The Surf Count of Waist High or Better is
59 out of 61 weeks, or 9 for 9...
that old saying? "Time flies when you're having fun."
Not sure how much fun I've had in the last 7 years, but
I do know how much work I've put into this weekly blog. A lot.
Oh OK, I've had fun. I mean, if I wasn't enjoying this, I wouldn't
be doing it. But it has been a lot of work. I'm talking about
this week being the 7th year I've done this weekly blog.
Ralph's Pic Of The Week started on April 15, 2004.
And it's funny to look back at it all now. Back in those early
days, I was actually only posting one or two pics each week. Of
course, those of you who have been following this weekly babble,
know that it can be anywhere from 50 to 500 photos. Depending
on the swell and the photographers. But that is not that uncommon.
And if there was one year, that stood out from the others, it
would have to be this past year.
2009 to this current week in 2010.
Now before I get on another Redundant RUN Rap, you have
to admit. You have to. Even you jaded, miserable, paint me gray,
and kick me in the teeth types. This past year has been amazingly
consistent. And again, not to sound like a broken record, but
all you have to do is go back and look at the Archives. Actually,
I compiled a shitload of the best from the last 7 years
and will post them here. But if you need
to see more proof, you can always tap into the Archives section.
There was so much that happened in the last 7 years. Some
good and some not good.
We lost some good friends along the way. Starting with the surfers
Janice Cassidy, Ray Hackett, Danny Miller, Todd Ross, Dan Carignan,
my father-in-law Jerry Bunton, my mother Eva, my
cousin Joe, Johnny Meehan's mom Winnie, and Jacko
and Mike Keefe's mom Gert. There were so many
others. Chris Caisey's parents. Stan Chew's niece.
And of course, Lil Miss Molly and Linda Paugh. It
has been a sobering 7 years and none more so than this
past year. And I know I'm not alone when I say, that I would give
back, every single wave we had in the last year, to get Molly
and Linda back.
Every single wave.
Reflecting back can be a cleansing of one's soul. And as I went
through the literally thousands of photos and videos, and my weekly
columns, it was hard not to get nostalgic and sentimental. Hell,
I got emotional on more than one occasion. It's good to let that
stuff out. One of the worse things we can do to ourselves is to
hold in our true emotions. You need to let that energy out. Holding
in all that pent up anger and grief, can only do you more harm
than good. It was October 23rd, 2005 that I first coined
the phrase "Surfing Heals All Wounds". It was
after my beloved father-in-law Jerry passed away on Oct.
It's OK to cry. It's OK to laugh, and it's OK to get angry. It's
not OK to get violent.
I found myself rereading so much of the recent past, and while
it was sad and depressing, it was also for me anyway, therapeutic.
I needed to get back in touch with some of that raw emotion. It
was not that long ago, when we first caught wind of what was happening
in Nicaragua's Le Chureca. Brian Nevins exposed
that horrible scene like an open festering wound. I don't think
there was anyone who read his missives, and looked at his powerful
images, and was not affected by it. The sheer helplessness and
the enormity of it all was suffocating. And his recent trip last
week with Sam and Mike was equally moving.
Brian Nevins wears his heart on his sleeve. And this last
trip was another heart wrenching, gut churning trip to the pits
of hell. His words were both desperate, and full of disdain, at
how something so horrifying could still be happening to human
beings on this planet. Especially the children. The truth is,
there is suffering all over this world. And while Brian
has acknowledged that, the horrors of La Chureca are the
stuff of nightmares. There is a website that you can access and
read all about it, what you can do to help.
If you can spare a dime, or know of someone who can. Please get
in touch with them. They are doing the work of real angels down
there, but they need help.
The Children of Nicaragua via Brian Nevin's recent
This organization deals directly with the plight of the children
of La Chureca. Please help.
Speaking of Brian Nevins. This weekly site has sustained
it's appeal, in part due to the amazing work of Brian Nevins,
and all the other photographers who contribute to this weekly.
While Nevins is considered the master of powerful, artistic
images, there are others, who are clearly artists in their own
right. Ed O'Connell has been shooting surf photography
since the 60's . He has an amazing library of New England
Surf photos and movie film. But I think Ed's work in the
last few years has stepped up a few levels. And I think it's because
of the indirect competition, we have among each other. Or more
importantly, the influences that we have on each other. I do know
that some of Ed's work this past year has been amazing.
And like Nevins, I am so humbled to have his work shown
here on a weekly basis.
John Carden is another. Having only been shooting surf
for the last 10 years or so, he has stepped up his game
as well. You really have to know surfing, to be a good surf photographer.
And while it is true that almost anyone can take a photograph,
it takes a certain eye and skill, to create an image that is both
appealing to surfers, and to the general public as well. Because,
a good photograph is still a good photograph, no mater what the
subject matter, or who the audience is. And make no mistake about
John Carden is a good photographer.
But hold on now, because there are others. Like Jamie Wade.
Jamie has his own unique style. And his work is for me
easily recognizable. I just wish he shot more surf images. Because
his stuff is so cool. Then there's my man Lenny Nichols.
He's been shooting as long as I have. But I think his style of
shooting the world below our knees, is as unique as Jamie's.
Perhaps more in that particular subject matter. Put it
this way, on those flat days, I find myself looking at tidal pools,
and sand designs, because of Lenny's work.
I feel like I need to mention all the other East Coast Photographers
who have contributed more than just a pic or two over the years.
Nick LaVecchia used to submit a ton of work here before
he became so much in demand. But it was funny going through all
the old files this past week. There was a lot of Nick's
early work here. Another mention is to Bob Consentino.
Bob's work schedule has hindered his free shooting days,
but his work was here in the beginning, and I know when he is
around, I'll get a few pics in my email. Chris Shipley
is another. He's always out there shooting, and every now and
then, he sends me something. Same with John Walsh and Kevin
Doherty. Doherty used to send a lot of photos, and
my guess is, his surfing personality has taken over the photographer
personality. And that's very common with those of us who shoot
and surf. It's a lifelong dilemma, for some of us. Shoot or surf?
My old buddy Jeff Crawford has been getting back into the
photo scene and has actually introduced his son Everest
in the art form. I expect good things from both in the months
and years to come. My video boys are equally exciting to see develop.
There was a time when there was only myself and Ed shooting
movies. That has changed. From the amazing eye and quirky style
of Joe Carter to the new kid on the block Michael Sander.
I love Sander's stuff. Of course, I'm jealous of his HD
camera and the amazing quality it produces. But, what is really
neat to see, is Michael's editing style. Not since Joe
I seen the kind of video editing talent as to what Michael
brings to the viddy table each week.
Out on the West Coast is my "go to guy" Ben
Ginsberg who has immersed himself into the highly competitive
Southern California scene, and sent us some amazing action
pics over the last year or so. And speaking of California, there's
a few photogs who have submitted some classic gems over the years,
The Phantom was one. Ron Freeman was another, and
new comer Steve Dillon, has shown some talent in the last
few weeks. It's all pretty exciting.
But my friends, of all the photographers out there who contribute
to RPOTW, week after week, and month after month, and year
after year, there is NO ONE who has the experience, the eye, and
the sheer raw talent (of surfers at his finger tips) than, the
Real Legend himself...Bernie Baker. Anyone who is anyone,
knows who Bernie Baker is. If you're a surfer, or a photographer,
you've seen his work. He still has his finger on the pulse, of
who's hot and what's hot, on Oahu's very competitive surf
scene. And when I say I am honored to have Bernie's work
displayed here, week after week, well, that is an understatement
of unimaginable proportions. Because, I am truly lucky and humbled,
to have the likes of Bernie Baker on this weekly blog.
So there it is. From Bernie Baker to Brian Nevins.
Ralph's Pic Of The Week continues into year 8 with a fresh
new batch of surfers, and photographers, itching to show their
stuff, both in and out of the water.
And make no mistake about it. We have some talented surfers here
as well. From Kevin Grondin, Steve O'Hara, Mike Paugh, Dave
Cropper, Mike Moran, Casey Lockwood, Mike Stanek to a number
of up and coming young rippers like Kai Nichols. The surfer
pool talent is full. There can be any number of local rippers
on any given day here in Northern New England. Phil Carey,
Lars Jacobsen, Toby Parke, Mackey V, Jared Velstos, Nick Miller,
Brian Taber, and all the other dozens of local surfers who
absolutely kill it out there. There are too many to name here.
That's the problem of naming names. I'm bound to leave someone
off the list. Please don't be offended if
you don't see your name here. And of course, there are all of
my close friends who surf, but are NOT interested in the accolades
of being named one of the best. You guys and girls, are out there
just to have fun. And that's what surfing is all about. And you
also know, that the TRUE beauty of Ralph's Pic Of The Week
is... there is a GOOD chance that you will see yourself
posted here on any given week, because I do NOT distinguish between
who is GOOD, and who is NOT. The photographers who submit pics
each week, shoot everyone. And that fact alone, has never been
lost on me.
That's my promise to all you surfers, who have never been published
in a major surf mag or video.
That is my concept. To shoot the best waves, and the best riders
and everyone else in between during
each swell. There is no division in my lens. And that is especially
true in the weekly BLATANT DROP IN
of the week. Now you have to admit.... That has been fun. Come
on. Admit it you look forward to it. It's OK no one is going to
say that you are sick or evil for liking the weekly BDI's. It's
all in good fun. Unless of course, someone get's hurt. Then you
could be facing more than just being Invisible for a week.
Have fun out there. Be kind to one another. Help someone along
the way. Have faith in someone or something. Whether it's Jesus,
God, the Koran or each other. Nurture your faith and all that
is inherently good in each and every one of us. Life is too short.
We've all heard that before. I've tried to eliminate regrets in
my life. If you have wronged someone in the past, say you're sorry.
It's the easiest thing in the world to do. I know. I've done it
enough times. "I'm sorry." Pick up the phone and call
that person. Say prayers for those who need help. We all know
someone who could use a prayer. Do it. Pray for them.
Remember, your 15 minutes of fame could be the next swell.
Just don't drop in on anyone.
for some of my weekly Global observances:
are over 2 million people affected by the insane Volcano
eruption in Iceland. Have you seen it? It's nuts. I guess
planes can't fly over it, so people are stranded in Europe
and beyond. Look I'm no pilot, but can't they just fly around
it? Those planes can't turn? Am I missing something here? What
if they got a bunch of helicopters and had them fly over the volcano
and blow that smoke and ash away? Nah...that sounds stupid. So
what are they gonna do? That Volcano could sit there and spew
for months. Maybe
they plug it up? Maybe I should put a plug in my mouth and move
I saw something on TV this week that stopped me dead in my tracks.
Wanna know what it was?
Of course you do. It was President Barack Obama speaking
at the Nuclear Security Summit on
April 13, 2010. And this is what he said verbatim. "The
risk of a Nuclear attack has gone up. And a
small amount of plutonium the size of an apple, could kill hundreds
of thousands innocent human beings. And if Al Qeada were
to ever get a hold of one, they would surely use it."
I wanted to say the old No shit Dick Tracey, but that would be
disrespectful. And I mean no disrespect to the president. But
I was sort of surprised to hear him acknowledge that. You know,
I don't agree with the President on a number of things. But I
truly believe, that ever since he became President, and has been
privy to daily briefings from around the world, he has become
increasingly aware of the REAL and Dangerous threats we face as
He knows what's happening. So my guess is, he's really concerned,
and knows we can't just sit back and let this happen. Hence his
words on 4-13-10. But he needs to do something about Iran.
They are building such devices in plain view of the world. They
will use it if they get it. Israel knows it more than anyone.
This world is NOT any safer with Obama than it was with
Bush. Al Qeada hates the USA. The GWOT
will be here forever. This is our reality, and the quicker we
act to prevent a nuclear or biological attack, the better off
we will be. I think the President knows this. Thank God for that.
PLEASE READ ASAP
|The petition reads:
"We, the undersigned, are requesting that
the Hampton Mounted Patrol Unit stay intact and continue providing
safety for the town of Hampton."
The petitions need to
be signed by 5pm, Monday, April 18.
Two days! HURRY!
Petitions are located
at Los Olas Taqueria in downtown Hampton and also at Cinnamon
Rainbows and Secret Spot on North Beach.
Kinsey Devenport, of North Hampton's Runnymede Farm, leads
former Hampton Patrol mounts Arrow, left, and Butch back
to the barn on Saturday...
Fans of Blues-Rock guitar will enjoy this show.(Below)
will be performing at the Winnacunnet
High School Auditorium on Saturday May 29th,
2010 for a fundraiser concert to raise money for the Hampton
American Legion's GWOT Memorial Monument .(*See flyer in this
week's column.) I know there are a lot of old "Easter's"
fans out there. And let me say...the band has not missed a beat.
We are looking forward to playing in front of our old and new
fans in May. Look who's blowing into town...The
out the NEW SURFER with local International Photo King Mr Brian
Nevins has an
amazing spread of JAPAN surf and snow. Brian is back in Nicaragua
beautiful depressing Dump Scenes.
Check it here...GITV.
The Boston Bruins are tied 1-1 in the PLAY-OFFS vs Buffalo...GO
The Celtics are up one zero in the Play-offs!
The Pats are heading into the NFL draft with some decent prospects.
KEEP Getting Stronger Kim Grondin! We ALL Love you!
Congrats to Andrew Kellar of SIMPLY
Green for making a difference in the way we live
and work in our environment. SIMPLY GREEN and the ReGENERATION
Park story can be
found here. Go to Seacoast Online to read the article in today's
A Quick RECOVERY to local Big Man Ripper
Eric Palmer...see you in the Summer
brother Semper Fi.
Here are all the awesome JAMIE WADE pictures for you to check
out from Molly's event: http://jamiewade.zenfolio.com/
give to the RED CROSS or some other trusted organization
to help the people in Haiti and Chile. Like the
RED CROSS. www.redcross.org
Help these people. Please.
*Check out the NEW updated
IN ON RALPH blog Section.
ALL Of April is up. Including a nasty exchange between me and
a local Kayakker. *This is the blog section of this website where
you can write in and comment. The only downside of this blog is,
you actually have to use your REAL Name. No hiding behind some
fake handle and name. If you want to comment, you have to man
up, and be yourself. I will post all comments, both good and bad.
You just have to
*Molly Paddle Video by Joe Carter has been
moved to the Community
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic
Of The Week
every week for the last 6 years. **Think about BUYING a Photo
from any of the weeks
on RPOTW as a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite
my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.