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December 6th, 2009 41 out of 42 weeks of surfable waves.
Those who know me well, and are privy to my scheduling of this weekly column, know that I typically write the column during the week. In other words, I jot down little notes to myself, and basically get ready for the weekend writing surge. Nine times out of ten, I stick to my planned subject matter. Usually the only time I stray from the program, is when something unexpected happens. And most times, the unexpected is not good news. This my friends, is one of those times.

Linda Paugh passed away this morning.

It is difficult to write these words down, let alone grasp the reality of what I just shared with you. Linda Paugh, the beautiful wife of Mike "Zap" Paugh passed away from cancer this morning. While the rest of us woke to a 6 inch coating of beautiful, white snow, Mike was helping Linda transition to her journey to the next world. She is there now. In God's hands. The grief and sadness once again descends on our small surf community. This has been one long sad year.

While my intentions were to talk about the RUN of surf and my movie, there is also another Run that has been happening. And it's been a Run we could all do without. From Lil Miss Molly, to Gert Keefe and now Linda Paugh. I know I am not alone, when I say that it just seems pretty sad that we can send human beings into outer space, but we can't save them from cancer here on Planet earth.

Don't get me wrong. The medical field has been amazing. And we are lucky to be surrounded by many in the medical profession who surf. I just don't understand why we can't beat cancer. I know about early detection and let me say this right and here and now. Early detection is KEY to beating cancer. All you guys who are fast approaching the 50 year mark, you need to make an appointment for a Colonoscopy. All you women need to do the self examinations and get a mammogram. This stuff is no joke. You need to help the doctors and nurses who will care for you by getting in line to detect the cancer. Early detection can save your life.

If I can do it you can do it.

There is a photo of my wife and I on our night stand. It is one of our favorites. It was taken on September 17, 2005. One of the happiest days in the seacoast community. It was the day that Mike and Linda Paugh got married. They took their vows in the same little Chapel that Cory and I did back in 1987. The Union Chapel. What a great day that was. Mike and Linda have been lovers for many years and finally decided that they wanted to make it legal. They both looked beautiful that day.

We were all so happy for them and for ourselves. The surf community was growing.

How sad is it, that a little over 4 years later, that dream ended. It seems unfair. It seems cruel. It seems impossible. However, I believe as many of you do, that there is something bigger and better than all of this in the next world. I believe this with all my heart and soul. Earlier this week before I heard that Linda had taken a turn for the worse, I had a chance encounter with a local seacoast Pastor. Long story short, I met him as a co-worker who worked with the guy who does my leaf pick-up each year. I had no idea who he was. So after I had dropped a few F-bombs (I didn't know he was a Pastor until he was ready to leave my studio) in his presence. He asked me if I knew where I was going when I died. I said yes. "Heaven". He asked me how I knew.

And I told him.

"You get to heaven by being a good person, and by giving a part of yourself to making someone else's life better. In other words, if you sacrifice a part of your life, to help someone else, then you will be accepted by God." He looked at me and smiled, and then asked me if 'I wanted to make sure I was going to heaven' I said sure. I mean why not take the extra backing? So he basically asked me if I knew I was a sinner. "Absolutely. No question." I answered. And then he said "And you know that it would be impossible for you to pay back the sins you have committed.." I agreed. I mean the thought of all those "Hail Marys and Our Fathers" was frightening. He then asked me, if I would repeat a simple prayer accepting Jesus as my savior. Look I was baptised as Catholic. I had already accepted Jesus years ago, but thought "sure why not? It can't hurt"

So we prayed in my office, With all the crazy surf posters and surf art, and Marine Corps memorabilia and other Rock and Roll decadence. It was a simple prayer. I told the Pastor I was still going to be the same person. I'm not going to change anything about my current lfestyle. I would still be dropping F-Bombs on the unexpected, I'd still curse at those who dropped in on me, and I'd be committing the occasional sin. He smiled and said that's OK. He then asked me, as he walked out my studio door..."Where you going when you die Ralph?" And I told him straight out. "Heaven." Then he asked me how I knew. And I told him,"because I had accepted Jesus in my life.

He smiled and said, I"ll see you in heaven".

If not for Linda passing away today, I never would of shared that chance encounter with you guys. The last thing I want to do is preach about religion. Lord knows (pun intended) I get enough of you upset with my Political jabs. And honestly, whatever gets you through your day as far as your beliefs is fine with me. But I thought it was appropriate in light of Linda's passing. Mike is going to see Linda again. And Linda will be watching over Mike. And I know they are both good people who have helped many others along the way. And I truly believe with All My Heart And Soul, that Linda is in a better place, and while it is not where any of us want her to be, especially her family and friends, and none more so than Mike himself. She is in this beautiful world. A world without pain or suffering. A world without war and hate. A beautiful world with perfect waves, and sandy beaches.

A world that will be waiting for us all when our time is up.

Rest in Peace Linda. We will all miss you. We won't ever forget you and your beautiful smile and laugh. And don't worry about Michael, his friends and family will watch over him, as I'm sure you will.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

Tiger Woods? Whoa...whoa! whoa!!!! Nuff said here. That was some voicemail Mr Woods.
What is it with Celebs? It's like they think they can get away with anything. My guess is Tiger will be paying for this for some time. I'm sure you've seen the cartoons and photoshop scenes. It does not take long. Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen.

So President Obama after almost 80 days since he was first asked by General McCrystal for 40,000 more troops, agreed to send 30,000 of our finest men and women into harm's way. I just wished he wouldn't announce to our enemies about his exit strategy. Any halfway thinking loser Terrorist would just sit back and wait a year before attacking, and then get down to business of being a Coward Loser Terrorist. Let them guess when we'd be leaving. Michael Moore who sent a personal pathetic plea to Obama last week, must be throwing up somewhere. Now there's a disgusting sight.
That would make a good video, that bloated, self centered, multi millionaire on all fours puking.
Put it on YouTube.

So let's face the facts here. The 2009 Patriots are not the 2007 Patriots. They lost to the Saints last Monday and lost to the Dolphins today. It's over. The Run to the Superbowl? Ha! Thank God. I can't stand being uptight over a freaking Football game. There are more important things to worry about.

The 2010 Chris Shipley Local Surf Calendars are now in the shops.
Rest In Peace Linda Paugh!
And a Speedy Recovery to our dear Surf Mom Super Saint Kim Grondin.
Remember PEARL Harbor tomorrow December 7th, 1941.


*Check out the updated 11-30-09 DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section.
*Molly 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 RPTW 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.


Yesterday- September 17, 2005 Rest in Peace Linda
(Below) This is a photo I took of Linda and Mike right after they took their wedding vows. Please everyone say a Prayer for Linda in heaven and for Mike "Zappy" Paugh to find comfort and support from the local surf community.
Photo by RALPH

Today- December 6th, 2009

(Above) I shot this photo this morning at 7:00AM in Hampton. The new fallen snow and
moon all for Linda...guiding her way into Heaven.

Photo By RALPH

(Above) This morning at 7:15AM in Hampton. Sunrise for Linda.
Photo By RALPH

(Above) This morning 12-6-09. A Wave for Linda.
Photo By Brian Nevins

Today- 2009 Friday, December 4th, 2009

(Above) Friday Morning after the storm. Friday Dec. 4 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Jacko Friday Morning. Friday Dec. 4 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Billy Ritchie deep longboard carve. Friday Dec. 4 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Jake Davidson Friday Morning after the storm. Friday Dec. 4 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- 2009 Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

(Above) Nice pulled back shot of one of our fickle lefthanders.
Thursday Dec 3-2009
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) I love this photo Ed...really nice. Drive Thru.
Thursday DEC 3-2009
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Mesmerized by the ocean. Thursday Dec. 3 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Nugget in the madness. Thursday Dec. 3 -2009
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.





The RUN Trailer 2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.


Today 2009- 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 #33 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-SUP Vs LONGBOARD. No need to get into a frame by frame analysis here. (Mostly because I don't have anymore pics). This photo is evidence enough. GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES. Sentenced to the INVISIBLE Surfer Man Below. Photo By RALPH

Today- 2009 The North Shore of Oahu- Dec. 1st 2009

(Above) Master Lensman Bernie Baker is the "man on the Spot" each winter on the North Shore. Tuesday Dec. 1 -2009
Photo By Bernie Baker
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Did he make it? Click on the photo to find out. Tuesday Dec. 1 -2009
Photo By Bernie Baker
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- 2009 ICELAND SERIES November 2009
(Above) Nice set up in Iceland. Click on the photo to the incredible Iceland Journey.
Photos By Jason Kingsbury * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Iceland Gallery.

(Above) Brian Nevins captures Week 42 ...oh yea baby it's all there.
COMING NEXT WEEK Photo By Brian Nevins

(Above) Ginger Nelson Kellar's pics from last week. COMING NEXT WEEK
Photo By Ginger Nelson Kellar

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

(Above) This is what 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.


Today 2009 PARTING SHOT-"It wasn't a Rock... it was a Rock Lobster."

(Above) Unknown at Lefty's on 12-3-09. Photo By RALPH

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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.

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!



Think about BUYING a Photo from any of these Great Local Photographers from past weeks on RPOTW. It's a GREAT Gift Idea. 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.