Got good surf pics?
Because I know the family. And I know Miss Molly.
Granted, our conversations basically revolved around pirates, treasure maps, and her little brother Kieran eating sand. But they were always heartfelt, mature, and engaging conversations, regardless of the content. To put it mildly. Miss Molly is a sweetheart. The whole family is. Dad Buck, Mom Meg, and little brother Kieran.
I don't recall the exact day I met her dad Buck. But I know it was many, many swells ago. Before there was a Meg I'm certain, and long before the kids were born. Talking with Buck on Friday, I mentioned how I felt about him when I first met him. "Man you were way too happy. I hated you!" Buck laughed. "Because you were still a Grumpy dude!" he said still laughing. "I was." I admitted. "But dammit Buck, that positive outlook you had on life back then was infectious, it still is." I added.
I eventually grew to really enjoy seeing him.
the water, walking on the beach. I enjoyed our infrequent, but joyful
run-ins. He ended up working at Stevie's PIONEERS Surf Shop,
and he had a distinct way of answering the phone back then. "Hey
Pioneers!" Drove me crazy, and we would laugh about it. We
Then one day, he moved back to North Carolina. He and Meg got engaged and got hitched, and they started a new life. And, I admit, I missed him. I missed seeing him on the beach jogging by. Yes, he would come back every now and then for a visit, but it was not the same as having him here. He was one of those people, that no matter what I said, he would find the humor in it, and more times than not, throw it back at me. We always laughed. And I found myself missing him, and his positive outlook on life.
When I heard that the Rowlees were moving back in 2007, I was genuinely stoked. With them moving back and joining in our Surf Family community again, it was another piece to our community Surf Family Puzzle. It was great to have Meg and Buck back. And that's when I met Miss Molly and Little brother Kieran. You see my friends, for 18 years, I have helped organize, a local Surf Family gathering that took place at the end of each Summer. Or to be more specific, the last Saturday before labor day.
We called it. Surf Family Robinson.
No matter what. For 18 years. Rain or shine. Surf or no surf. We all gathered together, and took part in all kinds of fun beach games, and kept it very upbeat and fun for all the kids (and the parents). Yes, it was a surf oriented theme, and many of the kids boogie board, surf, and do other beach stuff. But it somehow evolved into a big treasure hunt, with a REAL Pirate named... Pirate Jonas.
It was, and still is, a Great time.
Most of the original kids, have since grown up, and moved on. But to my surprise, and to a few of the parents like William and Sofia Haffenreffer and Jay Gould (original members), who have stayed on with me, during these amazing gatherings, new Surf families were either having kids, and or moving into the area. And they were always invited. It is amazing to me, that this thing, Surf family Robinson is still very popular with the young Surf families. Well, the newly, relocated Rowlees caught wind of it, and they came two years ago.
That's when I got to meet , Molly and Kieran.
And like I said earlier. I had some in depth discussions with Molly and Kieran about Pirates and treasure maps. What really stands out in my mind about Molly is, she was really concerned about Pirate Jonas. She wanted to know why Pirate Jonas hated me so much. I told her I didn't know (and honestly, I don't). But that was not enough of an answer for Molly. She was really concerned. I remember at one point thinking..."If this is not Buck's way of thinking, then I don't know what is."
Miss Molly went along with the whole Pirate Jonas adventure (and honestly, we don't have enough time in the day to discuss the origin of Pirate Jonas, but those in the know, have a pretty good idea, of where that character was born from.) But I could tell, the whole concept of this Pirate not liking me, was bothering Miss Molly. At that time last year, I thought it was, one of the most poignant, and sincere comments, a 5 year old has ever said to me. I never forgot it. In fact, I brought it up to Buck at Christmas when I was dropping off copies of my new movies.
I can't get that little face out of my mind.
And I for one, know in my heart, that this will be one of the good ones. Why? Because of Buck and Meg. Because of Miss Molly and Kieran. Because of ALL the friends and family, who have poured, a million tons of love and hope, into that little girl getting better. Like I said to Buck on Friday morning. "If there are doctors, and surgeons, who know more about medicine, and the healing process, than anyone of us, look you in the eye, and tell you, that YES positive behavior, and positive praying helps. Then who the hell are we, to say it does not?"
I mean, think about it. Doctors are telling you, that YES, praying helps. YES, being positive helps. Than dammit people, it must. And if there is anybody on this planet, who is more positive, and more upbeat, than Buck Rowlee, well, I have yet to meet them. And the same goes with Meghan and the kids. Those Rowlees are special.
Miss Molly is going to get better. And she is going to get better because, she is in the best of care at Children's Hospital in Boston. And she is going to get better because, her parents, and family, and friends are pouring their hearts and souls, of positive energy and prayers, into seeing that she does. But as most of you know. Positive energy and prayers can not do this alone. We NEED to step up and help. And this community is doing just that.
Surf Shops PIONEERS and CINNAMON Rainbows are collecting
cards, gifts, and other well wishes for Miss Molly that will
be hand delivered to Miss Molly at Children's Hospital in
Boston. Skip Brunette has opened a Little Miss Molly
account at the SEACOAST CREDIT UNION on 887 Lafayette Rd, Hampton NH.
(see poster below for info). And there are several fundraisers being
put together as I write this.
next couple of events for Molly are looking into Movie Premiere,
a wave-a-thon, and a online auction with a bunch of cool
stuff from the store and other local donations.
"Surfing heals all wounds." Because it does...
You shot something back in those days, and you ate it. No matter what. There was no reviewing the shots, and there was certainly, no way of knowing, if the shot was good, or not. It was a mystery. You just hoped and prayed you got the shot. Most times we did not. Or were at best, slightly disappointed. It was just, the nature of the game.
That's why we always got contact sheets back in the day. Contacts and a trusty LUPE. You would pour over the small images on the contacts, and circle the shots you wanted. It was kind of cool. Of course, I wouldn't trade it for the process we use today. Hardly. It's a seamless, no fuss no muss job these days. I'm happy with the technology of today. Yessiree Bobbee. Not going back to those days.
Like I was saying, I was hoping for a new clean swell, and I got one. I guess we should call it the Presidents Week Swell. Why not? From Abe to George. I do feel a tad strange having not shot any video. It was all stills. And it's both exciting, and different for me. I do not want to shoot just stills. And I will NOT. In fact, if anything, I miss using the Video camera. Mostly because, I do NOT have a handle on the still camera just yet.
It's the same, but then again, it's not the same.
With video, you simply, find the subject matter, and put it in the frame, focus the subject, and pull the trigger. You stop shooting when the ride ends, or something else, better or worse happens. With still photography, you need to pay closer attention to the action. You need to be more like a sniper, as opposed to a machine gunner. Mow 'em down with the viddy cam, and pick 'em off with the still camera.
I apologize for that analogy, especially if I offended anyone...wait, no I don't! I was just trying to create a parallel. How would I offend anyone with that line? I don't know, but if I did, I'm sure I'll hear about it.
surf was good. You all know that right? It was real good, and it lasted
three whole days. Wed., Thurs, and Friday. Three Days in February.
And All the boys and girls were out. Both surfing and shooting. It was
good. In fact, the column this week is going to be just that. THREE
DAYS in February. All the photos you are going to see this week
were all shot in those 3 days. Except for the YESTERDAY Pic
and Molly's Flyer. Everything else was shot in those three days.
From New England, thru California, and onto Hawaii.
Not a total kook, because I have shot stills plenty of times since 1971. And as you all recall, I mentioned my old fave still camera the NIKKORMAT. But somehow this new digi rig had me jumpy. I was not used to the hair like trigger. My old point and shoot, required plenty of finger muscle, and a heap of cursing, to press that damn trigger down. And when it did go off, the image that I was trying to capture, was long gone. It was making for some frustrating moments for me. But I did not totally kook out. I think I got a few keepers. And I must apologize in advance before you see my work .I may have posted more than I should have, but I got carried away. You know, the new toy syndrome.
Later in the day, I was shooting stills at the wall standing next to the master lensman, Brian Nevins while he was shooting video. What is wrong with that picture? But all in all I think we ALL came away with some decent photographs. But as per usual, you guys be the judge.
Days In February. *All the other submissions for this week, will
appear in next week's column.
My close friends and family will verify this (not that it needs verifying). If anything, I should be embarrassed, by such an ill advised acquisition. I mean, who buys an adult 3yr old, almost 4' tall Monkey, who has never seen the light of day?
Me. That's who. Yours truly, Ralph.
myself, a large adult Wooley Monkey back in 1971, and
it was hands down, the absolute worse decision of my life. If I could
you anything in your lives, that I can virtually guarantee, will be
true, this is it. DO NOT BUY A MONKEY or an APE! DO NOT. I have
the scars on my arms and legs to prove it. Monkey bites hurt. Monkey
bites and Ape bites are not fun. Monkeys and Apes are only fun part
of the time. The rest of the time, they are not.
I was at the end of my rope. It was a terrible time.
Just awful. And there was not a happy ending. Albeit, it was nothing like, what happened to that woman down in CT. But I could clearly see the writing on the wall. My Monkey JOJO, was not meant to roam the streets with me, like I was some Fancy Animal handler, who would stop and engage with parents, with small children and pets and have fanciful conversations, about Wooley Monkeys.
It was a nightmare. I went from the jungles of Southeast Asia,
to the urban jungles of the city, with a damn Ape who hated me and all
other living creatures. He had one goal, and that was to ruin my life.
I now know, and fully understand, with 100% conviction, where
the line "Going Ape Shit" comes from. Apes do not belong in
your home. They belong in their own habitat, or in a zoo like habitat,
that is safe from the public. Remember...
you again for your support. If you have any questions, please feel free
to contact SHI by email firstname.lastname@example.org
SEASONS" and "Groovemasters"
are in the shops!
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of
The Week every week.
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
TWO. 3 Days in February 18-19-20-2009
Thursday awoke with Grey skies and overhead sets. Nevins had the birds
eye view of the new swell.
Yes it's still winter. Thursday 2-19-09
DAY THREE. 3 Days in February 18-19-20-2009
IS OUT and IN THE SHOPS!
up The PHANTOM this week of February 20, 2009
Sam spots the first sign. Is it here Cap'n Phantom? Or around the next
Upon closer inspection they all decide, this is it. In the Name of Ron
Oh hell yea...this is it boys. The Promise land. The Bluffs of Stoner.
"Hello Mary...yes hold all my calls. I will be indisposed, for
the rest of the day. Yes, that's right.
Are you kidding me boys? How does he do it? Week after week?
Sam looking like an old photo that his old friend Jeff took of him in
the bay of Apples.
2009 PARTING SHOT- JAMIE O'BRIEN Reaching New Heights!
Sunset Beach Oahu. Jamie Obrien launches one in the dark at Sunset.