This is your page. In other words, simply click on the link below to send me an email, or short story. Tell me what's on your mind. Try not to be so hurtful. Just keep in mind, that any email, and or letter I receive, could be posted on this page. But keep this in mind as well, I will answer most with a short reply. And don't worry. I will NOT post your email address, but I will post part of your name. After all, that's only fair. However, if you really want to remain anonymous, I'll grant your request. Send me your thoughts, praises, complaints or well wishes...I'd be happy to hear from you.
Click here- Dropping In On Ralph! Be sure to leave your name and State. Thanks.

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November 2009

November 30, 2009
I really appreciate all the effort that must go into producing your surf blog each week. Great stuff!

The main reason I’m e-mailing you is to let you know that I got to surf with our mutual friend, Rick Aho down here in So. Florida on Saturday Nov. 21st . It was about 3 – 5 ft, pretty strong and clean. After waiting out some long lulls (10 – 15 min.) you’d be rewarded with sets that had an amazing number of waves to them. I’m talking 8 – 14 waves in a set, warm, crystal clear water and offshore winds.

Rick and I are old friends, both in our fifties and both continue to ride shortboards (when conditions allow). He told me he’d been up your way to catch some swell from hurricane Bill and said it was quite good. We started talking about your surf blog. I told him I’d been checking it out for a couple of years after our friend Bud Combs told me to go on it and check out the photos of Hapless Harold Hardcore (Lenny Nichols) and family. Please tell Lenny, Arlene and Crump (Kevin “Doc” Grondin) that Glenn McDonald said to say “hello”! (How’s that for some old nicknames?) Oh yeah, and that rascal Mike Paugh, give him a friendly slap on the back for me.

I’m Florida born and raised but had the good fortune of being in a family that had a summer home on Long Beach Island, N.J. (Beach Haven).

Both my older brothers surfed so when I was about 5 or 6 they took me to the beach at the end of the block and started pushing me into waves. I still have the first board I stood up on (Greg Noll 10’ 2”), Unfortunately, it is NOT Da Cat model.

I never thought there were waves in Florida ‘cuz every time my mom would take me to the beach down here, it’d be flat. Of course, she’d only go when the weather was calm and ocean was generally flat. Then one time we went, I think I was about 8, and there was a perfect little 2 ft north swell running. I freaked, holy crap, Florida does get surf. So I started peddling my bike, board under arm, to the beach every chance I got.

That summer home in N.J. is what gave me a distinct advantage over a majority of my surfing peers in Florida. Every year in June as soon as school was out, we’d leave the next day and drive to N.J. There always seemed to be waves in N.J. I’d surf nearly everyday. The day after Labor Day we’d pack it up and head back to Florida. Once there, I’d ask my friends if they got much surf over the summer. They’d look dejected and say there were like two days of little wind slop. I started to realize how lucky I was. The other surfers in the area that would excel would generally do so because they got the hell out of Florida during June, July and most of August.

I’m kinda surprised our paths hadn’t crossed in the B.V.I. in the late ‘70’s. I think my first trip there was in ’79. After telling my older brother of the beauty of the place and it’s waves, he began to travel there. In ’89 he purchased a piece of property over looking Little Apple Bay and built a vacation home. Had a local builder do the main structure and had us (family, surfers and friends) do all the finish work. I got to spend a fair amount of time there in the off season (usually October or April). This is typically the time of year before the seasonal surfers arrive and the winds are more S.E. as opposed to the mid-winter N.E. trades. I surfed so many perfect days, a lot of times completely alone. Not even anyone on the beach. Just some goats standing around Bomba’s Shack watching me gorge myself on waves. Memories! Think I go make some more.

Anyway, I feel like I know you Ralph. Kevin and Lenny used to talk about you all the time “Have another meatball, Ralphie boy”!

Keep up the good work Ralph.


Glenn McDonald

Delray Beach, Fl.

P.S. Good “Doc” story. It’s late ‘70’s hanging around one evening and somehow Kevin and I decide we’re going to skateboard, this is when skate parks were all the rage. 20-30 minutes into the session he eats it and tweaks the knuckle on his ring finger. Session over, back to my place and Kevin is kind of grimacing and doing the “Whoa is me” scene because the finger is now swelling and he can’t get the ring off. So we set about cutting the ring off his finger using my dad’s bench vise and hacksaw. Between the heat that would result from the friction of the hacksaw motion and Kevin just freaking, he lets out a couple of yells. This brings my dad out of the house and he joins in to help. We eventually got that ring cut off and as far as I know “Doc” still has all his fingers. Next time you see him ask him if he remembers that one.

Wow Glenn...that's quite the email to find first thing this morning. Thank you for the kind words. After reading your story I now feel as though I know you. It's funny how we both have some of the same close friends but have never crossed paths. I guess the Surfing world is bigger than we both think. I will tell the boys you said hello. Please do the same. Send me some old pics if you have any. My readers love the old stuff.
Keep Surfing Glenn! No matter what...Keep surfing...


P.S. How the hell did you know that line from my old band's song "Mama Mia"?

November 28, 2009

Hey Mr. Fatello,

I was just checking out your pics of the week and watched the trailer for your
new movie "Run". The movie looks unreal and I cant wait for it to be finished. I
also just thought I'd let you know if it was not for your website then getting
through the winter away from home would be 10 times as hard. I did not get to
go home for thanksgiving and will only be home christmas day because of my
demanding basketball shcedule, so not getting to see my family, friends, and
hometown as much as I would like to takes its toll. But being able to see the
pictures you have on your site and the videos keeps me going through the year
knowing when the summertime comes I will be back in my atmosphere with the
people I love and the place I love most. Aside from my gratefulness for your
site, I really was just wondering what the name of the song is in the "Run"
trailer? And if it is on itunes or what not, it is an amazing song and it fit the
trailer real well.

Hope all is well in the town as well as the surf community at home,



Thanks for the kind words about the site and content.
The song for the trailer is by QWILL he has an Ad
on my site and you can find out more about that song
and others. The song is called "Matter of Time".
QWILL is super talented and he loves surfing.
He's also my nephew.

Thanks again, look for the RUN to be out by the end of this week.

Keep surfing and i hope you find your way back home.


November 18, 2009

The paddle out for Sgt. Charlie Cartwright was excellent in all aspects, couldn't have been better. Folks from all backgrounds attended the memorial at Church's beach, people who knew Charlie and people who didn't, civilians, active duty military and veterans of all ages. A surfboard laid on the beach in front of an easel with Charlie's picture on it. The surfboard was the board that Charlie first learned surf on. The weather was spectacular, calm winds, a light, high overcast and waist high point waves peeling right in front.

War sucks, it unbelievable to me that we must fight wars at the expense of human lives, especially for motivations that we may not always agree with, but our military men and women are always the one to take the stand and sometimes die.

These warriors are the ones who represent our country. Not us, the average citizen as we enjoy our morning Starbucks and pontificate about what we think our country should be doing and how it should be run. Certainly not the politician who gives in to special interest BS, sometimes at the expense of human lives.

Yesterday, Charlie's spirit, and the young men like him that were there ... I truly felt like I was hanging out a bunch of true heroes' that I was not worthy to be among. These guys, these special ops bad asses who are willing to fight, kill, and die for me... After yesterday I felt in a much more personal way, the true meaning of Veterans Day.

Our country, my family and our way of are precious and we must protect it.

Thank you Sgt.Cartwright for your life. Both the relatively short life you lived among us and the gifts you've left behind.

Ty Ponder (California)

Nice tribute Ty. Semper Fi Charlie. Another Marine guarding the Gates of Heaven.


November 18, 2009

Dear Ralph, In January of 1980 I paddled out alone at Fox Hill. I had told my boss I felt sick and could I go home? A Northeaster had turned around that morning and I was in the water by 1. Just me and it was 15 degrees. The waves were still unruly, not yet cleaned up, and giant. I got a couple of scary drops and got pounded. I decided to go in on the next wave and saw that a surfer was traversing the rocks on his way out. On the horizon I saw a black blob approaching and scratched outside. As it reached me I paddled wicked hard and caught it, angled right on my drop, made it to the trough, pulled up in a little, and looked down the line. There wasn't a line. Twenty yards ahead the wave was throwing. As I flew across the face the lip hit the trough and I saw clearly through a barrel that could easily fit a pick-up truck. I could see the tall house at the Adrian's Right corner (Adrian's named and ridden by Barry Rinderer in the late sixties). This idyllic view was harshly interrupted as I got coldconked by the same throwing lip and was driven underwater. I thought that was all but then I had a sensation of rising. Indeed, I was rising back up the wave's face and was thrown down again into the trough and driven to the rock garden. Fortunately my orange helmet protected my head and the duck tape kept my suit from blowing apart. I surfaced in a big froth of soup and soon proned in glancing at the horrified face of the surfer now paddling out. It was John Grady. A guy ran to me when I got to my car. It was Peter Allen and he had his camera. "I got it!" he said. I have 2 black and whites of that wave that Peter developed himself. I can only find one and right now that's lost too. However, Paul Hamblet has a Xerox 8 1/2 X 11 of it on his refrigerator. He has seen the bottom turn pic of Stevie and he insists my wave is slightly bigger. Stevie's wave is definitely prettier. My wave is forboding and scary and dark and I rode it. Sincerely, Stan PS another giant but unphotographed day: Greg Smith and I had to walk a mile to get to the Roks and avoid the National Guardsmen patrolling the area after the blizzard of 1978. Photographed but never seen: Surfer Crow and I after a Northeaster in winter 1968, me on my Bob Cooper Blue Machine (Bob's personal board) and a Sports Illustrated photographer took pix but only published a little headshot of Crow in the 'who's who' section at the back of the magazine. The article never made it to press.

Stan B.

Great Stories Stan...but I need the proof. Find that lost photo, or get me the photo copy that Paul has and I'll scan it and post it and we'll let the readers decide. Sounds like an interesting debate ahead...Biggest NH wave. Stan or Stevie? You decide.



November 17, 2009

I really enjoyed the past 2 newsletters! Top notch stuff! Very crazy to
read the full story about the invisible surfer. Just as crazy to see the
consistent and sizable waves you've been getting all year. In New
England! Love it.
Ben (California)

Thanks Ben. The Invisible man series had lots of people talking and laughing. I actually did one off your pics this coming week.

November 16, 2009


You crack me up! Great sense of humor! I know there’ll be at least a couple of laughs every Monday morning!

Congratulations to Max and Jesse for making it to the Championship Game on Saturday! Good luck to both of them this week!

Thanks Chris

November 15, 2009

Loved it (Veterans Day Blog) Ralph - great writing and I hope it is read by a lot of the under 30 surfers.

As you know, I lived in Taiwan during the VN war and your blog just hits a lot of chords.

I have one thought that I have purposely not shared as I think most will not get has to do with my distaste for the popular notion that the Vietnam war was "immoral".

Recently, I read the book "Mao" which is a long and detailed historic tome published by Random House in 2007. Having lived in Asia for 8 years, I felt I needed to dig in more on this guy to really get a good historic perspective - WOW, what a read and story.

Here is what nobody ever points out when discussions about the morality of Vietnam comes up:

Mao was out to get us - literally. He spent billions trying to overthrow the US, including funding the shit out of the VC.
He funded the Khemier Rouge resulting in the massacre of millions in Cambodia and Laos.
Killed over 70 million of his fellow Chinese trying to push his version of communism through the world - and a large effort was pointed at the US
Given the social atmospher of the 70s - our system and way of life was under threat by the lunatic

Vietnam was our front against a very very very real communist threat - not coming from the Soviet Union, but coming from China.

You guys that served in Vietnam served in one of the most important and MORAL conflicts in our country's history. In these times where people no longer wish to spend the time gathering facts and details (reading substantive material is a good start), few will understand the importance of our Vietnam veterans. It will get clouded in the social unrest of the 70's.

I just wish people could understand that we had a monster in Chairman Mao after us and you guys that served in Vietnam very much saved us from this bastard. As always, you have my respect and best to all the vets you mentioned.


Stan (working away in Panama)

Thanks Stan. The Vietnam war has had more books and movies made about that 10 year conflict, but one of the most overlooked historiacl facts is the Chairman Mao connection. Thanks for pointing that out. I still feel that we abandoned those people in 1975. We turned a blind eye to the horror that followed. Cambodia, Re-Education Camps with millions killed, and finally the exodus of the Boat People. Millions displaced innocent civilians. There is evil in this world. And we must be in constant check and be forever vigil to it's poison.
Thanks again Stan and keep us informed on your progress down in Surf land.


November 13, 2009

Hey Ralph,

#1, Thanks for your service. I've emailed you before, but my Dad was a Marine (20 years) and fought in Korea, and I think back to the sacrifices he and all his buddies made. It's literally giving up your life for your country and we need to do more for our troops when they come back.
On to the less significant: with this swell coming in, Magic has a breaking wave estimate of 19 ft, triple overhead, leading me to the question, what do you think the biggest wave surfed in NH is? Anyone good guesses or maybe at least a tall tale or 2?

Thanks again Ralph for your service (and an awesome web site).


Thanks Al. Tell your dad I said thanks for his service and a Happy Birthday (234th USMC Birthday 10-10-09). The biggest wave I have ever seen surfed in NH was by Sean McCassic back a few years ago. Dead of winter at the Rocks. Snow/sleet nasty. That wave was way over double-overhead. Easily triple overhead. No photos exist of that wave. The Biggest wave ever photographed in NH was of Stevie O'Hara at Fox Hill back in the late 90's. Not sure who took the photo. I'll try and dig it up.
Thanks again.


November 12, 2009


Liz and I want to thank you for your continuing service to our great country.
Thanks so much for the sacrifices you have made for the freedom which we enjoy every day in the USA.
I have many friends and customers who are veterans or families of vets.Liz and I pray for the safety of all active military.
We can never take our freedom for granted.

Thanks for your weekly commentary and photos .
I have not surfed much lately ... I am working alot.
Here's a photo from my last trip to the coast.

Thanks Brother and
Tony and Liz (California)

Thanks Guys

November 12, 2009

Hi Ralph,
Looked at your web site and you are right. We did not give the guys coming home fram Nam the response we should have. So thank you for keeping me safe and free and my children and grand-daughter safe and free.I should have voiced my thanks more often and going forward I will be better at it.
Just want to let you know,coming home from Florida this July we had to change planes in Atlanta. The airport was filled with servicemen. I overheard two talking as they were about to board the plane to Boston. They were going home after a tour in Iraq. They were babies, couldn't have been more than 20-21. I thanked them.
We were in Myrtle Beach in October at the House of Blues gospel brunch. A family from Penn. was there and their son had just come home from Iraq. The place exploded with applause and cheers for this young man.The gospel group started singing Gos Bless America and everyone joined in. It was moving. So thank you and all those who served our country to keep us free.
Thanks Pat.

November 12, 2009

Hi Ralph,



Thanks Mike

November 12, 2009

Great Job yesterday Ralph.You know that picture of us all on the cliff at Swamis is priceless.The stories behind the characters
Should be an exciting weekend for surf. I am thinking that Kenebunk may be the place. Whats your tip?
Aloha, Tom
PS We leave for Kauai on the 19th

Thanks Tom...hope you get some good surf. Aloha.

November 12, 2009

If it's the thought that counts, I thought to email you regarding the Marine Corps anniversary and then I thought to email you about Veteran's Day.

So while I didn't actually email you to commemorate those events, I did think about it!


Thanks Mo...close enough for me.

November 12, 2009

Hi Ralph,
The boys know the story of you and your fallen brother, Joe. They know what you faced at age 17 and what you faced upon your return from Vietnam. They know that you and Joe pioneered and named most of the breaks along the coast. When we watch your movies, Elliot, 4, understands all these things and talks about the things I've taught him about you and the heritage of surfing NH. I'm really looking forward to the spring and getting the boys back in the water. Hope you and your family are well have a great holiday season.
Your Friend,
Jon A

Thanks Jon. There's nothing like surfing with your kids.

November 11, 2009


Saw your latest column… I still tune in just to see how the hometown crew is doing.

I must take issue with the Fort Hood attacks you brought up. I’m sure you won’t want to hear this, but this is NOT a terrorist attack.

It is a crime.

I know the world has lost sight of the difference between simple criminal acts and ‘terrorist’ acts, but just to set the record straight, there was nothing terrorist about this. Just a deranged mind come terribly unhinged, and a slew of criminal acts soon followed.

I don’t expect you to believe any of this, but I’m just weighing in from the Left Coast.


Try and pay attention here.
Major Coward Nidal Malik Hasan communicated with known Terrorists in several dozen emails, had Terrorists business cards, had publicly spoken out against the Global War on Terrorism while in a Medical Classroom, including; claiming that Suicide Bombers were heroes. And finally, this scumbag Major Coward Nidal Malik Hasan chanted "Allah Arkbar" as he shot unarmed Military personnel. Hello? This was not the act of a Terrorist? Huh? It's not Terrorism-it's a crime?

Excuse me, but isn't Terrorism a crime in the first place? I mean hello? I am not going to generalize about the Left Coast being too out of touch with reality and leaning too far to the "Left" because that would be wrong. Especially in light of the fact that I got several emails and just as many phone calls from friends and fellow surfers out there, thanking me and my fellow Veterans on this day. Veterans Day.

I am reminded of the email you sent me on the same day that our country was under attack from the very likes of your "criminal"
Major Coward Nidal Malik Hasan. Do you remember that day Jeff? It was September 11, 2001. The country was numb with shock. It was all any of us could think and talk about. But not you. I will never forget the email you sent that day. Complaining about the crowd at some surf break out there. Are you kidding me? Are you that out of touch with reality? Listen up Mr. Politically Correct Left Coast loser.

It was an act of Terrorism. Domestic Terrorism.
Major Coward Nidal Malik a Terrorist. You freaking bonehead idiot...get yer head out of yer ass and wake the f--k up.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks likes a duck, chances are- it's a freakin duck!


November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day Ralph. Thank You

Thanks Scott

November 11, 2009

Wow. I don't know how you guys do it. The things you've seen, things you've done for our country. You're our frontline. It blows my mind the courage it takes to go through what you went through. You and all your brothers are the reason I'm safe. I thank every soldier I see and thank the USMC for every freedom I have.

What you did for Veterans day with your site was perfect, heart breaking and hopefully eye opening to whom ever saw it.

Thank you


Thanks Jamie

November 11, 2009


I thought it was too late to call. Thanks for your service. Freedom, I wouldn’t want to know a life any other way.

Happy Veterans Day


Thanks Crop.

November 11, 2009

Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you today. Thank you for your service to our country and to everyone else who has done the same. I worked a double today and we were so busy because of the Holiday that I didn't get a chance to call you earlier. So again, thank you and I love you!


Thanks Sis.

November 11, 2009
Hey Ralph -

Hope you get this in time.

Thanks for doing what you did (and do.)

I just had a bite to eat at Applebee's where they offered free meals to vets. I had the opportunity to shake a few hands and thank a few old timers. One guy was so old. (How old was he?) He was sooo old, I almost asked if he was in WWI. A real nice guy. It made my day when he put one hand on my shoulder, shook my hand, stared me right in the eyes and thanked me? Shit, I never saw battle. I'm so not worthy.

A guy like you on the other hand deserves any thanks you receive today so THANKS!

John (California)
Thanks John. But that old vet was right. You served our country with honor. So Thank you too. I hope you got some good surf today.

November 11, 2009

A quick note to thank you and your family for all of your service, vigor, youth and inspiration brought to the community of Hampton, the Seacoast and the State of New Hampshire.

This is not of the Marine LtCol or Coast Guard Petty Officer view point . Rather as a NH native, a denizen of the Massachusetts South Shore for ten years, Hampton Academy, Winnacunnet , UNH Grad, , NH business owner, father, grandfather; in general, a guy that has been around the block, been to night school and like you, “settled” in Hampton.

The high level of achievement, success and service your family executes to include preceding generations on both the Cory’s and the Fatello DNA chain is truly remarkable.

Keep your pack on. You are the best.

Good fortune to your Warrior this weekend.



Thanks Phil and Semper Fi to you as well.

November 11, 2009

I was thinking of you today being veterans day, and i just wanted to say thank you for your past service for our country and for your current service in the war against kooks. PREECIATE IT. My mother wrote a piece about a friend of hers @ rye reflections. com. i thought you might enjoy it. Vets come in all shapes and sizes.
Thanks Alex. I just read was really good. Lots of women served our country yesterday and today.

November 11, 2009

hey ralph happy veterans day and thank you. i was wondering if you would know how to get in touch with ed o'connell in order to purchase a high res. copy of a picture he shot for your column this week? thanks again and as usual i love the column. im not just buttering you up, its refreshing to know that there are people who actually think logically in the northeast.

Thanks Todd. Just click on Ed's ad on my column and you can reach him via email.

November 11, 2009
Ralph Sir,

Just wanted to acknowledge and thank you for your service to America. I hope your day is filled with enjoying a sunny, warm day of tropical water on the New Hamshire Shores (doesn't hurt to dream a little).

We have had a rather shitty fall. Didn't get any quality surf until last week. Hopefully it will kick in gear. Hard to get in shape when you can't surf.

Last weekend we had just a stupidly big swell. The good news is there are places you can run for cover and enjoy a day in the water without getting killed..

Here is a photo of Pt Reyes, this was taken from the road a 1/2 mile away. There is nothing here for scale but I would say easily 25-30'. The buoys were reading 20' 20seconds. Was just magnificient.

Have a good one.

Thanks Rocky. Thinking of your dad and my dad today. Wait...25-30' faces? WTF???

November 11, 2009

Thanks Ralph. I hope you and your family are doing great.

Jack F.

Thanks Jack.

November 11, 2009
Happy Veteran's Day Ralph - and thanks so much for your service. This day always makes me reflect on the shear guts and loyalty for our country you guys/women who have served/keep serving have. I and everyone else in the US are very lucky for having people like you out there who put their lives on the line for this awesome country. And it is an awesome country. When I was a kid I used to lie in bed sometimes just wondering how I was lucky enough to be born in the US and not some other country. I was/am lucky - but why the US is this way and why it stays this way is not luck; It is the result of a government with the right/good humanity driven principles and the brave soldier who keep doing what needs to be done to keep it that way and all of us safe.

I love your newsletter this week - all the stories and photos of your fellow veteran friends and family members. Really great piece.

Again - Happy Veterans Day and many thanks to you Ralph! And I extend that to John Carden, Ed O'Connell ...all your other buddies up there who served - and to your friend Joe who I'm sure is looking down on you guys today/ with you in spirit.


Thanks Hannah. Joe was a special person.

November 11, 2009

Big shout out to all the vets who have made it possible for us to go where we want and do what we want.



Thanks G.

November 11, 2009

Hi Ralph

Wanted to shoot you a quick thank you for your service to our country.
I hope you enjoy your well deserved day!

Kevin D.

Thanks Kevin.

November 11, 2009


Happy Veterans Day, thanks for your service and for all you do for Veterans from every branch of service and from every war and conflict. Your comment in this week’s column about the Veterans situation in the 70’s was very accurate. It’s because of the work you and people like you have done that the situation is different today.

Thanks Again

Thanks Ed and thank you for your service. I'm glad you made it back.

November 11, 2009

Good Morning Ralph,

It’s pretty incredible what is happening to this country. Men like you have fought for the United States of America to protect us and keep us free. Free from the tyranny that others would like to have imposed on us. As we listen to the President read words he does not believe today, know that the vast majority of Americans truly thank you for your service today. Especially me…

Thank you Ralph,


Thanks Johnny.

November 11, 2009

Good Morning Ralph,

Happy Veterans Day! Thank you very much for what you did/have done for our country!

I was everyone else for a little session this morning, but no such luck, maybe this afternoon. Again, thank you very much and I hope you have a great day!

Thanks Nate same to you.

November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day Ralph. Thank you for your service to our Nation.

My Father attended a Veterans event at the Marston School yesterday with his Grandson.
He was very impressed, and had a great time. I told him it was you, most likely, running the show. He was so happy he attended.


Thanks. Christos.

November 10, 2009

I've got some fun afternoon session images from this past Sunday up at
Rincon! Talk about a cool surf break. I'd never been there before, but
it definitely lives up to all the hype and beyond!

Can't wait to see what you got.

November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday USMC. November 10, 1775. Thank you for serving our
country Ralph.


Thanks Jamie.

November 10, 2009

Tom sent me your article. And now if you check the e-mail all the restuarants are wanting to feed us for free-- at least out here-- where were they 40 years ago??? Any way I enjoyed your piece. When you see Tom tomorrow give him a hug for me. I'll have two surfers hugging each others and the locals will wonder what's up.


Thanks Ron. Hope you get some waves out there in California. I'll be seeing Tom. Hard to believe it's over 40 years ago huh? Thank you for your service as well. God Bless.

November 10, 2009

Please accept my gratitude for your service. I am also fortunate to still have my Dad, (WWII -Navy - South Pacific), nephew U.S. Air Force, and many friends who also will get to celebrate this day.

Hope you get some special waves tomorrow.

Our friend, Col. Collins (USMC) will be retiring in a ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Constitution later this month. Was out surfing with Joe and one of his sons a couple weeks ago. You will see him soon, I am sure, as he picked up some winter rubber and is looking forward to riding his longboard. He was out at Camp Pendleton last week, but did not have time to surf.


P.S. I grew up on the North Shore, and had the misfortune to also have had run-ins with 'Pirate' Jonas. Heard all the stories, mostly the one about how he was the model for the GI Joe doll. As long as I do not run into him again, all will be fine.

Thanks Dave. Keep yer eyes open for that mean old Pirate...

November 10, 2009

Thinking of you today as I am teaching a lesson reflecting on Veterans Day
Great column honoring vets this week
interesting how our local photogs are all vets well almost all
Good Luck to Max for sat.


November 10, 2009

Most of me thinks I shouldn't bother sending this. I know you only well
enough to nod to. I'm old enough to be a Vietnam vet, but I'm not a vet.
I have very mixed feelings about that. I really did not want to go to Vietnam,
but my brother and I have always had a kind of survivors guilt about
the whole thing. My brother reads everything about the war. I've been
aware forever that many who came back whole in body were wounded
in spirit. I sat on the back of a boat in Mexico decades ago talking to
a Vietnam vet. It was clear he was having trouble. People were
avoiding him. I sat down next to him and we talked. He was looking
at the tropical Mexican shore and getting flashbacks. I could not
possibly know what was going on inside him. I wasn't there. But I knew
he didn't want to be alone just then. We talked. He got through it,
at least for a while.

The first time I became aware of the treatment vets returning from
Vietnam were getting back in the day, I thought: WTF?

I don't always agree with you. Sometimes I think, whoa, Ralph, that's
a bit strong. But mostly I think, hey, this is the thinking of a vet who
came out intact. I do not have those experiences. I do not, and
now never will, have a spirit honed by brotherhood under extreme
hazard. If my opinions are occasionally different than yours, that does
not mean you're wrong. It may very well mean I don't have the context
to offer a well formed opinion.

I've seen your view of Obama soften while at the same time mine
has somewhat hardened. I think Afghanistan is being undersupported,
but I've never understood why we allow this corrupt nation to continue
to flood the world with narcotics. We could wipe out their poppie fields
any time we wanted (again, I may not have a clue, but how hard is
it to kill a plant? The Taliban are not defeated because they offer an
alternative to the corruption, albeit a totally extremist fringe alternative.
Hitler did the same thing during the Great Depression.).

Anyway, before I say something really stupid (maybe I already have),
let me just say, thanks, and

Happy Veteran's Day.


Thank you very much Geoff. For the record 90% of my friends who surf are not Veterans.
As far as my opinions well what can I say? I've never been one for mincing words.
But seriously Geoff thanks for taking the time to write me.
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.


November 10, 2009


Happy Birthday to you and all United Stated Marines!

Thank you for your service.

The Stecchi Family.

Thank you and a BIG Semper Fi to your dad .


November 9, 2009

Ralph what can I say I can't stay away from your blog...I admit I snuck on
today! Oh well old habits die hard. I just wish you wouldn't always write
in such absolutes. You say that when you got back from Vietnam especially
students and teachers "left wing liberals" were bastards to you. I just
wish you would say "some" liberal left wing students and teachers were assholes

I was a student and I have some liberal views but if I was around
then I can say I would never have spit in your face or treated you poorly.
Let's just stop labeling everyone and putting everyone into groups.
Thanks for the spirited debate! I will think of you and you and your
father on Wednesday. Also while we are on the good vibes let's pray for
my best friend Mark K. a local Seacoast surfer (he surfs at Straw's and
Jenness mostly when he is home) who has to go back to Iraq next week. He
is out of the Army but works for a contractor.

You're right . I never meant to say that all college student and professors were bastards. I had plenty of friends who were both. Sorry for the misconception. Thanks Trevor I'll think of your dad as well, and I will add your buddy Mark to my prayer list.


November 9, 2009

Thanks for helping to keep the community up here connected. Your collumn is a big part of that.
Heres to some surf!


Thanks I'll surf to that.


November 9, 2009

Thank you for an outstanding Veterans Day column. Joe (and so many
others) was certainly a hero. I wish I could have known him.
Thank you for your service. Will we have any surf this week? "Ida" know!
Looks to be HUGE. And I have to shoot all weekend. Sux.

With regards,

Thanks John and thank you for your service.


November 9, 2009

The paddle out memorial for Charlie Cartwright will be at 1:00 on this Veterans Day, Wednesday at Church's Beach, (just north of San Onofre State Beach).

The easiest access is on Camp Pendelton through the San Onofre gate. Exit on Basilone Rd., go through the gate and turn right on Beach Club road to the beach area.

Greg Murray, which is no longer in the military, tells me that he gets on base routinely now by just telling the gate guard that he's going surfing and they check his drivers license. He says that you should be able to get on base by showing your drivers license and telling them that you are going to a memorial service at the beach campgrounds. If theirs a problem, you can park at San Onofre and walk the 1/4 mile north to Churchs. many surfers do this every day to surf.

Don't forget you surfboard and wetsuit!

I can get on base no problem and I am happy to carry as many as possible in my van, first come first served, email me and I'll make arrangements for us to meet somewhere in Encinitas at around 11:45. If anyone else can get on base routinely, please let me know and we'll accommodate as many as possible.

I have attached a picture of Charlie and his wife Marissa when I met them for the first time several years ago.

Please join us if you can to honor our fallen friend, Charlie (Chuck) Cartwright. It will be a great way to celebrate those who gave all they have to give on this Veterans Day.



Our thoughts and prayers are with this brave Marine's family and friends. Tomorrow is the Marine Corps Birthday. 234 years old. We'll toast Sgt Cartwright at the ball.

Semper Fi Sgt Cartwright.


November 9, 2009
Hey Brotha,

It is hard to believe it has been 12 months since I wrote basically the same e-mail, but once again thank you for your service all those years back and for your continued service every day to all those who protect us now.

Luckily we all have people like you to remind us all to never forget and always say thanks to all who have served (and not just on Veteran’s Day)

Once again Ralph, thanks for all you do for all of us all the time……..Vini

Thank you Vini.

November 3, 2009

Hey Ralph,
Hey That picture you took of that sunset on
the pic of the week that's up right now is F'n awesome! Great work!

Thanks Jamie.

November 3, 2009

Hey Ralph,
I am a local surfer who has moved to New Zealand. Plan to be here for a year or two. So far Waves have been Amazing. I am just starting to take photos, an ametuer. Thought I would send you a note and see about sending pics. The people in the photos will be unknown, unless of course I can get someone to shoot me. However, it may inspire some locals to take a trip.
I love your sight. I often disagree with your politics, but hey we can agree to disagree on some things. Anyway, if your interested I will send along pics as they come in. Nice to expand the horizons of the New Hampshire crew. Also, if people want to visit, I will be a willing guide. I am surfing the Taranaki Region. West coast.
Chris Heatherton
The one image I sent is just an example. Place called Kumera Patch 100-200 meter long L.

Hey Chris:

I am jealous. I so badly wanted to travel to New Zealand when I was younger and had less responsibility in my life. For as long as I can remember, the waves of New Zealand have had that powerful allure. I guess it's because it sort of reminds me of a Tropical New England.

I'd love for you to send photos. My question is do you know how to size them? I need them to be 800 pixels wide (left to right). Unless you only send me one or two. Then I'll size em for you. But if you send a bunch I need them to fit that size width. 800 pixels. Also, if you can ZIP them that would help when emailing them. I think I have WIN ZIP.

I'm glad you like the weekly column and photo gallery. I don't expect all the surfers to agree with me as far as my politics go. That's why I have that Disclaimer at the entry page. I love this country and support the office of the presidency. Like the previous administration, these new guys need to be held accountable for when things go bad.

Now enough about that silly stuff...go get some green barrels for Ralphie!


November 2, 2009
Hello Ralph,

Almost every week I watch your webpage and I love it! Thanks!

You took a picture of me on that epic Sunday 25. I was wondering if you could send me a High def. version of it, so I could put it on my wall.

I don’t know if photogs do that, giving pictures…

Anyway, I had to ask.



Fred we sell high res photos all the time. Sell not Give. Be happy to sell you a high res version of any photo that I took. If it's one of the other Photogs they sell pics as well. Just let me know which photo and I'll direct you to the right photographer. Thanks.


November 2, 2009


Thanks for your vigilant protection of surfer's rights (and left's depending on the wave). Believe it or not the wave you caught for the Blatant Drop In was my first wave of that day. Young Mr R------s was looking right at me while he was paddling for that wave. I didn't know it was him at the time and had to play defense for most of the wave. I guess I'll have to chalk it up to youthful energy (ie: disrespect for others), an affliction that strikes most youngen at some point or other.

As for the sentence, rather than have the weekly perp perform a service for the victim perhaps he should put on an orange jumpsuit and walk the beach picking up trash.


GREAT IDEA. I'll have to Photo shop a guy in an Orange Jumpsuit and stick the Perp's head on the Criminal.

November 2, 2009

Ralph, you should do a “Wall Of Shame” page and post the names and pictures of repeat offenders Tony

I like that. Be easy to do. Make Wanted Posters like in the Post Office.

November 2, 2009

Ralph: Fantastic Job ! I know you had a ton of stuff to deal with this week. The foliage shots are cool but the sunsets are fantastic. The chowderheads video is fantastic,really great column this week.


I got lucky on those Sunset shots.


November 1, 2009

Drop-in was hilarious! I love the part where Perry's board looks like
it is jabbing him in the neck ("four red fins"). Great foliage pix and
Colors photo.
I agree with you about the Wall. It is truly a remarkable place.
Waves looking real good for Tues/Wed. Offshores.

Right on!


Yea that was one of the more colorful Drop-Ins. I'm gonna be making them the Invisible Surfer Man feature I love the Wall.


November 1, 2009


You have some great pics from this week.
Making me jealous... and Mikey looks good.


Thanks Brian, but you have nothing to be jealous over.
You are still the man.