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August 7, 2011-The NEW RUN is 24 out Of 24 Weeks.
Waist high or better, at least once a week. The Surf on -Saturday
was waist high.

Three Hundred and Sixty Nine Days...
I just wanted to point that out. That's how many actual days I surfed. 369 consecutive days. I could of surfed a few more if I wanted to, hell, I could still be surfing for that matter. So many people asked me what I was going to do the day after my year was up. As I briefly mentioned last week, there was good surf the next day. I went surfing. That was a no brainer. I am after all a surfer. I'm not quitting surfing. I'm like everyone else now. I will surf when it's good. Or when I want to.

But to be completely honest and truthful with you all. The Last Day was the hardest.

It was Friday July 29th, 2011. I had been checking the surf all day. And honestly? It just didn't look that good. I had surfed the two days prior. But only because there was still surf. I knew this day was coming. Yet I kept checking it all day. Secretly hoping that there might be something. I could feel that inner magnetic pull and it was intensifying all day. I was working and looking at the wave cams every other minute.

"Stop torturing yourself!" my wife said to me at lunch. "I'm not...I'm fine..." I replied.

But I was not. In fact, I was anything but. I was a mess. I was unraveling as each minute ticked off the clock. I kept checking the cams all afternoon. It just didn't look good enough to surf. Or rather it didn't look good enough to justify me heading down there to get wet and surf. After all, the Fund Raiser was officially over. I pledged to surf a year and I did. I should of been satisfied and be on with my life.

But let me tell you all something. If you did anything for a year, and then decided that you would stop the next day? Guess what? It's not that easy. If you played soccer for a year and then stopped, I guarantee you will go looking for that ball the next day to kick around. If you tended a garden for one year straight and then decided that you would stop after one year? Guess again. The next day you are going to the garden.

And surfing? Those of us who surf, knows exactly what kind of pull the ocean has.

Imagine what it must of been like for me? I felt like I had gills. Like I needed to get back to the ocean or something terrible would happen. I know it's all silly sounding to some of you, but it was real for me. Finally at around 6PM with overcast skies I ran upstairs and asked my wife if she wanted to go with me to just drive down to the ocean to look at it. She had that sorry look on her face that telegraphed to me that I was being obsessive. And I admit I was. I was freaking dying. Or at least that's what it felt like to me. How could I possibly explain this to my wife. She has been around surfing since 1983 but she does not surf.

I excused myself and drove down to the ocean. With sans board and suit.

I drove past 18th street. The tide was wrong, I was heading for 10th Street. My home. My sanctuary for so many years. I have surfed that jetty and stretch of sand since 1966. I started surfing in 1964 but did not surf North Beach until 1966. Still, that's a long freaking time. My spot. "Ralph's Rights" at 10th Street named by my late best friend Joe Somogyi. He named it that mostly because I refused to surf the other spots at North Beach.

I pulled up in that fading light and looked over the Wall. There was surf.

Keep in mind, for the last year I would look at the surf and determine whether or not I could surf that spot or not. So many days were spent trying to figure out when and where I would surf each day. So here I was looking at the surf and realizing that "Yes" I could surf this. Hell, I would of killed for days like this in this past year. It was small but clearly surf-able. I walked down to the ocean. There was no one around. Just a few gulls mulling around. There was one guy on a shortboard down by 8th street. He was groveling in the weak conditions.

I watched him struggling to catch these weak waves. He got a few.

I looked back up at the Wall where three days earlier, all my friends and family had gathered to be part of that last day. The Rowlees being the focal point of that magical night. I could still hear and feel that magic 3 days later. But it was empty this night. Not a soul. I looked back at the sea. I felt as if I had gills. I could imagine them opening and closing. Like a fish out of water. I stepped out of my sandals and waded out to about knee deep water. I felt better. The mere touch of the ocean was enough to give me some comfort.

I honestly thought that I was having some kind of a physical withdrawal.

I looked back and saw the cool graphic that Mike Sidebottom had made and stenciled on the stairs at 10th Street. That day came flashing back to me. So many incredible days I had endured and taken in. But this pull...this magnetic pull is real. Surfers are a special breed. We are this global tribe who all share in this wonderful gift . But when that gift becomes, something more than just the act of riding a wave it is almost spiritual. Like there is some other connection.

I had it day after day out there. The seals, the gulls, the fish and crustaceans.

And the simple and beautiful mechanics of the waves themselves.

Each wave is different. Each and every single wave. Trust me, I know this. I would watch them and study them. From the small, crumbling, onshore days, to the big, gaping, blustery, offshore days. They are all different. I was with them all year.

And so was it the ocean itself that I longed for? Or was it something deeper?

I recently described the parallel of being deployed overseas in a war zone and doing what I just did. In the war zone you want nothing but to go home and be with your family and friends again. But when it was time to go home, you found yourself longing to be with the friends you would be leaving behind, and the actual mission itself. It had become a part of who you were for the last year. Surfing everyday at times had it's difficult days, especially in the cold winter months. There were times when I wanted it to end.

But it was summer again. The winter months were behind me. Then it happened.

In a moment of weakness and sorrow, I broke down. I was sorry for feeling this way. I wished again, like I had so many days prior, that the people, whose names appear on my board were still with us. My mother Eva, my friend Joe, Linda, Winnie, Bud, Wendy, and the endless mental list that is embedded in my memory banks. And of course Molly...I wish for her more than any of the others, that she was still with us. I said this before, and I'll say it again, I'd surf a 1,000 days of the coldest meanest New England winters to have the Rowlees have her back again.

Even for one day. I swear to God I would.

I felt the water rush up my legs. I looked around and smiled. I was OK. I looked back out to sea one last time and I saluted. I got into my vehicle and made one last stop. 18th street. I walked down to Molly's name and said hello...and then I thanked her again for all the Love and support that she brought to this sleepy little seacoast town. I put my hand on her name...said a few more words. I asked her to help my kid sister Evamarie who is battling cancer. I felt comforted just being there.

Then with the last fading light, on this Day 369... I walked away.

"Surfing Heals All Wounds..."

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:

Be curious as to how all the NFL teams look after their extended break from last season. It is after all just preseason. No reason to get excited (just yet).

Because I have much involvement in the current GWOT, I always cringe when I hear of US casualties overseas. The latest tragic news from Afghanistan is heartbreaking. 22 NAVY SEALS Killed In Action by the Taliban. Those brave warriors were shot down while onboard a CH47 Chinook chopper while on a covert operation. These brave men were from the same team that just took out OBL.

This is war my friends. There are the sacrifices of war. It's hard to complain about the things in our lives, when you realize that men and women are fighting this deadly ugly war against those who wish to destroy our very fabric of life. Say a prayer for their souls tonight and say a prayer for the friends and family who were left behind.

On August 7th, 1945 the First, and hopefully the Last Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima Japan. A war started by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941.
May the souls of all of those who fought and died in WWII rest in peace.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ryan Olsen August 6th, 2011 !
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ken Linseman August 7th, 2011 !
THE JIMMY DUNN COMEDY FESTIVAL Starts TODAY at the Ashworth on Hampton Beach!
Please keep my sister Evamarie in your prayers and Ginny Grondin too.

CALL FOR SURF ART see below...

Don't forget to go back and read the whole DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDED July 26, 2011. A Wave a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.

beyond Surf Pics!
*NEW PICS added each week!

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING IN ON
RALPH blog Section.
It's coming soon (I promise).

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
week for the last 8 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.


CLICK ABOVE to read the whole"Catch A Wave For Molly" BLOG
Yesterday- Paul Hamblet Late Summer 1983
(Below) Those who know will agree. Paul Hamblet was one of the BEST surfers we ever had here in New Hampshire in the 60's, 70's, and 80's...he does not surf as much anymore but when he does paddle out, even today, and it is hollow, Paul will be pulling into the barrel. Video Frame Grab of Super 8mm movie film By RALPH SFOD
Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today- Saturday, August 6th, 2011 Photos By RALPH

(Above) Nate was taking advantage of the 70 degree water temps and small waist high
fun waves.
Saturday August 6th, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Noreen was out and I'm guessing that Daddy Mike was watching little Mikey
while Mom got some fun surf.
Saturday August 6th, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Yes it was that warm! Saturday August 6th, 2011. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) DJ Sparks, Saturday August 6th, 2011.Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today- Chasing Rainbows, August 2nd, 2011 Photos By RALPH

(Above) OK so I missed the rainbow...but it was still beautiful. Tuesday August 2nd, 2011.Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Is this not beautiful? Tuesday August 2nd, 2011.Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.
Today- So How Big Was Every Day? CHECK IT OUT!
MONTHLY CALENDARS REVIEW. July 2010 to July 2011

Including Photos By RALPH, Ed, Nevins, Carden, Baker, Ginsberg, Dillon, and many more!

(Above) JULY 2010
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

(Above) AUGUST 2010
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

(Above) DECEMBER 2010
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

MARCH 2011
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

(Above) APRIL 2011
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

MAY 2011
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

JUNE 2011
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

(Above) JULY 2011
* Click on the
Calendar above to see a LARGE version.

Today- Back to Nica...and the Dirty Reality of Life... Summer 2011 Photos By Brian Nevins

Brian Left the Molly celebration on Tuesday and then the next day headed down to the hellish reality of the Children who live and work near the dump. There are NO NEED for captions as Brian's photos tell all we need to know. Buckle up. This is NOT pretty.
Click on the photo to see the whole heart breaking Gallery...

(Above) READERS Gallery of CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY Last Day.
uly 26 , 2011. Photo By Kelly Michaud
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Chasing Hawaiian Rainbows
Summer 2011. Photo By Barbara Savastano
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) California sky. Photo By Ryan Schnell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Elliott Anderson Surf Dog. Summer 2011. Photo By Jon Anderson
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

now the ESPN website too! Wow!

To see it on this site go to the Molly Page.



My then girl friend Cory got up early one summer morning back in 1983, and offered to shoot some movie film of me surfing my brand new Quad. It was a 6' four fin made and shaped by Ric Aho at NOMAD in Florida. It had the USMC emblem on the bottom, and it had (at that time) a list of all the places I had been to in my life.

The waves I am surfing in the clip are at the Wall. I was out by myself. Can you imagine getting waves this fun looking alone today at the Wall? Ha! Dream on...

As you can see I was not that good on the QUAD. It was too stiff. The old Quads had the fins to close together. It was super thick though. It ended up being my son's first board. He could actually knee paddle it.

The other footage is of Steve Watson up at the Rivermouth, and Kevin Grondin and Paul Hamblet back at a spot called BEAR CLAWS. I shot all of that footage.

Using my old GAF Movie camera. I still have it.

The music is by my friends the Cars. Dream Away...

Enjoy this look back into the not so distant past.




Last Wave for Molly from SurfNH on Vimeo.

One more from the LAST MOLLY Day...
this is by Ryan Scura and Dylan Ladds.


(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge RALPH presiding. CASE #121 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-
The Summer BDI! CLICK and SEE this Surf crime and the verdict. Photo by RALPH

Click above graphic for Daily BLOG or to DONATE to the Fundraiser.

(Above) The SURF Trip of a lifetime for the Phantom? That's what he tells me...
Photo by The Phantom. COMING SOON!

(Above) The SURF Trip to END all surf trips?
Photo by The Phantom. COMING SOON!

(Above) The END of a VERY long ride...? That's what I'm hearing...
Photo by The Phantom. COMING SOON!

(Above) THE LAST DAY... Thank you all again for being part of this amazing journey...

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

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

Today 2011
"What's Wrong With This Picture...?"

(Above) I won't even go there...but take your pick. This is Summer at the Land Of Cement. Photo by RALPH

Click on Wave to return to top of page

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CLICK ABOVE to read the WHOLE DAILY"Catch A Wave For Molly" BLOG

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Hear BEFORE The CRASH in the NEW RUN REDUX movie

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