Send your SURF Pics to me directly. (See link below) Just make sure they're 800 pixels wide. PLEASE NO smaller. Need photos by each Saturday at 12 noon
if possible .
In fact if you have any questions about the size, email me first and I'll write back. Start shooting my brothers and sisters!
SEND PICS by clicking here- Ralph's Pic Of The Week To check out Past ( RPOTW) Go to the Archives Page

April 18th, 2010
The Surf Count of Waist High or Better is 59 out of 61 weeks, or 9 for 9...

What's 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. 17, 2005.

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 work. 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 it,
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? Damn.

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 Carter have
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.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:
There 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 along here.

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 a nation.

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.


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)

Don't forget The Nor'easters 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 Nor'easters!

Check 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 shooting more
beautiful depressing
Dump Scenes. Check it here...
The Boston Bruins are tied 1-1 in the PLAY-OFFS vs Buffalo...GO B's!!!
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 Portsmouth Herald.

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:

Please give to the RED CROSS or some other trusted organization to help the people in Haiti and Chile. Like the RED CROSS. Help these people. Please.

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING 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
be yourself.

*Molly Paddle Video by Joe Carter has been moved to the
Community Page.

Please 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 Surfer!

Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Summer of 1989 The Boys Gather at the G-House
(Below) Surfers have gathered at certain Surf homes for years all over this globe. The Grondins home has always been sort of the local Oahu (Gathering Place) in the Northern New England surf scene. Many a traveling pro or photographer has stopped by The Grondins home over the decades. But it's mostly been a stop by for local surfers. Kevin has traveled far and wide all over the globe and has made many a friend a long the way. This is a photo of Surfers who have some serious roots in our local surf community. From left to right. Ric Aho from Florida, (former shaper/glasser/artist for Nomad Surfboards) ...he made most of our boards in the 70's...and he is not only a talented artist, he's also a very good surfer, Kevin and Kim Grondin, Cliff Pappas a stylish Goofy foot, who lives in Kauai, me (Ralph), Greg Smith from Kauai, a local legend, with the biggest set of balls of anyone I have ever known (when it comes to daring sports), and in the back, Allen Bigbee a longtime surfer who has seen it all. Ric took the photo by remote and as you can see, we're all a little suspect as to whether or not the photo came out.
Photo by Ric Aho

Today- SUNDAY April 18th, 2010

(Above) Looking at the New Cinnamon Rainbows HD wave cam I watched these fun little
zippers pour in all day. I even saw one guy yakking on his cell phone wave at the doubt
he was talking with a friend. And no doubt this is Waist high. This wave counts for next week if
we don't get anything else bigger this week. Remember we start our weeks on a Sunday and end
on a Saturday. Sunday, April 18th, 2010.
Photo By Ed O'Connell

Today- SATURDAY April 17th, 2010

(Above) It's small...but it's waist high. Saturday, April 17th, 2010. Photo By RALPH

(Above) Unknown on a waist high wave. Saturday, April 17th, 2010. Photo By RALPH

A Reflection of the last 7 years...starting with
The Year 2004

(Above) A fun looking wave at a fun spot with some not so fun locals. Spring 2004
Photo By Nick LaVecchia * Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2004 Gallery.

(Above) Nohea Nichols Summer of 2004. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2004 Gallery.

(Above) Gabby Fatello Summer of 2004. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2004 Gallery.

The Year 2005

(Above) Mike Moran 2005. Photo By Johnny Grasso
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2005 Gallery.

(Above) Billy Ritchie 2005. Photo By Bob Consentino
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2005 Gallery.

(Above) Mike Moran in Big Mexico 2005. Photo By Rueben Pina
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2005 Gallery.

The Year 2006 (2 Gallery Pages)

(Above)The ICEMAN Cometh...Great Lakes Reality Winter 2006 . Photo via Internet
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2006 Gallery.

(Above) Devlin Hart deep in the heart of a Northern Mass Wave 2006.
Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2006 Gallery.

(Above) Reef McIntosh Cloud Break Tavaura May 2006.
Photo By Dave Cropper
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2006 Gallery.

The Year 2007 (2 Gallery Pages)

(Above) Danny Miller and Joe Carter 2007.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2007 Gallery.

(Above) Stevie O'Hara November 2007.
Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2007 Gallery.

(Above) Empty perfect line-up 2007.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2007 Gallery.

The Year 2008 (3 Gallery Pages)

(Above) Mike Moran the BEST Longboard photo ever taken in New England 2008.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2008 Gallery.

(Above) Mike Wounded Warriors HIT THE BEACH I 2008.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2008 Gallery.

The Year 2009 (5 Gallery pages)

(Above) Billy Ritchie HURRICANE BILL 2009.
Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2009 Gallery.

(Above) Barreled North Shore 2009.
Photo By Bernie Baker
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2009 Gallery.

(Above) Perfection. December 2009.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2009 Gallery.

(Above) Wendy Nicaragua's La Chureca 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2009 Gallery.

(Above) Molly's Paddle August 22, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2009 Gallery.

The Year 2010 (2 Gallery pages)

(Above) Casey Lockwood February 11, 2010.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2010 Gallery.

(Above) Kevin Grondin February 28, 2010.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2010 Gallery.

(Above) Mackey V March 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2010 Gallery.

(Above) Mike Stanek Winter 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole 2010 Gallery.




FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. From the Old School Archives from RALPH


The FREAK Summer of 1975 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

So last week's video was so popular with my weekly readers, that I thought, what the hell, I'll do another old school viddy. This is what this is. It was shot the same time as the other old school viddy. In fact, it was the same swell. It was a late summer and we were in the full on pioneer mode. Surfing breaks for the first time.

This was one of those. "FREAKS".

It's hard to believe that two of the guys surfing in this video are gone from this earth. Steve "Neddie" Nelson and Joe "Manse" Somogyi. Joe was the one (again), that convinced us that this new spot was happening and we should paddle out. My comments to him at the time were..."Joe are you kidding me? That's 2' breaking a foot from shore!"

He never let me forget that idiotic assessment.

When you see the footage, you will see it as well. It was at least head high and breaking a good 50-75 yards out. But for years, I heard that line whenever we surfed there, "2 feet breaking a foot from shore"

I miss Joe and Neddie. The footage is again from my old Super 8mm movie film. It's dirty and scratchy, but you can make out the action well enough. There's also footage of Jimmy Grey (* a great surfer, who really had a handle on contemporary shortboarding at the time), Jeff "Berts" Obst, who kept getting these sweet little barrels (I mean tubes) out there.

There's a shot or two of goofy foot stand out, Jay "Rat" Hammer, who is now a full bird Colonel in the US ARMY. There's one shot of Robin Rowell, a boy caught between two coasts. And of course, there was Kevin "Doc" Grondin who was (and still is, to our generation) leaps and bounds beyond the rest of us.

And oh yea, there's a few of me.

The music is from Robin Trower. And back in the early 70's, we were all into Trower. Years later, in the late 80's I actually toured with Trower, and I told him I used his music in my surf movies. He was blown away by that. "You use my music with Surfing?"

I told him his music was a perfect soundtrack for surfing back in the 70's. He was so excited to hear that. He not only dug it, he encouraged me to use his newer stuff as well. But it was his early stuff that we liked.

I have a photo of me and Robin Trower together on stage after his soundcheck. We played together at the Paradise in Boston. The Nor'easters and Robin Trower.

..."been a long time crossing, bridge of sighs.."

Hope you enjoy it.





Today 2010- The BLATANT DROP IN of The WEEK.

(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #52 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-
This case is between two SURFERS. Photo By Jeff Crawford

Click on the photo above to see the Whole CRIME.

RANDOM Pics from Readers
(Above) Nice well groomed right in Massachusetts Winter-2010.
Photo by Stephen Avola

* Click on the photo above to see the Readers Gallery.

(Above) Rowan and his Big Red Board.
Photo by Becca
* Click on the photo above to see the Readers Gallery.

From the Archives - FUN WITH MULLETS

(Above) That is one hell of a Mullet on our boy Dave Cropper or is it...PUT the mouse
over the image
and see what happens when Mullets Gone Wild kicks in...

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Dunn

(Above) TODAY Sunday April 18-2010 Coming NEXT WEEK!
Photo By Ed O'Connell

(Above) The 7th year Ralph's Pic Of The Week will be on FACEBOOK next week.

(Above) Ralph's Pic Of The Week ANNOUNCING some NEW Molly News next week.

(Above) Ralph's Pic Of The Week -NEW Page of ALL Old Surf pics from New England and beyond from the Early 1900's to the 1990's Coming NEXT WEEK!

The NEW Invisible Surfer Man Series
*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) Put the cursor over the image to see happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Put the mouse over the image to see the original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal becomes invisible.
*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.

by Jeff Crawford


(Above) I can't read it... but I understand it. Photo By Jimmy Dunn

Click on Wave to return to top of page






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































To contact the advertisers below, simply click on the Ad space. Anyone wishing to find out info about advertising here can do so by emailing me directly. Ralph's Email I'll send you a template and other info.

We highly recommend the various businesses and artists listed below. Why? Well simply put, each and every one of them is a Surfer, who lives the Surfing Lifestyle.

Think about BUYING a Photo from any of these Great Local Photographers from past weeks on RPOTW. It's a GREAT Gift Idea for any time of the year. Just think, a nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer! Just contact me and I'll contact the right
photographer and put you in touch with him.


The Rowlee family is still accepting donations to
the Lil Miss Molly Fund to help other families
fighting cancer.

Click on this Ad to go to the website and read all about Stan Chew's Panama Surf Camp!