So the Blog is 17yrs old this week. April 15th, 2021 to be exact.
Like the image above says. (*By the way, feel free to click on the image above to see the larger version.) This was/is the very first Blog I ever did. Or as I called it back then, "Newsletter". I don't even think that the term Blog was even being used back then. Truth be told, I was doing the Pic of the Week for the CINNAMON RAINBOWS website every week prior to stepping out on my own. I did their first website back in the day, and started to add the "Pic Of The Week" at the bottom of the homepage. And it's funny, because it was just that. A single photo every week.
It was literally "Ralph's Pic Of The Week."
And then Paulie took over doing the website, and took the website to a whole other level. And while I still did the one pic every week, I felt the need to do more that just one photo every week. I had a feeling that most of you would like to see more than just one pic every week. And well, I was right. You guys did want to see more than just the one photo every week. So I started doing more and more pics every week. Soon it became dozens of pics every week.
And then I started getting other photographers to submit their work.
People like Brian Nevins, John Carden, Joe Carter, and the late Ed O'Connell. Hell, I even had legends like Bernie Baker from Hawaii sending
me pics. Thanks to my old friend surfer/photographer Jeff Crawford who turned Bernie onto the Blog. And I started the annual Surf Art Blog. And started to take photos of SURFING WITH SMILES and the WOUNDED WARRIORS HIT THE BEACH. The Annual JIMMY DUNN Hampton Beach Comedy Festival. I'd cover it all if it had something to do with our Surf Community.
Before you knew it, the Blog became quite popular. As in really popular.
And then I started to get some of the women photographers to send me their work as well. Women like Martha Lardent and Erica Nardone, and this past year I met up with Dina Crawford who started to send in some great pics. The Blog became a thing. I even broke the old rule of "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," by getting Tony Berardini to start taking pics at the tender age of 72. It's true. I gave him a Ralph Crash Course on how to take a good surf pic. And you know what? He listened and he started taking some good pics.
It seemed like there were so many talented photographers/surfers around that would send me pics over the years. People like Lenny Nichols, John Adams, Hannah Vokey, Kevin Doherty, Ben Ginsberg, Steve Dillon, Pete Bauer, The Zolas, The Bockos, Ed Moran, Brian "Lando" Landergan, and dozens more. I seriously can't name them all. But I will thank each and every one of you who has sent me photos over the years. 17 years to be exact...
...but honestly? 17 years is not one of those big milestones. Not like 10yrs, or 15yrs for that matter. Don't get me wrong, it's still something. Just not really worth all the hoopla of a celebration. I'm saving all of that for the 20th year. If I'm still around that is. I always thought that the 20th year would be something to celebrate. That's my short term goal. To make it to 20. When and if I get there, I'll decide whether or not to keep going. And if I decide to keep going, I'll set another short term goal. And that goal would be 25 years. So you'll have to put up with me for at least another 3 years, and quite possibly another 8 years. But first things first. Let's see if I can make it to 20.
This last year was significant to say the least. COVID comes to mind.
I lost a few friends this past year. Not due to being sick with COVID, but COVID and the politics related to and around COVID. I guess my mantra of "I SEE WRONG AND TRY TO RIGHT IT" is not for everyone. That disclaimer at the top of the page is there for a reason. And some people just don't share the same point of views that I do, nor do they get my humor. But, the one thing I've learned over the years is this; although I'll lose a friend here and there, life still goes on. The world does not end. We all keep going. And surprisingly, with little or no regrets. At least not on my end. Life goes on. And life is good.
So 17 years of RALPH'S PIC OF THE WEEK. I want to Thank you all.
I still love getting out there and mixing it up with the Surfers each and every week. I love taking pics of every new swell. I love taking videos of the better days. And I still love surfing period. I may not be surfing all year long (I stopped winter surfing in 2016. The older you get, the colder you get), but from April to November, I'll slip out here and there to share a few waves with some close friends and family. But the filming and shooting? I love it. It's my true passion in life. One would think that I would get tired of it. But I don't. I truly love doing what I'm doing. I love this community. I love my family and friends, and I love bringing you new pics each and every single week, along with my Blog stories. And I hope that you all get something out of it very week.
And speaking of life going on. How about the amazing week of surf we just had? From Monday to Saturday. Every single day. Chest to Head high and super glassy. It was incredible. And the crowds were more than tolerable. That big low just sat off the coast all week long and sent us a consistent head high swell. Day after day. And not just head high, but glassy too. There was little to no wind all week. This was unusual for Spring around these parts. We typically get unfavorable winds in the spring. But that was not the case this week.
This pic was taken on the 7th day of April. I'm not sure who this guy is but he was not alone in the sans hoodie. The hoods came off when the glass showed up, and that seemed to make everyone surf a little looser. Though truth be told, that water is still pretty cold. But for the most part? It was like someone
hit a switch. Winter has left the building. Spring is here. And that means that Summer is not that far behind.
This is Jack Madden on April 7th, 2021. Look at how glassy it was. These were ideal Spring conditions. That wave face can't get much smoother than that. Talk about a pure blank canvas. This was Jack's last wave that night. I got a few more pics of this wave and a few others down in the gallery below. I actually have 5 galleries that I personally shot this week. Plus I shot some video that I'll edit in a few days. Hey I was working this week.
Looking over to my left from 10th Street, I could see these lefts lining up and just pouring in and over the sandbars with the incoming tide. This was the very next night. April 8th, 2021. To make things even better, it stayed lighter longer as well. And the sunset this night was insane. I didn't get to shoot it because I was late for dinner with the grandkids. But I did see it. It was spectacular. Just a giant orange ball in the sky.
And that same sun was just as big and bright the next morning.
The next morning April 9th, 2021 was just as glassy and good. Same size. same glassy conditions. And...light crowds. I don't knew where everyone was, but they were not here. Nope. There was hardly anyone out here. Crazy. I know some of you are thinking I'm pulling your leg. I am not. There was hardly anyone out this day. Or the next day for that matter.
Again this is Saturday April 10th, 2021 at around 9:00AM. There was hardly anyone out. Look at this wave. How much fun does this look? There were more empty waves, than there were being ridden. Of that I am certain.
Same size and same glassy conditions. And the same light crowds. And this was on Saturday. I was thinking how strange it seemed that there were no vehicles parked along the Wall when I drove down. Where the hell was everyone? Then it hit me. Was I at the wrong spot? Were there better waves somewhere else? And I was missing it? Oh the horror...the absolute horror. Ha ha. Isn't that just the typical surfer mentality? The surf is always better somewhere else. And that's what makes surfing and surf photography so much fun. I love it. Just don't tell me I blew it by not being where you were.
Searching for the perfect wave and the perfect conditions.
"SURFING AND SURF PHOTOGRAPHY HEALS ALL WOUNDS!"
This week's Ed's corner pic is from April 4th, 2009. This is the legendary Peter Stokes. Peter could write a book on his own personal Surfing Life that would be a great read. A kind and gentle man, who has surfed some of the biggest and best waves in the world. And surfed them with style and grace. If you see him out there, make sure he gets one of the set waves to himself.
He's earned it. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local and National News
Prince Phillip has passed away. He was 99 years old. Married to the Queen for 73 years he's had a remarkable life. I know it's not really surf related, but there is surf in England. Besides they're our allies and well, we all know who he is and who she is. It's news.
The man actually did some heroic feats during WWII. RIP sir.
This guy? He's like Andrew Cuomo. Only worse.
Matt Gaetz. I mean, look at this guy.
That's a slappable face.
We just finished the 3 part documentary on HEMINGWAY by Ken Burns. I love most of the Ken Burns documentaries. And this was one of the better ones. Most of you older surfers know who Hemingway is, and maybe a few of you younger ones do as well. He was an interesting character to say the least, and he was without question a great writer.
Like most creative geniuses he had his problems. Mental illness and alcohol were the two demons he battled with most of his adult life. And although he was only 61 yrs old when he passed he looked like he was in his 80's. But his life was really something. I really enjoyed the series. I found it fascinating and informative. See it on PBS On-demand.
WELCOME COMMUNITY OVEN TO RALPH'S PIC!
We welcome the COMMUNITY OVEN from Hampton and Epping, NH as our latest advertiser to our Blog.
Owner Shane Pine has been a fixture here on the NH seacoast for many years. His involvement with local community fund raisers is legendary. With two restaurants locally, one in Hampton, and the other in Epping, it's the Perfect Spot to get the "PERFECT PIZZA AFTER SURFING THE PERFECT WAVE.
Shane also owns SHANE'S BBQ TEX MEX. Clearly the Best rib joint in town. So if you've got a hankering for Ribs instead of pizza? Stop by on your way out of town. You have to drive right by it on your way home. You can't lose either way.
Pizza or ribs.
We're stoked to have them on board. The COMMUNITY OVEN.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
You guys ready for the latest documentary KHALIDDY? No? Yeah me either. I just thought it would be funny to do a parody of KSM in the same look as the Hemingway Documentary. I'm not about to do a documentary on this loser. I have nothing good to say about him. Nobody does. He's just rotting away in his jail cell in GITMO.
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of PBS Documentary Rejects
Home Depot this week.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Keefe, Casey Lockwood, Duffy McCarthy, and Demetri Valhouli
April 9th, 2021!
HEAL QUICKLY Tony Berardini on the new Hip Surgery!
PLEASE Keep 90 yr old Chuck Dreyer (Kim Grondin's dad)
in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers from surgery.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
PLEASE Keep local Surfer/Musician Pete Kowalski in your thoughts and prayers throughout the year.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 16 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.
Yesterday- NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY April 10th, 2021.
THE FATELLO KIDS CIRCA 1961.
(Below) I'm not sure when this became a day. And to be quite honest with you, I wasn't sure it was real even after hearing about it. However, after seeing enough posts on Facebook I bought into the concept. So here's a photo from 60 years ago of me and my brothers and sisters. Never let it be said, that I did not acknowledge NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY. I love and miss them all. Photo by Gus Fatello
*Click on the pic to see a larger version.
I kept a daily Blog on my CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY surf campaign, when I surfed every single day for 365 consecutive days. Click on the Banner above to read entries of my daily journey. There's some really interesting and true experiences
that happened during that year. Some of which are to this day, unexplainable. Some are just mind blowing. But all true.
I started on July 26th, 2010 and ended on July 26th, 2011.
Some rainy Sunday, pour yourself a cup and go through the journal.
Pay close attention to the month of May in 2011. Read that month and let me know what you think of that. Be forewarned it will change you forever.