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February 21st, 2010 Is it...51 out of 53 weeks, or is it 1 out of 1?

"We're coming to get you. Be ready in 20 minutes." The voice on the other end said. It was my friend Joe Somogyi. It was in February in the early 70's. I was living on Seabrook Beach in a winter rental. "Wait, who's coming to get me, and where are we going?" I asked. "Me and Norm. We're going SNURFING! Get ready." Joe was talking about our friend and local Surfer Norm Murphy. "Snurfing? What, did you buy one of those things?" I asked. "We made two of them out of some old Water Skis that Norm had. We're gonna try em out." Joe said excitedly. "Leave it to Joe" I thought to myself," to do something like this." I could only imagine what these "Snurfers" looked like.

There was a new blanket of snow here on the Seacoast. In fact, it was a solid 2 feet worth of deep powder. And for those of you who have no idea what a Snurfer was...well, I guess I'm really showing my age again. A "Snurfer" was basically a Water Ski with a hole in the nose, where you would attach a piece of rope (leash) through and hold onto. They were around in the late 60's and early 70's. No one I knew bought one. But we were able to build a few.

You see my friends, the "Snurfer" was the very first Snowboard.

By the time the two of them showed up, it was getting late. And it was cold. We went looking for a steep hill, where we could pretend to be surfing on this "Snurfer". We found a few. They were steep. About 60' high and we took turns dropping into this "pretend" wave. We went straight down like we were surfing Waimea. Holding onto that rope/leash with one hand, while the other hand flailed wildly. We must of looked more like Cowboys riding a bull, than actual surfers. Sometimes we'd make it to the bottom, other times, we would eat it bad. Face plants into stumps and rocks.

But each time we pushed off the edge, we hooted each other. We were stoked. We were surfing on the snow. Sort of. I mean, none of us could really turn. Not even close. We basically just went straight. Little did we know, that we were pioneering something, that would grow into something so big, that millions of people would watch it on HD TV during the Olympics some 40 years later.

I sat there in my living room on Wednesday night cheering on local boy Scotty Lago, as he snowboarded in that Huge Half Pipe in Vancouver, and brought home a Bronze Medal. I couldn't help but think of my late friend Joe Somogyi, who passed away in 1978, and wondered what he would think about it all. My guess is, he would be like me, and just stare at the TV slack jawed, at the amazing display of tricks and maneuvers, that these talented Olympians were pulling off. I mean Good Lord. This sport has literally taken off, and into launched itself outer space. It's nuts. And to think, it was Surfers who first started Snowboarding.

So I guess, as a tribe, we are the true innovators of the sport of Snowboarding.

But getting back to Scotty Lago. It's hard to put into mere words what this young athlete did on Wednesday Night. Because, he not only represented his hometown of Seabrook, NH. Or the entire Seacoast Community, where he grew up, or for that matter, the State of New Hampshire. No, he did something bigger. And it was never more apparent to me, than after Shaun White's last run, when both Lago and White draped themselves in the American Flag, that it became so blatantly obvious. Scotty Lago and Shaun White had taken this free wheeling sport of Snowboarding, and turned it into a legitimate victory for all Americans.

All over this nation, young and old Americans were cheering these kids on, and beaming with pride at their accomplishments. Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched them both, wrapped in our Nation's colors, representing our country. That Flag. Our Flag. What an amazing moment for all Surfers, Skateboaders, and Snowboarders.

And I looked up into the heavens, and gave a little wink to Joe, and the other early surfers and snowboarders who have passed on before their time, and acknowledged them all, as a part of this amazing event. Thank you Scotty. And congratulations to you and your teammates, and your family and friends. You earned it. And we are all very proud of you.

Speaking of flags. On Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 I will be at the National Museum of The United States Marine Corps at Quantico, VA and I will be viewing the exact Flag that was raised on Iwo Jima's Mount Surabachi on February 23rd, 1945 by 5 Marines and and one Navy Corpsman. Over 6,000 Marines died on that Island in WWII in one month of fighting. You've all seen the famous black and white photo taken by Joe Rosenthal. James Bradley wrote a book about the flag raisers called "Flags Of Our Fathers". Clint Eastwood made a movie about the book, under the same title. That amazing photograph, and the men who raised that Flag, changed my life as a young boy growing up here on the Seacoast. 65 years to the day.

I'm sure some of you are asking yourselves. "That's great Ralph, but what the hell does that Flag and Iwo Jima have to do with Surfing or Snowboarding?" Well, if the Marines did not take Iwo Jima they would not have secured that Airfield, that they so desperately needed to launch our planes from. We would of lost more pilots, and more planes, and the War would of dragged on for God knows how long. And ...we could of lost. And if we had lost WWII, we wouldn't have Surfing or Snowboarding. Or at least, not like we know it today. So, it's kind of important.

The snow that fell on Tuesday night and the subsequent swell that followed, gave way to some of the prettiest images I have ever seen on this coastline. The same day that Scotty Lago earned his Olympic medal and my nephew Jesse (QWILL) celebrated his birthday in 10" of Powder with other local surfers/musicians Skip Brunette and son Grif at GunStock, I was out shooting the winter scenes, and the perfectly groomed, waist to chest high swell. And I was not alone.

Brian Nevins was out shooting as well. And while we did not cross paths, we did cross similar roads. It appears that we both shot some of the same scenes. And while I am in no way claiming to be on the same talent level as Brian, it was a good feeling to know, that I am at least, at times, seeing what he sees. In other words, I'm raising the camera, at some of the same things that he shoots. Of course, the comparison stops there. Nevins is on a whole other level than me. Or, as the brother says on MAD TV "Hole Nutha Level". Still, it was good to be in close proximity.

So I've been asked many times this last week. Asked what you ask? You know, the RUN thing. With this latest swell on Wednesday, people want to know. Will I keep the score going or will I stop and start fresh. If I keep it going, it's 51 out of 53...if we start fresh, it's 1 of 1. Look I'm r-editing the movie to coincide with the 52 week mark. The 12 months. The Year. You all get it. 50 out of 52 weeks. My gut feeling is, we stop. Unless of course, it does keep which case we...?

Oh just tune in next week.

If there's another waist high or better swell *and it looks like the crew over at Pioneers is calling for one and they are pretty damn accurate. What's Kevin call Stevie? O'Guru? Bryan just claimed a new swell coming, so let's wait and see. Meanwhile, keep watching the Olympics and cheering on our USA athletes, just don't talk to me about Curling. Look, too many jokes have been written and spoken about this event. Personally, I think shaving sheep is more exciting. One woman on one "Curling" team this week was 5 months pregnant? Huh? ...come on people, you can't really call it a sport, if one the competitors is 5 months pregnant. Can you? Look, if this keeps up, me and Jacko are gonna try and get X-Beach Bocce in the next Summer Games.

Extreme Beach Bocce
in the next SUMMER OLYMPICS. You heard it here first.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:
Anyone out there driving one of those TOYOTA's that accelerate on their own? Man, talk about Nightmares. I can't feel too bad about some gazillionaire Auto Executive losing a few bucks to some of these pending lawsuits. Especially if the vehicles involved, resulted in fatalities. Sorry Mr Automan. However, I will say this. I love the Ernie Boch Junior jingle. That song rocks! My kids hate it, but I like the groove and the hook. "Come on down...Ernie Boch Junior, got everything you're looking for!"

I love that song.

Speaking of songs. The hit song from 1983 "My Sharonna" by the Knack lost their lead singer and songwriter this last week. Doug Fieger passed away from Cancer at age 57. The Knack were a Pop band that caught all kinds of grief from the critics. I didn't think they were that bad. Besides, who didn't like that song?"My my my my Sharonna!" Rest in Peace Doug.

So Tiger Woods came out this week and said he was sorry. Not for nothing Tiger but, you need to apologize to your wife and kids. Not us. Oh, and I guess you should apologize to your sponsors. Tiger needs that money. Then get back to playing Golf. It's not like you killed someone (OJ). Play Golf.

OK it's getting intense on the IDOL. They have their Final 24...I know you Idol Fans can dig this show. Not sure what Ellen Dengeress is doing there, but at least she's funny, and she can toy with the contestants minds, as good as the rest of them.

The US Intelligence Forces and the Afghan Army have captured two top dog Taliban leaders in the last few days. The Good News is, the Pakistanis are torturing the snot out of those scumbags. And like most scumbag cowards, these Taliban Terrorists are singing like J-birds. I love it. Those Taliban Leaders know that the Pakistanis and the Afghans don't adhere to the same polices as we do. There's no Politically Correct Doctrine that they have to watch. No sir. It's TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW OR ELSE. That seems to work with most Terrorists. They can certainly understand physical and mental pain. After all, it's what they do for a living. Giving these cowards a taste of their own medicine is just what the Good Doctor ordered..

Rest In Peace Jack Ford. Greatest BasketBall coach Winnacunnet High School (Hampton, NH) ever had. We're going to miss you my friend. You were a good man, and you were admired by many.

Rest in Peace PFC Eric D. Currier, a 22yr old Marine Grunt from Londonderry NH. He was KIA in Afghanistan on Friday.
Check out longtime RPOTW contributor Brian Nevins's New Website Get In The Van.
Lots of cool pics by Brian and Nick Lavecchia and some slick viddy work from master Videographer Joe Carter.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jesse QWILL Wednesday February 17th!
KEEP Getting Stronger Kim Grondin! We ALL Love you!

Please give to the RED CROSS or some other trusted organization to help those people. Like Hope For Haiti. This was featured on most of the late night talk shows. It is legit and can be trusted. Just like the RED CROSS. Help these people. Please.

*Check out the updated DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section January 2010 is posted.
*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 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.


Yesterday- 1970 The "SNURFER"
(Below) This is all we have for "SNURFER" evidence. We have no photos of the Snurfers that we used back in the early 70's. But this is what they looked like. And as you can see, it didn't take much to saw a Water Ski down and attach a leash/rope through the nose and give it a shot. What do you think Scotty? Video Frame Grab Poster via the Internet.

Today- Wednesday Nite February 17th, 2010 40 years later...

(Above) Wednesday Nite. Scotty Lago on his way to a Bronze Medal in Vancouver. February 17th, 2010. Photo via the Internet

(Above) Scotty Lago and Shaun White holding the Colors of the USA and embracing their family and friends. Congrats to both and the whole US Snowboard Team. Photo via the Internet.

Today- Wednesday Snow and Surf February 17th, 2010

(Above) Snow capped Wall on Wednesday Morning. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Perry Reynolds boosting for snow. Wednesday Morning. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Come on it's snow. My back yard on Wednesday Morning. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Perfect Snow Peak. Wednesday Morning. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Steve races the lip on Wednesday Morning. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Beautiful Wednesday Wall scene. February 17th, 2010.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Come on...are you kidding me? This is why we Love our Winters.
Brian, just beautiful. Wednesday Wall scene. February 17th, 2010.

Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- Thursday February 11th, 2010 The 50th Week Revisited

(Above) Ryan backsides into the light. Thursday morning. New Hampshire.
February 11th, 2010.
Photo By John Carden

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

(Above) Unknown blasting onto the pages of RPOTW. Thursday morning. New Hampshire.
February 11th, 2010.
Photo By John Carden

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



FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. From 1983 Video of the VINNY BAND featuring Ralph Surfing and singing his silly ass off. Check it out!



The VINNY BAND "Waves" 1983 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

This was the only Video we ever made for the VINNY BAND back in 1983. We shot it on 3/4" video and Super 8mm movie film. I loved using my GAF movie camera back in those days. The band actually went through many changes and many members (17). We formed in 1976 and broke up in 1986. We did it all...Punk, New wave, and Latin Funk Punk.

We did this tour of South America and Central America. There's footage from that tour here. There's some wild looking images here. Concerts, kids, Guerillas, all kinds of stuff.
There's also more Surf footage... including footage of Rabbitt riding HUGE Pipeline...and of course, more footage of me surfing in Nova Scotia and Tortola.

The band lip sync-ing footage was shot in Boston at some studio. I forget where. The CARS drummer David Robinson produced our LP on the EAT Records label. We called the album "Olas De Sexo"'s kind of funny to see it all again. *Interesting note. This is the first ever known footage of the skull we used for the "Crackie" character.

Any ways hope you like this other Blast From The Past.


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 #44 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-
This case is another ONE SHOT -OPEN and SHUT case. Again there's No need for multiple photos and my DROP-IN Babble. This is a BLATANT CALIFORNIA DROP IN. The Californian's are the original BDI criminals. In fact, I'm convinced that all surf crimes came from California. The Defendant and the Plaintiff are unknowns (as most Cali Surfers tend to be) but even by California standards...this is a BDI. There can be no denying this. So, this is another easy case for me to Rule over. My verdict-GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS. Sorry my Westies, but that's just the way it is here in my courtroom.
The sentence...a week of being invisible. Check out the INVISIBLE DEPARTMENT below.
Photo By Ben Ginsberg

Hawaiian SUP WORLD TOUR at Sunset Beach by Bernie Baker

(Above) Kai Lenny a 17yr old from Maui at Sunset. February 12-2010
Photo By Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Kai Lenny WINS Stand Up World Cup at Sunset. February 12-2010
Photo By Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

RANDOM Pics from Readers
(Above) Andrew Kellar from NH in Puerto Rico on a BIG Wave. He got the best 10 day swell in recent history according to his wife Ginger who took all the photos.
Check it out and dig the tropics in our own back yard.
Photo by Ginger Nelson Kellar

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

(Above) My good friend Phil Beuachesne from the North Shore moved to Cali a few years ago has settled in nicely with the masses at Trestles.
Photo by courtesy of Phil Beauchesne
* Click on the photo above to see the Readers Gallery.

(Above) Andrew Rebeiro missed last week's deadline but his photos are better late than never. Check out this awesome Wave field.
Photo by Andrew Rebeiro
* Click on the photo above to see the Readers Gallery.

Last Night at The STATE High School Wrestling Championships...February 19-20-2010

(Above) Brent Mackenzie from Scotty Lago's Hometown of Seabrook, NH was the Victor in the Qtr Finals on Friday in the Division I States. Photo by RALPH

(Above) Local Surfer Mackey V Won Both Matches and heads into the Semi/Finals. Division I States. Photo by RALPH

(Above) Saturday 2-20-2010 Division I Wrestling 2nd place Team WHS. (Silver Medals) Division I States. Photo by RALPH

(Above) New Southern Cal Swell. COMING NEXT WEEK!!!!
Photo by Ben Ginsberg

(Above) New Southern Cal Swell. COMING NEXT WEEK!!!!
Photo by Ben Ginsberg

(Above) Stevie O'Hara from the NEW RUN Movie... COMING NEXT WEEK!!!!
Photo by RALPH

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 Ben Ginsberg

Today 2010 PARTING SHOT- "Oh oh .."

(Above) People ask me "Ralph why so many photos of Tim O'Shea?" I don't have an answer to that except he seems to be out there more than anyone else I know. But he does fall from time to time. As you can see here. Sorry Tim, but you gotta take the good with the bad...*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photo by RALPH

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