Wedding Goes Off With a Hitch

It was against doctors’ orders. At least doctor’s advice. Stephen R. Davis, having survived a could-have-been-fatal allergic reaction to the medication given to him when he was first being treated for mantle cell lymphoma, having endured six rounds of, I’m guessing, garden variety chemotherapy, and having just gotten the second of two rounds of super chemo, designed to kill the shit out of everything except the patient, having received a blood transfusion in the morning, headed for Port Townsend some time in the early afternoon of November 11, 2022, with the intention of getting married to Sierra.

11/11/22 was important to Sierra. A guess (not my guess) was the numbers: 11, 11, and 2 x 11 (22). Made sense. No. Since Steve was kind of unclear on the reason for the date, he made some vague reference to the thinness of the veil. Cosmic. And unclear. I asked Sierra. “No, it’s that that date is one in which…” She lost me. Something about an increased opportunity for things to ‘manifest.’ Oh. Destiny is all I could think of.

Steve’s brother, Paul Davis, officiating at the boat launch by the (head)lights of a silvery Toyota.

“Veil.” “Manifest.” Interesting words. At the very same time Steve and Sierra were getting hitched (see title), a ghost conference was going on in Port Gamble. My wife, daughter, ex daughter-in-law were in attendance, along with lots of other folks who might be interested in the thinness of the veil and the possibility that something might manifest. I was asked not to attend. I’ve gone before. Evidently, my energy doesn’t mix well with the spirit world.

I had spoken to Steve several times before ll/11/22 about his nuptials, giving him advice such as: “Why don’t you f’in’ wait until you’re f’in’ better?” And, “Okay then, have Paul go over there, do the ceremony, have a reception when all your friends can go and possibly not kill you with your totally compromised immune system.”

“Um. No.” So it was set for some time around 3:30 at the Point Wilson Lighthouse. Um, no. There was a traffic accident over by Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, then another one on the Jefferson County side of the Hood Canal Bridge. I got a call from Steve that the ceremony was going to happen about 4:30, and that the wedding and the party was all being moved to the beach over by the fairgrounds. “Okay. Yes, I’ll wear a mask. No, there’s no way I can upstage you. No hugging? No problem. I’m calling Keith. I told him about it, he’s going. We’re going to represent.”

Represent? Yeah. Surfers.

Another call. 5:30. It was pretty dark by 5pm. I tossed all the stuff in the passenger seat of my work van into the back, suddenly worried what a painter’s rig might smell like to a non-painter. I checked out Keith’s ever-increasing quiver of surfboards, looked at some super secret, not to be sent over the telephone surf shots (on Keith’s phone), and we headed over.

As it turned out, Cody was also representing the surfing community. Otherwise, in the dark, with the masks and the distancing and all, I didn’t really recognize anyone. Including Steve. But, breaking the don’t upstage the groom (and, I’m guessing, Steve also meant to include his bride), the first person I saw was wearing a, no-shit, genuine, Davy fucking Crockett coonskin cap. “Hi, Erwin,” he said. “Who are you?” “Hobo Joe.” “Oh.” So, I introduced Keith to Hobo Joe and he explained why Steve calls him that. Not actually a hobo, Joe did have lava burn down his house on the Big Island, did stay with Steve for a while, did stay on Steve’s sail boat in Port Townsend. I know, none of this explains the coonskin cap.

So, word spread among the masked wedding party and the celebrants that the ceremony was going to take place down at the boat ramp. With a north wind blowing across the forty-something degree water, Paul read the opening statements, Steve and Sierra recited their vows, rings were exchanged, permission was given for the now-married couple to kiss. There was clapping and the surfer-appropriate hoots.

Sierra Davis, easily upstaging Steve.

Keith and I were among those congratulating Steve and Sierra. “So, Sierra, since I can’t hug Steve; is it all right to hug you?” No. “Sure. I understand. Virtual hugs?” Sure.

And that was it. I dropped Keith off at his house, went to the QFC, went home. Meanwhile, Steve and Sierra mingled, shared some virtual hugs with friends and family members, and headed back to Seattle. I was kind of hoping that they went through Port Gamble. With all the ghost conference folks hoping for some sign from the spirit world and all, and all the hopes and fears of a newly married couple, well, who knows what might, you know, like, manifest.

Congratulations and a (virtual) hoot. OWWWWW!

SIDEBAR- A little later on, I got a call from Trish. She saw me going into our house on the ring camera. “Is that what you wore? Paint all over your pants.” “Hey, I had on my nice Seahawks jacket.” “Yeah, but, still…” Yes, I did talk about the coonskin cap.

BONUS: Here’s one of Steve’s latest paintings. He and I are discussing ways to make some money with our art work. If he or I figure something out, I will let you know.

In Progress, Everything’s in progress

Stephen R. Davis Fantasy Point

People Steve has shown this painting to always seem to ask, “Where is it?” The answer varies. I suggested “Canada. It was reversed so the Canadians don’t get upset and perhaps, go into impolite territory.” “You mean,” one art fan asked, “like Westport?” “No, more like Seaside.” “Oh.”

So, don’t ask. This is one of my favorite of Steve’s paintings. Steve had already promised the original to someone. He is… UPDATE… over in the ‘Cshitty’ (pronounced, yeah, shitty), getting two big ass doses of Chemo designed to kill the remaining cancer cells in his body. While pumping chemicals into Steve, the good folks at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance are pumping blood out of him, harvesting cells, growing a batch of stem cells that will… I can’t follow it all. There’s a bone marrow transplant in the plan, somewhere. Meanwhile, his immune system is totally vulnerable.

Stephen R. Davis is out of commission for at least six months. People accustomed to working know just frightening this prospect is. BUT WE HAVE A PLAN. Copies. Limited edition prints.

BUT, NOT YET.

SOON. There is a process. The Fantasy Point painting was taken off its frame and, using a copier designed for blueprints, the color image can be transferred to a thumb drive, and… yay!… copies.

Steve has several other paintings begging to be reproduced.
My fat-boy fish, under construction. Note the fresh red paint.

Speaking of things in progress… I am trying to turn the remains of an eleven-foot SUP into a 7’10” Fat-Boy Kneeboard. It is in the painting part of the process. My motto back in my sign painting days was “It’s not done until it’s overdone.” I have yet to determine if I can use epoxy resin on it without melting the whole thing down, but I have been checking out some YouTube videos on how to do the glassing. Oh, it’s not that I haven’t done some board making, it’s just that it was a long, long time ago, in a land far to the south. SO, as with future swells and elections and just about everything else, we’ll see.

I am worried about several things with this board; not whether it’ll rip; pretty sure it will.

My manuscript, “Swamis,” is actually coming along pretty well. As with everything else ongoing… I have plans. I’ll let you know.

As always, thanks for checking out realsurfers.

Stephen R. Davis is Not a Hodad

… and yet, he has been known to pose.

Steve in a surf Guru pose, throwing a shaka to the shakers and movers and bookers and gram-ers and tubers.

Steve has been using some of his time working on his paintings. This particular one is of the children of a friend of his whose name I probably could recall from a list of names I’ve heard, like, “You know, the guy who lives in LA now,” or “You know, the guy who lives in Chicago but wants to move to… (somewhere- don’t remember where),” or “You know, met him in Baja, back when my money (or something) got stolen, but then we got it back (or didn’t),” or “You know, Stig, lives in Honolulu; you’re thinking of Makena, used to live here, now he’s on the Big Island, wants me to move back there.”

Oh, yeah, Stig. Never met him. Talked to him on the phone once. Background.

“WHO DO YOU KNOW?” is one of my favorite games. It’s really, “Who do we know in common?” Steve and I do have a number of friends and acquaintances and semi-enemies in common, as well as some people who, for example, like Steve, don’t like me. Well. Steve claims some people don’t like him, but I have never met those individuals. Many of those we know in common are from working- carpenters and contractors and such; others are from the surf community.

Because Steve has also worked in the food industry and elsewhere, and because I pretty much only paint, his pool of contacts is larger. Because I pretty much surf only on the Strait, where the pool of surfers; locals, regulars, occasionals, is fairly small (not discounting surf tourists- never do), and Steve has been known to travel, his contact group is… larger.

I have met Cap (Brian, I believe, is his given name). I’ve met Damon (can’t remember his nickname). I’ve sort of met a surprising number of people, in a surprising number of places, who seem to know Steve and seem to number him among their friends. Most recently, one of two cops who came down to a beach because some tourist had reported some old dude on a paddleboard struggling to get to shore. It’s not like they were lifeguards. More like body recovery was my guess. Rope. Grappling hook.

“That was me.” “You’re allright then?” “Sort of. I’m embarrassed and…” “Oh, Steve.” This was one, not both of the cops. “Wow! Haven’t seen you in a while, man; how’s it going?”

Steve, for those who want an update, just underwent his second round of chemo. “Not that bad,” he reported. He recovered from Covid. “Not that bad,” he reported. His eyes, after a violent reaction to a prescribed medicine threatened to melt his corneas, seem to be better. “Way better,” he says.

NOW, the portrait of Steve’s friends’ (assuming he is also friends with the mother) kids is one of many paintings my friend has been working of for a while. The impetus for getting it finished is that Steve’s brother, Paul, is going to Colorado (yes, though he was born in Seattle, I always tell people, “You know, Steve’s from Col-o-rad-o” in my best valley guy voice), and along with two-thirds of their father’s ashes (another brother, John, has the rest), Paul is taking the painting.

Portrait of Stephen R. Davis’s friend Frasier’s children, Nicholas and Cloe (Steve called, I asked)

My first thought on surfers getting into trouble in the water is “Probably shouldn’t have gone out.” What I’m trying not to think about is that age might have been a factor. Of course, age is A factor. There are several other contributing factors. I am able to see some humor in the situation, and I will write about this another time; but thanks to Kim for running down to the water when I was crawling ashore like a beached sea lion, pushing my board ahead of me. She didn’t need to carry my board up to the car, but, again, thanks.

Moving On… and, yes, On

I recently got an e-mail with the heading, “Moving On.” It was from ‘Hydrosexual’ Stephen Davis, who, incidentally, is my Wal-Mart call (like a drunk call, but mostly because I have little to do in Wal-Mart except follow Trish around and try not to whine, and because it’s usually late enough here that it’s somewhere around 4:30, 5 on the big Island). Included was this, one of several paintings he’s working on before he, um, moves on.

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So, Steve has several options, but what he’s evidently doing is going to the Chicago area, helping his friend Cosmo get his (Cosmo’s) house ready to sell. Evidently, again, Cosmo visited the Big Island long enough to decide he might have had enough of being a landscaper in Chicago’s suburbs.

Okay, this is a couple of Wal-Mart calls, and, hopefully, a few more volcanic reef surf sessions away, so, if it changes…

MEANWHILE, Mikel “Squintz” Cumiskey is moving on, back (but not yet) to the wide open and fertile (compared to the Strait of Juan de Fuca) surf grounds (surf sands?) of Florida.  BUT, he hasn’t quite left yet, and sent me this photo of a recent attempt to find waves around these parts.

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This was his second long hike/slide/belly crawl/in of the day, and, one, that’s part of a log at the point, two, if he’d actually continued to the beach, the odds of cops being called were pretty high.

No, I’ve never never surfed there, but, interestingly, I have met the woman who thinks it’s her ultra-important task in life to prevent anyone (and she doesn’t own the land) from enjoying… well, this; waves wrapping around just another point. I did ask the woman, who was friendly enough with me when I was painting on another property she did landscaping on, if she’d call the cops if I happened to, you know, maybe try to… “You betcha’,” she said, with an Annie Oakley smile.

Good luck, Squintz and his wife and child. No, I didn’t give Mikel that nickname; but it’s just too good not to use.

MEANWHILE, I managed to sneak in a little drawing time.

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I did refresh the stock of framed prints available at DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE in, obviously, Discovery Bay, AND I’m working with Tyler Meeks (and with Mollie Orbea of Orbea Signs in Port Gamble) on some t shirt designs.  Trying to keep it simple.

Meanwhile, as always, looking for signs of swell, scamming on how to adjust life so it wraps around, lines up, gives one a swoop and a carve, and, yes, moves on.

Not Always According to Plan

It’s a bit of a, I don’t know, irritating thing, to me, that, despite planning out an illustration, thinking it through, actually picturing it in my mind; once I check out reference material, once I start drawing… it comes out…pause… different.

Here are two drawings (please, just because of the fragility of my ego, don’t call them sketches) I finished today. I’ll let you in on what I hoped for after this:

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Simpler. I was thinking of the way photos, back in the early 70s, mostly, late 60s, were broken into three shades (dark, mid-range, and light). Psychedelic? Maybe; depends on the colors selected.  Next time. I’m kind of at the ‘still wild’ phase (“Still Wild period- not sure); and, based on advice from some guys who purchased some of my work (thanks Dave and Joey), I am kind of making my name a bit larger. I’m thinking of going with “Original Erwin.” Branding.

Ego. And, yes, Doctor; maybe doing an Orca is some pathetic reaction to Stephen Davis selling his whale painting (check’s in the mail); AND having some (quite a few) commissions for more original Stephen paintings.

Maybe a little. I have wanted to do a drawing of an Orca for a while. I also wanted to write something about a recent suicide slab session I observed, rather than participated in. I did give kudos to those brave souls who risked it, each one paying dearly for a (precious) few quality rides.  Not really wanting to be the observer, on this occasion, not participating may have been the right decision.

Meanwhile, I’m still thinking…

OH, this is the day following the above post. My new stuff goes to twitter and Facebook, and, evidently, C.L. Flint is a follower (wait, maybe he’s a Friend; and, yeah, I do know him in real life) and commented that I should finish the killer whale, as in add the rest of the Orca (he called it a fish. No). So, I did. Now, I do think it’s sort of clever to have part of the drawing outside the frame (it’s my ‘outside the frame’ period). In this case, maybe C.L. is right. Here’s a side by side: