Discovering Disco Bay and Stink Eye on Lock

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.

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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:

Image (14)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.


New Year, Same Forecast

Not sure why my attempt at a New Years greeting came out so dark.  I meant to show that peace, always some tenuously-held place between mania and depression (maybe I should say bliss and depression- sounds less, um, mental); peace is always under attack.

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It’s out there; mystical, magical; like waves that shouldn’t really line up perfectly, clean and glassy; but, sometimes, they do. Hope you find a few perfect sliders this year. And if you prefer waves that are a bit scary, they’re coming, also.

Catching Up On New Stuff Before…

…the new year. If I get a chance I’ll go through my notebook to see how many times I surfed at the various (not all secret) locations. this is without any big trips to, um, anywhere; don’t think I even surfed Seaside; definitely didn’t surf Westport.

I do keep track of the times I’ve been skunked.  Not all of them; but I do remember the times I pulled up to underwhelming-but-overcrowded.  Then there are the times, like yesterday, when there was a window; and I missed it.  Half an hour this way or that can make all the difference.

Spitting, scary pits can turn to clunky slop. Durnnnnn; and now I have all my gear dry and loaded; and there’s nothing in the near forecast.  So, I’m ready for 2018. Here are some new or just-scanned drawings:

May you squeeze through a few windows and into a few spitting, scary pits.Image (6)


Another Annoying Christmas/New Years Update/Letter

I hope you’ve been getting some holiday surf. You’ve probably gotten a few of those letters where people brag about  how perfect their families and lives are. OR you can get a glimpse at happy perfection on Facebook. No, this isn’t that.

THURSDAY, four days before Christmas: Our computer punked-out. Not really; I just couldn’t get on-line.  Unknown cause, but not unusual. I’ll cut out some verbiage here. It was the modem. Not that I knew that without making four or five phone calls around the neighborhood to see if it was just another local outage.

Okay, maybe I like excessive exposition. It didn’t seem like other people had internet; when Trish used some cellphone data and checked Facebook, no one was complaining. And people do complain about these interruptions. Our provider said there were some issues in the neighborhood, and, when I hit the proper number to the thirteenth prompt, they agreed to let us know when it was resolved. So I went to work.

FRIDAY, three days before Christmas: Now, we have had problems with our modem before; not ‘booting-up’ (if that’s the proper term- maybe it’s connecting-up or syncing-up with the router) when the DSL came back on.  Maybe it was the modem.

Yeah, after three calls to my provider, going through the various menus (each time), waiting for an actual person, then going on to a person who knew something about modems and connecting, each of whom tried, and I tried, to reset and/or reconnect, an engineer told me I could ‘probably’ purchase a modem from, like, Wal-Mart or Best Buy.  “Will it, um, link-up?” “Sure.” Otherwise, they set up a ticket to have someone come by and fix things on Tuesday (day after Christmas). Trish wasn’t that stoked on waiting.

SATURDAY:  I had picked up Dru, in from her new job with “The Onion” in Chicago, with some confusion (and scared to park because I had my board on the van, and was worried about the height) and three laps of Sea-Tac, on Wednesday. Since we hadn’t finished our latest round of remodeling (bathroom, mostly) and cleaning (kitchen, mostly), I dropped Dru at her lifelong friend Molly’s house in Kingston.

SO, I brought Dru home, tried to see what kind of modem would work. Dru, as is the custom, was sick. She made an appointment for Sunday morning, Christmas Eve day, at an Urgent Care facility.

SUNDAY, Christmas Eve day: They probably should call it Eventual Care. With an appointment, we waited about an hour. NOW, I must add that, somewhere on the previous Monday, headed for waves on the Strait, knowing there had been waves the previous day, I ran out of data on my sortof-smart phone. Too many times checking out World Surf League and buoys. I had to take advantage of free wi-fi when available, even getting a gift of a “hot spot” from a Home Depot associate. As I recall, it looked like it might be working. I was waiting.

After the appointment, we, of course, had to go to a pharmacy. Then we took off for Wal-Mart. Nope. “I don’t really know nothin’ about modems,” the associate who opened the locked cabinet said. We studied boxes. Nope.  If we had a cable modem… So, Office Depot (Dru called, they said they had a DSL model modem); Nope; “Musta’ jus’ been sold.” So, six more miles to Staples. They had one, gave me a sheet with instructions on how to hook it up.  “You’ll have to call your provider… and the company that made the modem.” Should work.

THEN IT STARTED SNOWING. Who the fuck asked for a White Christmas? Then something went out in the pumphouse. No water. Though Trish said all she wanted for Christmas was internet; now all she wanted was water. WAAAAHHHHH-TERRRRR!

Okay; I’ll get back to this. Here’s a couple of Christmas card drawings I did. I could have put them on the computer, but couldn’t put them on realsurfers. Trish wasn’t too stoked on the “Joy” card, but we used the other one for some of our cards.

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Yeah, I’ll update. Evidently I have to figure out why the breaker for the dishwasher keeps popping off

Forgetting Stephanie Gilmore and…

…Remembering why……why we surf.

In an early heat, early in last year’s contest schedule, in a moment of sheer joy, Stephanie Gilmore forget herself. She forgot, for that second, that she was competing, and that adding drama to a ride, mixing up the moves; turning, always turning; that is the gymnastic choreography that wins heats.

She had ridden a wave well past the contest zone, tucking into a tiny barrel down the beach, in among the kids, the grommets, and, rather than turning toward the beach cameras in the last little run of a long wave, she leaned back, left hand in the rising face, right hand in the falling lip.

“A little soul arch tribute,” or words to that affect, Joe, or Pottz, or one of the other World Surf League commentators said. It was, maybe, more surprising, that it wasn’t (correctly) identified as a ‘claim.’ Or, maybe, a reclaim.

And then… then the contest continued, the moment forgotten, not included in the highlight reel. Instead, on the WSL’s opening sequence, along with exciting music and quick cuts to power gouges and backside hacks, there’s a few moments of the same Stephanie Gilmore, out on a wave’s shoulder, doing a sort of double-handed, fists-clenched, power claim.

Because she did remember she was in contest mode.

No, not the same Stephanie Gilmore. Different choreography. Not that it’s not a great dance; not that she doesn’t dance as well as anyone ever has.

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So, what about Kelly Slater? Of all the moves, from all the years; all the incredible drops and turns and tubes, all the linking of moves; a favorite might just be a wave, possibly in France, beachbreak, and not the gravel-shifting power waves, but a little ‘bonus section,’ one any other contestant would have missed while displaying his latest ‘claim’ creation. But Kelly, probably a smile as quick as his turn, tucked into it, visible all the way in a rolling shower.

Somewhere around a second and a half of remembering why…

Here’s a new drawing, unrelated to this story:                                                                                 Image (236)

One or two special rides can make all the difference in how we remember a certain session. Probably the least fun I’ve had in surfing, the most frustration, was back, way back, back when I expected to do well (better) every time I went out. And, if I didn’t… This would be my own sort of inner contest.

After eight or ten years of not surfing at all, getting back into it (and now this is years ago); and sucking at it; any decent ride was memorable.

Here’s one I’ve banked: I was out at Pipes with Ray Hicks. After a couple of sessions staying away from the main peak, we had moved over to the right shoulder-side of the established crew, hoping to pick up a few strays. I was no longer a local, and Ray had a nine foot plus board and a, probably, 7’6”. We both did better on the longer board (and Ray did wayyy better than I could), but, since I was having trouble catching any waves on the shorter board, my eyes were burning, I was tired, and quite frustrated, I moved into the reform zone with the (other) grommets and the kooks, jumping into little waves, just hoping to get something going in my muscle memory.

When I’d actually get into one of the closeouts, I’d kneeboard it. A (similarly-aged, I would have been around 52 or so) guy walking out with his board said something to me about his knees and how it looked like I was having fun.

I was. “Yeah. I am.” I didn’t explain how I had once been good. I was, obviously, another kook. And, just then, a little wave peaked in front of me. I turned, leapt into it, pulled into a little barrel, and…


We could all remember not to forget why we surf; those moments, those waves on which we move in harmony with the ocean, dancing perhaps.

Story Somewhat Related to Bruce Brown…

Phillip Harper, Trish Harper, Ray Hicks, Bucky Davis, My Sister Suellen, My Mom, Bob Dylan, and The Endless Summer

Posted on February 16, 2014 by Erwin A. Dence Jr. under Uncategorized

“First of all,” I said, standing in the kitchen of Phillip Harper’s parents’ house, two bars of paraffin wax melting in a soup can on the stove, Phillip’s (second-ever, and not sun-browned like the first one) surf board, stripped and ready for a ‘pre-coat’, floating between two chairs and across the dining room table, “the theater was in no way ‘underground.’ Disappointing.”

Phillip and Ray Hicks seemed to be properly impressed that I, more country kid than either of them, had gone into the city for some other reason than to ride the escalators at Sears with my many brothers and sisters while my parents shopped.

It was at about this moment that Phillip’s sister, Trish (not my Trish- hadn’t met her yet), came in from the pantry (no one ever seemed to use the formal front door). She appeared noticeably disappointed that her brother and at least one of his geeky friends were there. Trish was followed in by her boyfriend, Bucky Davis. He was, perhaps, a bit less disappointed; a nod for Phillip, smaller one for Ray, even smaller one for me (standard cool reaction to over-amped groms). Bucky took a moment to check out the board (approvingly), then the wax melting on the stove.

“You have to be careful,” he said, both hands simulating an explosion. “A candle might be a better idea.” A single hand tipping an imaginary candle illustrated the point.

“Erwin went to see ‘The Endless Summer’ in San Diego,” Phillip said. “At an underground theater,” Ray added.

“The thing is,” I said, trying to be informative, and trying to be as cool as Phil and Ray “kind of disappointing; it wasn’t at all underground. Just a regular, um, theater. And…”

Phillip and Ray appeared less impressed than the first time they heard this. Of course; though they did seem to be checking Bucky’s reactions.

“On University Avenue?” Trish asked. I shrugged. I hadn’t driven. We’d gone down 395. It was somewhere near the Zoo.  “Well,” she said, “I saw it at State.” She paused, possibly to see if she had to add ‘San Diego State.’

No, I knew she had been spending some time down there, preparing to attend ‘State’ in the fall of 1967. Bucky would not be attending.  He was planning on going to Palomar Junior College; he’d have to go somewhere to stay out of the draft.

“When I saw it,” she continued, “Bruce Brown narrated it… himself. He was behind this curtain and…” She stopped because Bucky seemed a bit surprised at the news. At least that is what I thought, at the time, as if she had seen it without him. That would be sad, her and her new, big-city life and Bucky…

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[Let me add here, fifty years after this incident, three years after originally writing this piece, that, among my first surfing friends, Trish and Bucky were the perfect surfing couple.  That they didn’t remain a couple was, bits and pieces of the disconnection playing out over, and just beyond, my high school years, tragic; tragic in that teenager’s romanticized, love-lost way.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to record how I changed from total kook, over-stoked beginner, with Bucky one of my early surf heroes, to… I don’t know… over-stoked surfer out past high school, past the inside break; my friends scattered.

My opinion of surf heroes, with Bucky the best illustration, went, along with my connection to surfing, from a sort of ‘this is magic’ awe, to a more realistic view.  Bucky had some serious life challenges. He was a real person.

Still, what I loved about Phillip’s sister, that seeming-self confidence, that willingness to stand up as an equal, is part of what attracted me to my Trish.

Still… still an over-stoked surfer, awed by the magic… still I, somewhere in the part of me that never got past adolescent romantic, I’ve held out a notion that Bucky and Trish could… yeah, maybe I just hope they, and all my scattered surf heroes and friends, including Phillip and Ray… have been, mostly, happy.

And, I am grateful, while I’m anxiously awaiting my next surf adventure, that I have such great memories of interesting, and real, people. And someone to share current adventures with.]

I’m sure I was mostly trying to hide being impressed. And out-cooled. Again. Always by her.

“Bruce Brown? In person? That’s… cool.”

After all, it had been impossible for me to be really, even passably, cool, at the above-ground theater, hanging with my older sister, Suellen, AND my mother.

Still, hoping to in some way to compete with Trish Harper, I said, “Yeah, well; they had these previews for a movie with Bob Dylan, and…”

“’Don’t Look Back’,” Trish said.

“Huh?” Phillip and Bucky and Ray asked, pretty much at the same time.

“Uh huh,” I said; “and Bob Dylan’s, like… he’s holding up these…”

“Cue cards,” Trish said.

“I guess. Yeah. And my mom starts laughing.”

“Laughing?” Phillip and Trish and Bucky and Ray all asked.

“Yeah, laughing; and… I mean, not even Suellen is laughing. No one’s laughing.”

“Because it’s Dylan,” Trish said, serious and almost indignant.

“Yeah, Dylan; Bob Dylan. But, pretty soon, someone else starts laughing. And then more people are laughing; and then everyone’s laughing. And Bob Dyl… Dylan, he just keeps dropping the cards. And…”

By this time, in the kitchen, I was also laughing. Phillip started to laugh. Ray, studying Bucky’s face,  allowed himself to join in the laughter. Then Bucky looked over at his girlfriend (not laughing), maybe thought for a moment about how he didn’t see “The Endless Summer” at ‘State’ with her, with Bruce Brown personally narrating; and he laughed.

And then the wax exploded.

Bruce Brown, revealing the stoke and the magic and the awe to a larger world, stepping behind another curtain. Rest In Peace. And thank you.

Surfing for Fun (and some new illustrations)

It’s not ready yet, but I’m working on a piece about forgetting Stephanie Gilmore. Actually, it’s about a few moments of surfing in which Stephanie forgot herself, her image, her contest persona, her heat strategy; forgot everything except the joy of the moment.

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It’s something we all forget when dealing with the crowds, the conditions, and our own expectations for ourselves.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of other recent drawings:

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Sasquatch on the Tide Flats

NOTES: The word Patagonia refers to a land of giants.

-Sasquatch sightings in the wild Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington are a bit higher in the HamaHama region along Hood Canal.                                                                -The extended family of Adam “Wipeout” James has been logging, farming, and maintaining shellfish beds for generations.                                                                      -Whether surfing, working the tide flats, or representing HamaHama Seafoods all around the country, Adam’s life is more aligned with the cycle and pattern of tides than that of night and day.

THIS is fiction, as in, ‘could be true;’ and, really, it should be titled:


MORE NOTES/EXPOSITION: Adam is, quite possibly, the most gregarious person I’ve ever met. Eternally outgoing, willing to talk to just about anyone; I sort of wrote his behavior off as trying to fit in with the surf crowd, something in keeping with my impression that he believes there is some sort of unofficial Surf Community.                                             -Yeah, maybe; or maybe it’s the same more salt-water-connected than blood-related tribe I’ve been around for the last 52 years (or so).                                                                        -Adam remembers other surfer’s names, gets some background on others in the water and on the beach; and, I don’t know, it’s kind of catchy. Or I’m kind of competitive. Knowing Adam has made me, maybe, a bit friendlier. More on the beach than in the water.                                                                                                                                             -Adam has established some sort of relationship with Patagonia. They wanted, possibly, to make some inroads into the work clothing market, take some market share from Carhartt.                                                                                                                                             -SO, Adam scored some clothing, got some photos taken, set up mutual surf friend (and contractor in the boat building/repair world), Clint, with a modeling opportunity.      -AND, maybe because I wear my HamaHama hoodie out in the world, representing, Adam scored a xxxl Patagonia pullover for me. “Double xl is big enough,” I told him on the phone, both of us trying to figure out when and where to go surfing based on the latest forecasts, buoy readings, tide reports, and anecdotal/historic bullshit.

“I was just trying it on,” Adam told me, after the INCIDENT; “It fit over the rest of my gear.” “Because it’s a triple xl, Adam.” “Yeah; right.” So, finally, here’s my piece on Adam’s story:

Since it was a warmer night than expected, Adam left his (my) Patagonia pullover, a jug of water, and a burrito left over from dinner in a pile, just where the narrow path leading down from his house hit the beach. This was his own small section of tideflats. A moon, a few days past full, was rising above the trees and scattered lights on the Kitsap Peninsula, a mile or so across the ancient (ice age old) fjord. English explorers named this the Hood Canal, another finger (and not a canal) reaching from the various bodies that make up Puget Sound.

His characteristic miner’s style headset light on his wool cap, flannel shirt, rubber boots and protective gloves, and a five gallon bucket in each hand, Adam set out across the rocks and gravel.

He had missed the ebb tide, and, forty-five minutes into the flow, was thinking about surfing, about waves; swell size and angles and periods, and winds. With just a hint of an east wind spreading texture on the always-moving water; the decision was, as always, whether, in the morning, he should go down Surf Route 101 and out to the coast or up the same highway to the Strait. Deciding which oysters to pick was, after years of low tides, second nature.

The moon was only slightly higher when, his buckets full; he looked south, well beyond his headlamp’s ability to see clearly. It was…no.

What Adam thought could be (not unheard of) a bear, smashing shells with a rock; stood up, pouring an oyster into its mouth. Standing, it was… it was very tall. And it looked at him.

“It?” I asked, just the other day, on the Strait.   After four hours or so in the water, I was out and fully dressed. Adam, who arrived later than I had, having checked out several other possible locations, was sliding on a now-slightly-used canvas Patagonia jacket (probably a size large). “Have you seen, like, elk, deer, bears… out on the tideflats?” His gesture said, “Yes, all of those.” “Poachers?”

He laughed. “Yeah. That’s what I was thinking… a couple of years ago…” Adam cut himself off to say something to a group that had just pulled into the parking area; two softtops and two other boards on the roof, three guys and a woman climbing out.

“You have any more coffee?” he asked me. We had each had some after we both got out of the water the first time, before we noticed the rights seemed to be working (sporadically- I drifted back to the lefts where Big Dave was still surfing).

“Yeah; just don’t drink the last of it. Why don’t you bring a thermos?”

Half a cup in his (I’m guessing) hip canning jar mug, Adam walked over to his next (potential) friends as I tied-down my board, then put on the fleece-lined, flannel, old man coat I’d purchased for eight bucks at the Port Angeles Goodwill, shortly before I discovered I could get a new version at Costco for under twenty.

“Surgical strike, then. Great.” This is what Adam was saying to one of the four-person-group readying to attack the mostly-mediocre (I’m legally bound to never say ‘great,’ though, on this day, they weren’t) as he backed away from them and toward me, turning to say, “Surgical strike.”

I, no doubt, shrugged. “Poacher?”

“Oh, yeah; that’s where I might have screwed up. I couldn’t tell… he was kind of out of range. He was, um, thick enough, that I couldn’t really tell how tall he was. I think I said something like, ‘Hey, Buddy… Dude; you know that these tideflats are…’ I almost said, ‘mine.’ Or, maybe I did.”

I poured out the last of the coffee into my Seahawks mug. A third of a cup and almost luke-warm. “Now, Adam, I told you I wasn’t going to tell you, again, that the best wave I saw all day is the one you were too far over to make… so pretty.”

“No, the best wave was the one I took off in front of you on.”

“Yeah, maybe it was.” With Big Dave and I kind of, possibly, maybe, catching a lot of the available waves, Adam and others had moved up the reef. Not really working. Adam moved back over. On one of the larger waves, Adam took off in front of me. I surfed up next to and under him, and actually said (not yelled, but in the heat of the moment), “I hope you don’t think I care more about this board than this wave.” We both made the wave, and Adam said, “You should have gone past me.” “You should have dropped down.” “Yeah, next time. Fun, huh?”

“Yeah. Fun.”

At some point, and it was probably when he heard the growling, deep, low, but intensifying; Adam realized this wasn’t a poacher out on his tide flats. And it wasn’t a ‘Buddy’ or a ‘Dude.’

Turning toward the beach, walking slowly, at first; his lamp turned off, looking up at the yard light at his house; Adam didn’t break into an all-out run until he approached the high tide line. Still, he never thought of dropping the buckets, even when audible (and getting closer, quickly) heavy breathing, huge feet sliding and splashing across the shallows, got closer.

Closer. Adam swears, now, he could feel the creature’s breath, smell something that, when he considered it, smelled somewhere between burnt driftwood and seaweed. Not that he was considering subtleties of smell as he ran. Near the high tide mark, Adam dropped both buckets; one spilling over, the other staying upright.

It wasn’t a growl, almost a laugh as the Creature passed him. Passed him. Adam may have shrieked. May have; but then he froze. A bucket swinging from one hand, the creature (let’s call it a Patagon’, a giant) stopped at the path, turned, sniffed, looked at Adam. Maybe he studied him for a moment: Brown hair, big mustache, beard halfway-to-full. He looked at the brown hair on his own arm for another moment as he raised Adam’s leftover burrito, ate it in one bite, drank half of Adam’s remaining water (the rest pouring down his hairy chest), and, when Adam turned his headlamp back on, the Patagon’ blinked.

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“Then, his head kind of turning this way and that, he sort of smiled. Big canines. Big. I did kind of a (demonstrates) fist bump kind of thing, then, maybe, like a peace sign. I, um, (demonstrates again) kind of hit my chest, said, “I’m Adam.”

“Of course you did.”

The Sasquatch licked his huge fingers, grunted something; four syllables. Adam answered with a, “You’re welcome.” The Patagon’ looked at Adam’s (could have been mine) fleecy pullover, then back at Adam. “It won’t fit you,” Adam said. “But, maybe… special order… I know people.”

Too late. The coat tucked/stuffed under one arm, the bucket of oysters hitting a few branches, Adam’s new friend glided (Sasquatch(es) supposedly glide) along the shore-hugging scrub brush, bounded up an unseen path farther south as a cloud covered the moon.

“Low tide’s about forty-five minutes later tomorrow night,” Adam said into the darkness, walking back to retrieve the other bucket of oysters, thinking (he claims) about how much I would have loved that sweatshirt.

“Hey, nice session,” I said, reaching out to exchange a fistbump. ”And… nice story.”

“Yeah. Um… so, you, uh, didn’t wear the HamaHama sweatshirt today?”

“No, but…I could explain that, but…” No, I couldn’t beat Adam’s story. It would take aliens, space aliens. “Next time. And, um, next time, you drop down and I’ll go past you.”

BONUS STEPHEN DAVIS, with explainer. Stephen, recovering from his recent Tuck-and-rollover accident on the Big Island, sent a photo of his most recent painting. Thanks, Stephen, paint some more. NOW! PAINT!



Waiting…and Waiting…and…

..image-125…checking the forecast. Stubbornly believing, if I check the buoys (not just those near-shore, but those in the open ocean, west and north- the ones that matter) often enough; winds and angles and period; if I check out multiple forecasts; if I overlay an optimal tide and wind situation at several different locations; maybe I’ll be able to predict the exact moment when the swirl becomes the proper energy, properly focused.

And, of course, I hope the next window is slightly before the forecasts we all look at call for it to open.  Ready to readjust my schedule to fit my idea of when and where and how far away, imagining peeling glass, properly chilled and waiting…

No, it’s me who is waiting. I’m guessing you are, too.

Meanwhile, there’s work, and, incidentally, I have quite a few drawings waiting to go to The Printery to be reduced in size so I can post them.  Something else I’m anticipating.

Explaining the Current Header

I freely (mostly because it’s so obvious) that my computer skills are lacking; particularly in the graphics area. It least that’s where I’m particularly frustrated. I think of my sister, Melissa, often; most often when I’m trying to draw.

I can no longer call her up for feedback or opinion, I can’t ask her to draw something for my site; a plan I had for teaming-up on some children’s books is not going to happen.  My work, compared to hers, is scribbling, sketching.  It should be mentioned, also, that my writing gets over-detailed, over-complicated, possibly over-thought; not something that lends itself to children’s stories.

Yet, I do think of Melissa; I do call on her spirit, wherever that is, to assist me. A high percentage of the art, or whatever it is I produce (somewhere down the spectrum), is the image I’ve worked out in my mind; then it’s all scribbling; and (if the image in my mind is perfect) the work never quite is.

When I mentioned this all to my late sister’s husband, Jerome, he said; “Oh, so, like Melissa; you think every drawing has to be… has to be perfect?”

MELISSA horses w drawing

This is the uncropped version of Melissa’s montage. I tried, unsuccessfully, several times, to include as much of the pencil drawing as possible in the header. If I knew… yeah, if I knew how, I could have used the whole thing.

When I started surfing, my drawings were about surfing. When Melissa started drawing, her drawings were of horses. Somewhere she developed the ability to capture people; not just the image expertly rendered, but the emotion, some sense of story; perfectly.

Image (227)

I’ll keep the header up for a while.  Here’s one of my drawings