owner of this outfit said nice things about her daddy; eat lots of Goya beans.
AND, I would like to do a drawing of Tucker Carlson, whose lawyers went to court recently to defend his right to tell lies; or, put in Fox-speak, Tuck-man is under no obligation to tell the truth. It’s not like he’s a real journalist. I would add, perhaps, a little sign that says, “Truth don’t matter; Ratings matter.” Yeah, it should be Truth ‘doesn’t’ matter; thanks for catching that.
This is my latest attempt at the negative-to-positive technique:
I’m pretty satisfied with the illustration, at least partially because it pretty much turned out as I imagined it would, hopefully, pretty; and I don’t feel the need to go back on this drawing and make changes.
Not yet, anyway. I am considering going back to the original and adding something referencing my novel, “Swamis,” Ginny Cole being a main character in the in-progress (still) manuscript.
AND, this image may end up on an ORIGINAL ERWIN t-shirt. If not, or if so, I’ll get a signed, framed, limited edition (limited, as always, by me) copy over to Tyler Meeks’ DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE soon, like, maybe today.
MEANWHILE, look for, wait for, or enjoy surf when you can, make sure you’re ready to vote in November, and STAY SAFE.
FIRST, here’s a drawing I did, white and dark on medium-toned paper. I can’t seem to get a white that will work. I had a paint pen but it clogged up, didn’t work twice.
Won’t work twice, it’s all right. Ma. Unnecessary allusion.
HERE’S my explanation for the cut scene: Including the exchange between Joey DeFreines and the writer/editor is a pretty conscious effort/shoutout to the sardonic and wise (and I always associate the two) writer/editor who managed to work through “Swamis,” the unexpurgated version, and provide me with… I don’t want to say ‘guidance,’ no one seems to suggest a better storyline… constructive criticism of my manuscript.
I have changed the first hundred pages enough, cut out enough, that the story is… it’s different. I did, I thought, let the story kind of work itself out, with a certain goal in mind, a last line planned before the first line was written (and subsequently, re-re-re-written). Most of the storyline of Joey/Jody in his later years has been cut. SO…
The next day, after Rudolph had several quite distraught visitors (never introduced to me) whom he seemed to have to console, after lunch, after a nap (I slept longer), Rudolph, smiling, put down his own tablet, said, “Kafka. Supposedly he… serious stuff to most… readers… supposedly he was laughing his ass off while he was writing.”
I was writing, wasn’t laughing.
Rudolph made several disparaging comments on the current state of popular fiction, looked at me, pointed at my laptop with his tablet. “Your book’s on there, right?”
“Oh? That’s sarcasm. Fine. Don’t really know you, but… I do know writers; fucked-up crazy egotistical fucks… mostly; so… don’t take this personally, but… fuck you.”
Later (and not that much later), with Rudolph, evidently, having had enough of CNN (“Too redundant, too many commercials, too many panels of experts”), he switched the channel to Fox News, flipped off Sean Hannity. Both hands. “Double eagles,” I told him. Since I also had a remote, I switched to MSNBC; Rachel Maddow (“Love her; don’t think she loves me back”). Rudolph switched the TV off.
Rudolph- “Have any sex scenes in there?”
Rudolph- “No, not yet, or, no; never had sex?”
Me- “Not yet; but I hear it’s kind of fun. Ha. Ha. Really, it’s not that kind of book.”
Rudolph- “Oh. Well; every kind of book needs a little… sex.”
I hit ‘save,’ shut down the ‘Word’ program. “So, Rudolph… you do know publishers?”
“Sure. Not as many as I once did; worst kind of pricks. Not, um, needy, like writers, but used to feeling needed. It’s worse. Still, they spend some time on their knees. Publishers, now; scared shitless of not making their money back.” He held back for a second. He seemed to enjoy that I was enjoying his commentary. He had the inside information, dissected and delivered in a sarcastic/realistic way. “But, really, my temporary roommate; Amazon. Self-publish; it seems to be the way.”
I reopened the program, hit the ‘Pg Dn’ button until I got to the end, kept writing. Typing, backspacing paragraphs, rephrasing. I thought about laughing, just to mess with Rudolph.
“You know,” Rudolph said, during the setup for some BBC crime drama, one I had seen before; “I’ve never really watched a writer write before.” I looked over at him, did a ‘was I drooling’ wipe at my mouth. “Let me tell you… it’s an ugly process.”
“That’s why I don’t put on my writer clothes,” I said, “and go down to the café and fire up the laptop.”
“’Light up… light up the laptop,’ it’s better;” Rudolph said, editing, as if changing my words was amusing. “I assume you’ve google-searched for information on writing and publishing,”
I chuckled, gave him a ‘just a second’ gesture, went back to typing. Rudolph said, somewhere during another ‘begging for money’ break on the local PBS channel, “Of course you have. It’s sixty to ninety thousand words for a novel.”
Me- “Not a novel.”
Rudolph- “Yeah; it is. If you changed one name, forgot one thing, it’s… it’s your take on things. There’s what’s the true truth, and there’s… it’s a novel. Yes, all writing is, in some way, autobiography; but, Joseph; it’s a novel. Where are you at, right now?”
Rudolph- “No. Words. Jeez.”
I was at a little over twenty thousand at the time. I was at 25,931 when I started writing about Rudolph, but I keep going back. Every time I open up the (yeah, I guess) novel, I tend to start at the beginning, get bogged-down. In the time I have, with the energy I have; I’m not moving forward; at least not quickly. I’m editing. Editing. It sounds like cutting things out; but no; there’s always something I thought of overnight.
Something new. Something old, rather, but newly remembered.
“This is my new addiction,” I told Rudolph, “I look forward to writing the way I’ve always looked forward to surfing. I miss it when I can’t do it.”
“This surfing;” he said, “the water’s cold, huh?”
“Can be.” I had to add more. “Probably, around here, gets up to 75 degrees or so, for about a week… August; goes down to 55, for about a week, middle of January, probably; again, for about a week. In the old days, 60s, if you put on a wetsuit; and we only had short johns, before, say, December 10th or so… water down to 58 degrees… that was the cutoff; or if you put on a wetsuit before Easter; again, 58 degrees… you were a pussy. Nowadays…”
Rudolph was smiling. I stopped talking. “60,000 words; shouldn’t be a problem.” We both smiled. “Do you ever think about… drowning?”
“No; I mean, I have but, I’ve seen people who have drowned… I mean, any real surfer has had experiences where… I’ve just decided against it. Cold water. Bodies turn kind of… seaweed, um, green.”
“Yeah. So, not dying, then. Better to die in… Las Vegas, maybe. Toasty… I’m thinking about the colors… tourist tan-burn. Yes! Hot, but dry.” Realizing he was enjoying the moment, the conversation, a bit more than he might normally allow himself, Rudolph nodded toward my laptop. “You finish it, I’ll give it a read. When it’s done. First draft, at least.”
“Whoa!” I pointed at Rudolph, pointed back at the laptop. A few seconds passed. We both seemed to know I would ruin the mood. And I did. “Are you sure you’ll live long enough to read it? I mean, you’re saying you will… read it; and I… I appreciate that… I just want you to tell me about… style. I want to write it the way I want, but… I feel like, I believe I have a… style.”
“Fucking writers. Egotistical fucks.”
“You said that… before.”
“Well, thanks for fucking listening to something other than the voices in your head.”
I laughed. “Yeah; that’s what I’m in here for. Voices.” I tapped on my head.
I waved my hand to suggest I was kidding. I smiled, blinked several times. “They don’t want to, uh, remove them… the voices; some doctor thinks she can translate them… into, uh, German.”
“Okay. All right. Look; If you live long enough to finish it, Joseph; I’ll live long enough to tell you it needs work.”
“Deal,” I said.
Rudolph seemed to be, over the next hour or so, doing what I do, replaying the conversation in his mind. For most people there’s no replay, no rewind, no editing. Most people. My recall isn’t perfect, quite. I replay the ones that seem important. Over and over if I’ve fucked up somewhere in the back and forth. There are, I’ve discovered, few conversations, ever, that I’ve not fucked up somehow.
Sometime during the eleven o’clock news, after another nurse, Martha, had come in to introduce herself to Rudolph, check on him, with a cursory check on me; Rudolph took his phone from the side table, and said, “Let me give you my address. You’re fine. Do some of that surfing or something. Thrive. It’s, my address; it’s a condo. Solana Beach. On the bluff.”
“Solana Beach is wall-to-wall condos,” I said. “I remember when…”
“Yeah, of course you do. Remember. But, hey, Roomie, if I might get a word in here; remember, remember when that swimmer… last guy in a group… got killed by the shark?” Pause. He nodded toward our big, shared window (view of apartment buildings, mostly). “Happened right out my window.”
“You saw it?”
“No, but I felt as if I had. I’m not a fucking writer, but I can… (he twiddled his hands in the air) visualize.” He pointed to my cell phone, close to the edge of the bed.
I didn’t visit Rudolph in his condo. I tried to call. He never answered. I wouldn’t leave a message, but would call back, let it ring once. Missed call. Or I’d text, something like, ‘working on it,’ or ‘the narcissists are in bloom.’ He would text, occasionally, something like, “Any SEX yet?” or “Entertaining the HOSPICE people. Pre-hospice. Counselors. Like manic-depressive humorists.” Followed by, “Almost said BLACK HUMORISTS.” “Different group. DOUR lot.”
I texted, “Dour. Good word.”
I missed an actual call an hour or so later. The voice mail message was, “Oh, so now you’re not picking up? Probably quoting Shakespeare to seagulls or something. Anyways, dour. Yes, I prefer it to ebullient.” In a higher octave, “’Yes, you’re dying; but, hey, look on the bright side.’ Ebullient.”
When I did visit Rudolph, he was back in the hospital, one room over from the one we’d shared. Same view, slightly different angle.
“They, the bastards, didn’t kill the child,” he said. He wasn’t talking about the doctors, though he said he had given up hoping another test would have a different result, another consultant would have another opinion, a better prognosis. He was talking about Nazis. “But, in a way, see, they did. I never got to be a child. I, my life; I look for errors, for mistakes; and I envy the writers who have, like you; a sense of wonder. Wonder. What does that mean? Passion, longing, wanting to fucking know, wanting to feel, to touch the magic.”
“Uh huh. Yes.”
“So, that’s good is what I’m saying. Shit, man; I’m pouring it out here, and you, best you can do is ‘uh huh.’ Writers?”
“Sorry, Rudolph. It’s just that…”
“It’s just that, Joseph; I hope you don’t… sixty thousand words; that’ll take the wonder out of it; but not… not the magic. Nobody… nobody who matters gives a flying fuck about flowery passages and perfect sentence structure; even about the… overall… construction. Just tell the fucking stories.”
Rudolph and I did exchange some stories. He had felt passion, wonder, love; he was even capable of forgetting, briefly, that he had been robbed of a childhood.
Rudolph, who didn’t die in the concentration camps, who repeatedly told me the bastards would get him; eventually; never read a word.
I read some early chapters to him on one of his last days, in his condo on the bluff, looking out his windows, imagining the shark picking off the last swimmer. One of his sons (looked up his name- Jacob) and Jacob’s two children (didn’t get their names) were there at the time, along with, briefly, a quite dour Hospice nurse (didn’t bother with her name). My name, evidently, was on some sort of list.
Rudolph kept dozing off and waking up, possibly disappointed he was still alive. I kept reading. I could tell when something I’d written was awkward or wrong. Jacob would look over at his father.
“Needs work.” That was the last thing I said to Rudolph.
“Perfection,” Jacob said. “My father says, ‘perfection is difficult to attain, and impossible to maintain.’”
Rudolph woke up just before I was leaving the condo. He didn’t seem to notice his son or me, but did look, through the afternoon glare, at the sliding glass doors. Jacob’s two girls were playing, outside on the little deck, pressing themselves against the panels, salt stained, seventy-five feet above the ocean, their movements creating the on-glass equivalent of snow angels. Jacob and I both noticed, smiled. Not that we were ebullient.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT is heightened when what you’re missing out on, if you surf somewhere with VERY SMALL WAVE WINDOWS, is good surf. That’s probably all I should say, but, of course, I’ll keep ranting on. If you live and die by the forecasts, you’ll probably miss out occasionally. “I could have gone” is a surfer’s lament I’ve sung many times.
Surfing is a gift; having decent or better waves to ride is an extra, a bonus.
Easy to forget.
“SWAMIS” UPDATE: I just got the feedback on my manuscript from a professional writer and editor. I had texted him a while back, after I got some other feedback, to please stop reading. The novel needs a lot more work, and I have been making progress on a massive rewrite. The book doctor claims he didn’t get the text, and completed the editing, with commentary and a full-page overview.
I should, first, say that when I asked the unnamed writer/editor to read something from “Swamis,” quite a while back, he said he’d read it when it was completed. Meaning, not before; not the feedback on my writing style I wanted. Okay. SLOW-FORWARD to when I thought “Swamis” was complete enough to get a copyright.
“This might take a while,” he said. And it did.
Because I had given him a thumb drive, I had to wait a couple of days before I could retrieve it. Anxious days. When I stopped off to pick it up, he declined to tell me much. Like a written work, the review/edit would speak for itself. “I can’t believe you actually read the whole thing,” I said. “The reason I did is because I said I would. The reason I agreed to read and review it is because I never thought you’d finish it.”
Obviously I haven’t.
“Take a week,” he said, “cry, get mad, hate me, whatever, then go back to writing.”
I’m pretty sure it’s been a week and I’ve devoted a lot of my thinking time to figuring out how to make “Swamis” work. The good news is I have already deleted a lot of the parts he thought, rightfully, were deletion-worthy, off-topic, not contributing to the story.
AND, his comments were all accurate.
HOWEVER, he seemed to, from the beginning, keep asking why Jody wasn’t more focused on finding out who killed his father than on who killed Chulo. I have an explanation for that.
ALL THANKS for the help and feedback from the (so far) unnamed professional and the others who have read part or all of the UNEXPURGATED VERSION. Believe me, I’m expurgating the shit out of it.
TYLER MEEKS’ DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE is back OPEN. I’m not sure what the hours are, but if you’re passing by and it’s open, stop in.
I’ve been trying to do a few more illustrations for “Swamis,” particularly of characters. This drawing came from a small photo in the back of an old “Surfers’ Journal.” I drew it once; pencil and pen, used that version to do this simpler, cleaner one; then did a third. Too dark. The original photo was from the 1970s, and was of… I probably shouldn’t say.
MEANWHILE, if you just found out some surfer who went looking for waves just because it fit into his schedule, and scored; try to get over it. Cry, hate him… just take a week and… try to get over it. BETTER YET, get even.
I just cut another mini-chapter in what I’m calling the ‘massive edit’ of “Swamis.” I’ve passed page 200 of what was 300, and I am, for better or more better, adding words in some places while I cut in others.
As such, I added a couple hundred words to a part on the real life swell of December, 1969. There should be surfing in a surf novel, and, although it’s not a ‘Big Wednesday’ climax, it’s not just background, either.
First, here’s a pencil and pen drawing:
Before I get to the outtake, I could explain where it came from. I never attended a surf movie alone (or any movie at any theater or high school gym, or went to any sit-down restaurant), but I also never went with my surfing friends. I first saw “Endless Summer” with my mom and sister. I went to a movie at Hoover High with Emily, my chemistry lab partner. I was supposed to drive down in my Morris Minor, but it was, as it frequently was, broken down, so Emily and I got to get dropped off by my parents, on a date of their own. Dropped off. Embarrassing.
I went with Trish, but, for some reason (probably the broken car, again) we got to ride with my sister and her boyfriend, Alan, who might have passed for a surfer if he hadn’t, the very day, shaved off his mustache. Trish looked good, might have acted as if she enjoyed the movie. The embarrassment increased when we, as was the custom, stopped at the Carnation ice cream place. It was some time in 1969, I was a senior at Fallbrook High, and had competed for a second time in the KGB/Windansea high school surf contest. Thor Svenson, president of the Windansea Surf Club, and some members, came into the restaurant and, maybe it was my startled expression rather than Mr. Svenson actually recognizing me, but he nodded, and I nodded, me sitting in a booth with more-chic-than-necessary Trish, my sister, Suellen, and her farmboy-looking date.
I survived, and did push Trish into a couple more outings, one at Mira-Costa Junior College, closer to home; and at least one at the local Junior High in Pacific Beach, after we got married and moved there.
But, to explain where this outtake came from, a girl whose Navy doctor father had just been transferred from Virginia came to Fallbrook, mid-term, 1968, and took a seat across from me in English class. We talked surfing, I said I’d show her around, and we went, that very day, after school. I discovered, after we went to the Surfboards by Heck (it’s still mentioned in “Swamis”), that she wasn’t really interested in actually surfing. Because I was her first date in Fallbrook, probably, and because I… because I was me; Phil or Ray, or Phil and Ray called me up to see how it went. “Hey,” my father said, walking past; “A man doesn’t talk about what happens on a date.” “Nothing happened,” my mom said; “I’m sure nothing, nothing happened.” She was right, of course; other than, as mentioned, the girl figuring out I might be a real surfer, but I wasn’t even or even close enough to her on the social status scale. Fine. Different scales.
Here’s the piece:
SURF MOVIE- HOOVER HIGH- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1968
This was all kind of normal at surf movies, sixteen-millimeter productions shown at high schools and rented theaters, even after “Endless Summer” had made the leap to the big screen. I had attended a few, Hoover High in San Diego; fifty miles from Fallbrook and at least fifteen miles from the ocean.
This time I was with, rather than one or two of my friends, a date; a girl from my History class, who’d just moved to Fallbrook from Hawaii, said she surfed and would love to go to a surf movie. I discovered she wasn’t really a surfer by the time I showed her the third or fourth surf spot (Grandview or Beacons, both looking pretty good) on the way down. She discerned I probably wasn’t in with the rich or popular kids before we got to Windansea. I drove back on 395. Closer. “Fun,” she said. “Yeah,” I said. “See you.” It wasn’t long before she started dating a rich popular kid and I became her “I was new in town” story.
Still, I had enjoyed the movie. I always enjoyed the scene; surfers hooting, laughing, making that sort of whooshing sound for a slow-motion ride; or being reverently silent; all in unison, all at the appropriate times. And, even if she wasn’t an actual girlfriend, it was a date; she was pretty cute. She did look like a surfer.