Saturday, February 14, 2009


I hear there's now a monument in at Tourmo to some of the surfers who made the place so fun. Aaah, those treasured good old days of surf at Tourmo. What a totally unique blend of people. Figueroa, so tough but with a heart of gold. Lopez, so deep, so intelligent, meditating in that little cave. Ann, always a barrell of laughs. Putnam, so hard core, riding triple overhead during the New Zealand Swell of '73...and paddling across the Golden Gate, and never using a wetsuit, even at Santa Cruz. Peanut Man, the Navy Sea Bee during WW2 who privately enjoyed the war because during off times he got to surf all over the Pacific. Bo, Big Bo, the boys vice principal at PLHS who would paddle out at the Cliffs and all the boys who were ditching school would then paddle far, far away en masse...Norm, the retired teacher who basically lived in his van, chasing the surf from Baja to San O. Jeff, ever intelligent, with a bright sense of humor. Chuck...why did he adore me so? He kind of worshiped me. Never had that happen before. And then Dennis, Bruce, Calvin, Debbie, John J, Bob G the geologist who surfed Alaska 20 years before it became feasible and who beat Windansea locals on their own turf--best surfer, most graceful surfer Ever. Graceful...not a term you hear men or boys use to describe each other but you often hear it in surfing. Powerful, yes, but grace too, blending with the wave, doing what the wave wants you to do, what the wave is built to do, and doing it smoothly--gracefully. So much comedy and good vibes there. Ed S. John G. Some very good surfers. Some not so good. All got along so well. Old guys. Young guys. And girls, ladies, women as well. All doing what we loved, and loving each other as well. Very good vibes. A once in a lifetime blend. You were part of a family. The perpetual frisbee game in the parking lot. Batting a superball up the hill--far, far up the hill, with a tennis racket. Tracy, drunk Tracy, trying to skateboard down the hill and definitely crashing and burning and doing like 3 full body rolls coming down, but not injured. Drunk, you see. The time Ann and I paddled out during a weeks long lull, right where everybody could see us from the road and within 15 minutes there was a crowd. Still no waves, but a crowd...which gradually caught on and paddled in in a huff. Some big days. Some little days. Some freezing cold winter days. Some hot tropical days. Surfing with dolphins. Seeing a mama dolphin & her baby 10 or 15 ft. away, seeing their breath condense in the cold morning air and throw little rainbows. Oh yea, the rainbows blown back in the ehukai. (At last, some Hawaiian today!) Surfing that one summer day with the 3 dimensional Salvador Dali clouds. Surfing during an eclipse. Aah yes, the time I was out and heard rushing water and looked in and there was a stream of brown water rushing into the sea at the culvert, a sewer pipe had broken, alas, and I did get sick. Some epic waves, seriously. My best day...I caught everything I wanted, I did real well on it, every dog has his day and that was sure mine. People staring at me when I finally came in, and I sooo modest. There is Nothing as good for your ego as a good day of surfing.
And we remember the time when some unfortunate tourist backed up over Rick F's board and crushed it, and Rick hopped on the guy's car door and punched him while the guy drove away in a panic, all the way up the hill. I remember John J holding his little baby, showing him the reefs one low tide. Sadly, both that little boy and Rick F's little boy were both killed in separate incidents by drunk drivers. I never knew John's boy, but Rick's was a sparkling, delightful little kid, a joy, it must have destroyed Rick losing him.
Aah, the Paskowitz clan, the legendary Paskowitz family, traveling in a surf bus all across America. And for some reason they all knew me and liked me. So once I am checking out the surf at the pier, just another nobody, and the bus drives up and one of the kids recognizes me and yells Hey Its Bob and all the other kids yell Hi and wave and its a spectacle and the other people there looking at the surf check me out like I am somebody important. Ha ha.
Then there was the time the city bulldozed a bunch of rocks out of the way so trucks could get through to the north part of the beach for some work, which was fine except that the bulldozed rocks formed a very cruel barrier to people trying to get their boards Jeff and I just started lifting the rocks out of the way, creating a path and then a cop car drove up and the cops check us out and kind of glare at us but then decide we are not doing anything illegal so they drive away.
We remember Ralph, another retired teacher who always loved to surf. A brilliant man. I witnessed The Transition. S. As a teacher he was so concerned when his boy moved to Maui, lived in the jungle, grew his hair impossibly long, and surfed and surfed and surfed. Then, Ralph retires. Then, the boy "gets religion", I guess, at least he gets serious about life, he cuts his hair, moves to the Bay Area, gets a job, and works, works, works. Meanwhile. Ralph is letting his hair get pretty long. Real long, in fact. Sees no point in cutting it, after all. And frets that the, works, works! No time for fun or surfin, he just works. Aah well.
A frisbee floats by one day and then a frisbee game breaks out in the lineup. You hold the frisbee under your chest while you are paddling and when you are up, you flip it. Crazy. Once I kicked out of a wave and there was a surprised seal (ilio holo i ka uaua), he was as surprised as I was, he ducked his head underwater and split. Once I was surfing and somehow missed it that a pod of dolphins had come along, I took off and found myself in the middle of about 7 surfing dolphins, in shock, I went over the falls. Aaaah!
One time I was way outside in perfect position when a classic, just classic wave came along, I knew this would be my moment of glory..."Jose Angel driving straight from the center at Pipeline", a memorable Surfer caption...and no, I gooned it and bounced down the face like a skipping rock, like one of R. Crumb's falling swastikas! And all my buddies inside who should have seen my moment of glory were laughing when I surfaced...and then I had to laugh too and our laughters echoed off the cliffs and out to sea. So fun. Fueling up at Winchell's, where Mark was a manager and did not mind at all if you came in in a wet wetsuit and left sand and seaweed. The surf movies at the PB Junior High Harper said, the only place where you'd smell bubble gum and mau'u...the whole audience hooting at the same time, oldsters, youngsters, all together for the show. Five Summer Stories. Going Surfing. Forgotten Island of Santosha. Pacific Vibrations. Fantastic movies, beautiful photography, capturing the mystic spiritual fun elation craziness of Surfing.
There was Jerry K playing his blues harmonica in the bathroom because it had the ultimate accoustics. Jeff W. with the super long blond hair, very much the stereotypical looking surfer. So was Mike S. There was that Hawaiian kid whose name I don't recall, the two "Guamese" guys with super long hair, Bill F. who Sally was sooo horny for, and Mike F who actually learned to surf at Big Rock. They roomed together in Del Mar. Mike owned the local surf shop. Harry from New York. The long haired blond kid from Hyannis Port who I later ran into on Maui. Some Surfer photographer was a local too, not one of the biggies but he got his stuff in the mag. Aah yes, that one time they were shooting Tourmo and I totally got my ego into it when the cameras were on me and then yes indeed I got pissed when they shot somebody else. Amazing.
It never closes out. It is protected by PB Point and it has a channel so it never closes out. You can always paddle out there. You can surf Old Mans right south of PB Point and the longest, best waves connect all the way to the parking lot, about a 1/4 mile ride, some of it quite fast. You ride high on the wave for speed and shoot across the face when its maximum steep right before it is going to break. You can catch lefts or rights right off the culvert, and lefts off the Pump House.
One of the locals kama'ainana was a kid whose parents had a nice house right on the Point. Unfortunately they both died in a wreck in Mexico. The kid inherited the house. He drained the pool, it became a skate zone. The house became a party house, day and, party, surf, party, skate, drink, party...and finally the money ran out. To his credit he never "found Jesus" but he did reform his life.
There was always a canyon here but in the early '60's the kulanakauhale ua kukulu o ka paka he'enalu me ka mana'o o getting surfers off the other beaches since it seemed 1) to be a very subversive trend and 2) it was not going away, no laila, ua kukulu o ke kulanakauhale i ka paka. I ka wa i hala ua ekahi "kaona" he'enalu ma ka Lae PB, aka-, ua hewa ma laila, ua kamau a me hana mai o na- teenagers i ka shack he'enalu ma laila, no laila, ua raid o na- maka'i ia ia, a ua hele o na- mea he'enalu i Windansea.
It is a glorious experience to surf. I overanalyze things. WHY is motion over a wave fun? I have concluded that I just don't know. But it is. Being a surfer is a glorious experience, it is a glorious thing for a boy or young man or old man to be, it is the best thing in the world. From ka'u kaona, hiki e 'ike i Tourmo, from my town it is possible to see Tourmo, a i na manawa apau ke 'ike au ia ia, and always when I see it, ha'upu au i ke-la- mau la- a me makahiki hau'oli ma laila, I recall those happy days and years there.

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