Got good surf pics?
mom and her husband moved from Arizona to Northern New England
about 5 years ago. I saw them on Saturday and gave them
kudos for surviving their first real Northern New England winter
(albeit it's far from over). "You did it." I said. "You
finally experienced a true harsh New England winter." And
it's true. Living through snow is one thing. It's the bitter cold, that
really tests your fortitude and resolve. And they passed. I almost got
a little weepy.
You know what I'm talking about.
see snow for the first time, they get all giddy. It's mind-blowing to
them. While we hard-core winter vets chuckle at their naiveté.
But these two Ex-Arizona-ites relatives of ours, had not yet
experienced a REAL New England Winter, until now.
Loss of power, snow storm, after snow storm, after snow storm, and bitter cold conditions. That's the New England winters we all know. And really? All you California, Florida, and Hawaiian readers have NO idea what it's like, unless you live through one of these cold ass winters. It does more than just put hair on your chest.
why we all sneer at you Cali guys who wear hoods with no boots
and gloves. That just cracks us up. We know cold. And trust me my Westies,
what you guys experience is NOT cold. Not even close. Cold my friends,
is what we had on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009. Now that shit
was cold. Wooooooo doggie was it cold.
You know, it's hard to put into figures, and really, the numbers do not really tell the tale. It was cold. As cold as it gets. I saw guys, unable to stand up, after an hour or two. I saw guys, stumbling through the snow, on their way back to their vehicles, mumbling unintelligible banter. It was as if they were speaking in tongues.
Their faces swollen, lips flapping as they struggled with their gloves, trying to get into their cold vehicles. But the most amazing thing about Wednesday was, that every one of them, could only comment on how good the surf was. Yea we knew it was cold. Hello? Of course it's cold. It's February. But the surf was beautiful.
And that's the beauty of "this thing of ours." The surf.
I was talking to a non surfer just last night, who was engaging me,
in the endless topic of (and this is from people who live here, but
don't surf here), "There's really good surf around here?"
Really, how many of us have heard those words? I wish I had a generic
comeback line for them, but I don't. More times than not, I either calmly
educate them, or depending on who's doing the asking...I lay into 'em,
with both barrels blasting!
Usually they seem enlightened by this new found knowledge, while other times, they seem more skeptical. But it does not matter to us. Does it? All you hardcore New Englanders, know exactly what I'm talking about. We've all had this conversation with friends, coworkers, parents of other kids who play on sports teams with your kids, relatives at holiday gatherings. And so on, and so on.
What a sharp contrast from those living in California or Hawaii. I mean everyone knows you guys have surf. No one questions that. Yet, out here, we get it all the time.
So we deal with it.
The only place, that probably gets it more than us, is the Great Lakes. Hell, even I questioned the authenticity of their surf, until I saw the pics and the viddys. Now I know. But I am certain, that the Great Lake Surfers must get that question all the time. Everywhere they go. Both at home and abroad. My heart goes out to you guys. I feel your pain. Although, I must say, I'm not 100% certain, your surf is as consistent as you all claim.
Now why do I have to be so hurtful?
I did something the other day that really upset me. I got a ding in my new board. Now before you say anything like "Yea big deal, we all get dings. It's part of surfing Ralph. Get over it." Or things of that nature. (I've been dying to write that line -"Things of that nature"...) Any ways, the ding I got, was not out in the water, riding my board, and doing something remotely respectful, like hitting a rock, or hitting the bottom, or even something even halfway respectful, like hitting another board. Wait? Hitting someone else's board is NOT respectful. What the hell am I saying? In any event. The ding I got was ...
...in my garage. It's true. I was showing my young nephew my new board. He thought the artwork was really cool and wanted to see it. So I pulled it out of the rack and it got tangled up with my daughter's board. Both leashes were wrapped around each other. In my haste, I yanked at my board trying to untangle the boards when...you guessed it. My board got hung up, and slipped out of my hands, and hit the floor. The cement floor. Now, to my own defense, my board had ice on it, due to being wet earlier in the day. But that's no excuse. I was impatient and I was agitated. Again.
I cursed as I felt the tail where this new hole had been born. My little
nephew Antonio looked up at me and said..."Is that bad?" "Yes.
It's bad and stupid." I answered "It's my own fault."
The Magic board had it's first ding, and I got it in the garage. I know
we've all had ding stories, where we've gotten dings, away from the
ocean, and it really does not make a hill of beans difference, where,
or how, we get them. They all suck.
sentimental about my boards. In fact, I'm neither ashamed, or apologetic,
to tell you all, that I still have most of the
boards I've ever owned. My boards are like my guitars. Each one is special.
Unless, I really don't like one, or, one has tried to kill me, like
my old Spectrum. I sold that one. 36 stitches in my face.
Knocked me unconscious in the water during Hurricane Hortense
in 1996. Tony and Terence remember that morning.
be a while, before I forget this one.
some of my weekly observances:
syndrome. Give me a break.
Yet, I found myself rooting for the Cards. And when they went ahead late in the 4th qtr, after getting their asses kicked the whole game, I was really rooting for them. Not exactly heart palpitations like the previous year, but close enough. I was into it.
Steelers, like the Giants the year before, did a final
drive and scored with 35 seconds on the clock. That put the final nail
in the coffin. It was all too painfully familiar. It was like watching
the PATRIOTS all over again. Except, this time, I did not wake
up the next morning in a funk. Maybe, I am over that last game between
the Giants and the Pats.
Thank you again for your support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact SHI by email email@example.com or 207-669-8254.
still time to score one of Brian Nevins's canvas print orders.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of
The Week every week. Especially: Ed O'Connell, John Carden,
Brian Nevins, Bernie Baker, Jamie Wade, Kevin Doherty, Lenny Nichols,
Chris Shipley, The Phantom, Ross Kunkel, Bob Consentino, and Chris Thompson
and all the others.
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
1975 Frank "Swifty" Swift and his Hot Curl at the Wall
Adam G in the fun zone. 2-4-09
2009 Today This week February 2009
2009 Beyond New England this week of February1-7, 2009
Jon Gozzo seeking shelter from the hot sun in Costa Rica.
Jon Gozzo having second thoughts about calling off this drop-in off
his wave. The things you have to put