Is it...51 out of 53 weeks, or is it 1 out of 1?
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
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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
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 going...in which case
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
Extreme Beach Bocce in the next SUMMER OLYMPICS. You
heard it here first.
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
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
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 HELP THE NH SURFRIDER FOUNDATION.
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. www.redcross.org
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
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.