If I lost you in the lines…

…in the glare, in the crowd; I know I’ll see you later.

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It’s high season for painting houses, and quite a short season it is here in the great northwest. It might be considered fortunate that it’s off-season for surfing, even on the coast. I would love more time for writing and drawing and, yeah, I’d like to see something a bit more promising in the surf forecasts.

So, this one time… this one time I moved over from the rights as the tide flattened them out. About the time I got to my preferred lineup for the lefts a set approached. Big Dave was the only one farther out than I was. “Oh,” I said, “I’d love to take that first one.” “Well,” Dave said, “It’s your birthday.”

It wasn’t. But, recently, it was; and there was a bit of a bump, and… okay, it wasn’t classic; there were roll-throughs and closeouts and a sideshore wind, and, along with the many waves I caught during my five hours in the water, there were several pretty nasty wipeouts, cuts on both hands, a wound on my calf, sore muscles, and one ear plugged up for several days.

And now it’s back to sweating, painting some crappy apartments in Bremerton.  But, I am taking a little time to finish a drawing, do some (this and other) writing, study the forecast. My thinking is: I’m not getting any younger.

UPDATE: Archie Endo has returned, at least temporarily, from Thailand. The stroke he suffered there has left him physically weaker, and he thinks it’ll be a while before he can get back to his soulful and stylish longboard surfing.   Stephen Davis and Mike “Squintz” Cumiskey helped him get settled back into his house.

Hydrosexual Stephen Davis, who just left for the Big Island this morning, took Archie to the pool in Sequim, and said, when Archie got in the water, “He just lit up. You could see the energy coming back.”  Archie confirmed this. Hopefully, with some proper therapy, we can see our friend parallel-stancing his way across some northwest waves.

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Part IV- Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Still (not down) Down In Mexico

I’ve been signed up for the Facebook thing for a while, but haven’t really used it. It seems, however, the best way to keep up with my currently far-flung friends, Archie Endo and Stephen Davis, is by navigating/scrolling/checking, and, probably to save some time, missing a few heartfelt/heart-rending/humorous/political/other postings, ‘liking’ any (and all) by my wife, maybe commenting if I just can’t resist (OH, and happy birthday to my youngest child, Sean, who posts under at least two pseudo-names;  by typing in their names. Again, since this sentence was so long, Archie Endo and Stephen Davis (no, not the preacher from the south or the teacher from the northeast).

Archie, to update you who are not up to date, is still in Bangkok, Thailand, though out of the hospital; going there daily for rehab; and may be coming back to the Pacific Northwest in the next couple of months. He says the effects of his stroke may decrease his ability to surf, particularly in our cold water.

First, Archie, this handicap may make him and I more even in our ability to surf. Second… Well, how about Mexico?

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This is Mexico. It may or may not be Stephen. Okay, it’s a photo taken BY Stephen Davis OF Matt Stokes, obviously FROM the water. I’m positive Stephen found his way into similarly desirable tube positioning. Desirable/enviable.

OKAY, so Stephen won’t tell me exactly where he is, but he has been down there long enough that my jealousy level has almost gone up to resentment. He has sent/posted a few photos. I keep writing to tell him I’m going to take some of these images and post them on this site, all the while encouraging Steve to write down some of the tales he’s, no doubt, living.

How do I know adventures are happening to and with Stephen, down there with the gringo pirates and painters and plunderers and (now I’m guessing) punk-ass dealers and two-and/or-four-wheelers? I know because Steve attracts adventure.  Or maybe adventure is attracted to him. I’ve told him from the first time we met, and I’ll tell you; Stephen is like a real life and modern day “Candide” (maybe you’re more familiar with the updated version, “Candy”); he approaches life with a sort of innocence, that filtered through his own particular set of neuroses (I think that’s the plural form- and his are different enough from mine that we can comment on them not that this lessens them for either of us, but it might help). We’ll get the stories, eventually; but for now, keep living it. We’ll discuss it all later. I can wait.

In case I have to say it: Stephen is one of my favorite people; and I’m not trying to be negative at all. What he is is real.

Surf Side Trip South to Northern…

…California, and I only started it this way because I was avoiding saying ‘NorCal,’ or is it ‘NortCal,’ or ‘Callie De Norte’;’ the cousin to ‘SoCal’ and ‘Cali (sp? it’s not Callifornia);’ each of which sort of bugs me and smacks of attempts at coolness and/or familiarity; as in, “Whoa! You’re from Cali?”  “No, I was raised in Southern California, but I was actually born in Surf City, NorCar (pronounced ‘Nor Care’).” “NorCar?”

Yeah, that was me attempting to sound cool and/or familiar with a place I left at three years old. BUT, here’s this story. My friend, Hydrosexual (his rampant relationship with all things water, including the frozen and powdered varieties, is explained elsewhere) Stephen Davis, down and working in the coastal foothills of Northern California, took some time off to cruise down to Santa Cruz. He called to see if the waves he predicted for the area in which I surf actually showed up, and if I, part of the ever-increasing surf population in the area I will no longer reference (explained in a minute), actually caught myself a few.

They did, I did, but now, as he was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, I was headed to a Ghost Conference in Port Gamble. No, first to Costco, then on to the conference to meet up with Trish, our ex-daughter-in-law, Karrie, our grandson, Nate (or N8, cooler spelling), and our daughter, Dru… and various ghost hunters, busters, believers, skeptics, groupies; the festivities under the direction of Pete Orbea, married to Mollie, lifelong friend of Dru’s.

SO, a shoutout to that event. BUT, and MEANWHILE…

santacruzdavisAnd, then, on the way back…fortpointdavisOH, wait, are these secret spots? Will showing these images increase the number of surfers and hodads and posers (same as hodad, but, if you didn’t know that, you, well, may actually be a poser, poseur if you’re a more-nuanced hodad) and power couples and enthusiasts and parking area maestros and lineup primadonnas?

DEFINITELY, and that’s why I will never again mention anything about waves, surf, or surfing in ____ ________, ____ _______,  and any other spot on the ______ __ ____ __ ____, or even ______; though I will continue to boast of the merits of Westport. Go there, go now.

NOW, it’s hard for me to believe that my site has done all (or even much of) the damage, brought 40 souls last Saturday to the lineup at any (unnamed) spot that surfers who have survived the high-percentage of skunkings, the driving, probably surfed barely-big-enough-to ride waves, endured endless hours of waiting through ‘almost’ conditions, and occasionally found a few peelers.

NO, I BLAME the folks who lucked-out, then told their friends, bragging, exaggerating the size and cleanness and uncrowdedness and length of ride and… AND, having lucked-out, these same surfers try to repeat the rare session; with a few friends.

My friend, Keith ______, is willing to go through my site, remove/redact any reference, quote or tag pertaining to ????CXCkkppplmnno (it’s a list); so, if you think there is any secret info or insight on finding waves on the _____, better just start here and keep reading. START NOW.

MEANWHILE, Archie Endo, still in Thailand, is improving, doing some Facebooking. Archie Endo; worth looking up. AND, HERE’S SOMETHING I’ll make into a whole post: It seems the welcoming ALOHA SPIRIT has been replaced by a sort of disgruntled, begrudging, half-hearted acceptance of increased numbers in chilly waters.  AGAIN, working on that.  OH, and I’ve decided the swells seem to peak a mathematically irritating number of times on weekends because more people are praying for that. Like the 40 surfers at ____ ______ last Saturday.

Not my fault. I was sliding a few at _____ _____. And Stephen was sneaking up on the main peak at some no-doubt well known Santa Cruz spot. He didn’t actually tell me which one. No, I understand. It’s okay.

While You’re Praying for Surf, how about…

…adding World Peace?

image-98Yeah, sure; but, I mean… okay, world peace… and some uncrowded and perfect waves.

MEANWHILE, I’m working on a commissioned (not, like, for a lot of money) poster for Franco Bertucci’s band, Locust Street Taxi.  Here’s kind of the progression:image-97image-99image-96Actually, I had to add a lot of copy in the blank space; and then add color. I’m getting the final poster copied today; I’ll post it tomorrow. Or tonight.

MEANWHILE, Archie continues to recover from his recent stroke; supposedly is using computer. I’ll write him, see what happens. MEANWHILE, continuing to get November weather in October here on the northwest corner; always praying for some alignment of the swell and wind direction… oh, and world peace.image-100

 

Going to Chinook, maybe Seaside, then Cleanwater. Classic… and, Damn, I’ll Running Late

I stole this photo of a typical Westport contest scene from Drew Kampion.  Knowing I was headed down to my Dad’s in Chinook, Washington; and maybe checking out some post/during/pre-storm surf at Seaside, Mr. Kampion, top-tier surf wordsmith, and someone who spent some time judging heats and doing various contest-related chores, sent this photo. I did reply, saying I’m stealing it. He was (and I can’t guarantee it’s actually his photo) encouraging me to give his love to the Surfrider folks who brave harsh conditions to help run the annual contest, or, whoa, even compete in it.

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Yeah, south wind, sideways swell, sixty yard impact zone, waves that look like the stuff you paddle through to get to the waves you want to ride, roll-throughs, closeouts; welcome to the Northwest Surf City.

I have some notion that I may be able to sell a few Realsurfers Coloring Books while I’m down there. It is a great time to hang at the surf circus that Westport can sometimes be; so, if you’re going; see you there.

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Here’s the second drawing I did (on commission) for Tom Burns, a northwest surfer for, for, forever; with all the stories to prove it. He sent me two photos, thirty (might have been forty) years apart, same classic spot on the Strait. I completed a first drawing, but Trish said he looked like he had a big ass. He’s thinner here. I expect a bonus. Tom will be judging heats at the Surfrider competition. I did judge last year, but, I don’t know; I’m kind of loud, fool around a bit, judge harshly, perhaps… still, kind of hoping they’ll ask me to fill in while one of the judges takes a bathroom break or has to be treated for hypothermia. We’ll see; and I’ll let you’ll know.

UPDATE ON ARCHIE: I’m thinking no news might be as good as we can get. Recovery is slow and probably lonely, half the world away. Still sending whatever good thoughts I have; and I’ll pass on anything I hear.

Archie Endo, Strait Surfer and Retro Maniac, needs some prayers and…

…whatever wishes those who don’t pray can offer. The Strait of Juan de Fuca longboarder, known for long rides on long walls, the Japanese-American guy with the classic American cars, ten foot boards, the parallel stance, knee paddling into waves from tiny to slightly-bigger, who can milk a wave at Archie’s Reef from the boil to the river; yeah, that guy, is in a hospital in Bangkok, in need of an operation on his brain.

Information is sketchy, but the situation seems dire. Archie, who learned to surf in his native Japan, and, in a show of independence, never had an interest in shortboarding, was raised a Buddhist, no doubt, but is willing to embrace all religious experiences. As part of our ritual in heading for surf together, particularly when going down those winding curves on 112, I’d cross myself, traditional Catholic symbol, with an extra throwout of my right hand;  just for a little extra; and Archie would repeat the gesture.

First, waves; then, size; then, lack of side or onshore wind; then, lack of crowd; then, maybe, a little more size. “It looks… surfable.”

Archie, a salmon roe expert, has been around the world working in the industry; and, for the last two years, has been working in Thailand, with a recent and prolonged sidetrip to Mozambique; coming back to Discovery Bay once or twice a year. This was a big break for him, part of a larger plan. Hopefully this is just a setback. I love going surfing with him; his mellow attitude (oh, he’ll go for a wave) seems to balance my own non-mellowness.

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Yeah, that guy; Atsushi “Archie” Endo. Offer what good thoughts, and prayers you can to whatever gods you believe in. “I think this day, maybe it wasn’t quite ‘surfable.’ Or maybe this is a lull.

UPDATE 9/27: Archie may have suffered a stroke, fallen, hit his head. He was able to move, good sign, semi-conscious, but unable to speak as of the last report.

UPDATE 9/28: According to Facebook, with a lot of his friends from around the world commenting and ‘liking,’ word coming from Archie’s daughter, Lillian, is that he won’t need an operation; he still can’t speak, but has been able to smile; so, maybe the trauma is relaxed a bit, but the drama continues.  I was working with our mutual friend Stephen Davis yesterday; couldn’t help but recall a few Archie adventures. Steve, who has actually known Archie longer, Lillian being the same age as Stephen’s son, Emmett, spoke of a trip he and Archie made to a difficult-to-access rivermouth break on the Strait that helped solidify their friendship. I can’t help remember the first time I saw Archie, one of those mid-winter crystal days, the only one out, knee-paddling into a peak, standing up, dropping-in, turning into the face, riding it all the way to the shorebreak. Not having surfed the place for twenty years or so, I ran over to meet him. Having worked in Alaska for months, this was Archie’s season. “I take a break,” he said, “then I go back out. And you?” “Can’t wait.”   And I can’t wait for our next session.