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January 4th, 2015 The RUN is 42 out of 44 Weeks

Waist high or better, at least once a week. There was
NO surf this week so we start over.

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The YEAR in Review, and what a year it was...

I know I'm not alone when I say that this past year 2014 is one that I'd just as soon forget. With a series of untimely passings in our surf community, that literally sent shock waves throughout the ranks, I think we can all agree, that 2014 is one left for the ages.

Just the saddest damn year ever.

And it didn't start out that way. At least not for me. Sure a few of us got sick and we were all dealing with it on our level but no one thought it would take the turn it did. I was stoked in January of 2014. I was full on into my movie THE COLD COAST. Documenting each and every powerful winter storm that churned up the coast and dumped all that snow on us while giving us some memorable surf.

I was stoked. The storms had great names, and I was having a blast shooting the surf in and out of the water. And the interviews were cracking me up as well. It was your typical New England winter.

Then the Spring hit, and the bad news came with it.

First my nephew Michael Colby. A super talented multi media artist who was truly gifted lost his battle with addiction. His incredible work in computer animation still blows minds. He was never really a surfer per se, but he loved to skateboard. But Michael was a great person. A loving human being. He was my nephew, and I knew him since the day he was born. He was 31 years old when he left this earth.
June 9th, 2014. A gifted, talented, loving man, who fell into the darkness of heroin.

We are still not over his passing.

Then on July 1st, 2014 Ed O'Connell passed away. A bacterial infection in his leg too him. He had been battling brain cancer and he was beating it. I was not ready for this. I was not ready for my nephew passing away, but I have to say Ed's passing really caught me off guard. Ed was my right hand man when it came to this blog. For 10 years no other photographer on the seacoast submitted more photos to this blog than Ed. I loved Ed. He was like a brother to me.

Not since Joe Somogyi had I found another individual who shared the same background as I did. A Vietnam Veteran who loved surfing and Rock and Roll. Plus he was a photographer. We shared many a laugh in the times we were together. He was a special man and he touched a lot of souls here on the seacoast. He was the "Unknown Surfer's" best friend. Why? Because he would take photos of anyone. You did not have to be a good surfer for Ed to pull the trigger on you. You just had to catch a good wave.

I am still missing Ed. It has been been 6 months, and it still seems
like yesterday. I know time heals all wounds. But this void will be hard to fill. And I don't know if I really want to fill that void. Ed's Memorial Paddle was something special. Truly a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. Kathy (his widow) is still a part of our lives here and we still share stories and memories of Ed when we get together.

Less than a week after Ed passed away, we lost another icon of
the NH surf scene. John "JT" Taylor lost his battle to cancer.

JT's passing was a red flag. How is this possible? How can three people that close to me suddenly pass from this earth? What was going on? I was really upset over this latest news. It just didn't seem possible. I had run into JT the month before as he was walking along the seacoast. Thank God. We talked about everything.

For the record, I've known JT since the early 70's. And when I say we talked about everything, I mean just that. Everything. Including our old friend Joe Somogyi. I only wish that JT had lived long enough to hear about the news from Joe's daughter Heather. But then again, maybe he already knows. Like Ed's paddle, JT's paddle was just as memorable. With is wife Abbey and daughter Brooke there on the beach and his brothers and sisters, it was a beautiful send off to a
big man with a big heart.

During JT's Memorial Paddle local photographer Martha Lardent was there taking photos photos. She thought to herself that someday her brother Alan would pass away and she thought she would like to have a paddle for him. Little did she know that a mere 3 days after JT's paddle her brother would pass. Alan MacGregor a local Rye Surfer passed away on July 21st, 2014.

That's three surfers in the month of July. All three lived in Rye.
Alan's Memorial paddle was yet another somber gathering of local surfers. How many more of these could one small surf community endure? At this point in time, my head was spinning. It was a scary time for all of us here on the seacoast.

I guess Alan's passing should of been more cause for alarm. And we all held our collective breaths with each passing week. And then August rolled in like a deep dark fog and the news was not good.

Rick Savastano who had been battling cancer for the past year was taking a turn for the worse. And just like that, we were once again thrust into a situation where the news would not be good. Rick Savastano was a local Surf icon. Hampton and the Wall and the older surf crew all knew the Savastanos. John, Rick, and Barbara.

This could not be happening again. But it was. And on August 7th, 2014 Rick Savastano passed from this earth. Four surfers in one summer. Once again we planned another Memorial Surfer's Paddle.
The turnout was beyond impressive. Friends and family gathered on the beach where Rick loved to hang out with his friends and siblings. There were surfboards, paddle boards, and canoes. And once again we paid our fondest and heartfelt farewell to one of our own.

It was a summer to end all summers. Only it was not over.

On September 10th, 2014 a young 17 year old surfer passed away in a terrible car accident. Emma Jacobs who helped out each year with the Wounded Warriors HIT THE BEACH along with other surfing schools and programs on the beach was gone. The youngest of the Five Surfers who passed away the Summer of 2014. Emma was surfer who loved surfing with her dad and younger sister.

I can't imagine the grief her family went through. Her dad had a private paddle for Emma, but suffice it to say, she will be missed by all who knew and loved her. The saddest Summer of all time is now behind us. If you read the blog last week you know of the good thing that has happened late in the year. Hopefully that is the sign of things to come.

One thing does remain the same throughout these sad but true stories. And that is...




"Ed's Corner" pic this week is from September 14th, 2013. The surfer is Mike Keefe. Like I said many times before, Ed would shoot everyone. That's why so many people loved him and it was obvious at his paddle this past summer. To see more of Ed's pics just hit the archives tab and scroll through the years and see some Ed's work.

Be sure to pick up the new SFOD movie The COLD COAST and check out the extra feature of Ed O'Connell's gallery set to music.
Each week I will feature one of Ed's great pics from this blog.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.

The COLD COAST is available at CINNAMON RAINBOWS, PIONEERS BOARD SHOP, and SUMMER SESSIONS. You can also buy one from SURF FREE OR DIE by sending a money order or check for $20. Go to for ordering details.

Portions of the eventual DVD proceeds will go to the

This is going to be a fun night. Three local film makers at the
best restaurant in Hampton. January 7th, 2015 at FLATBREAD
in Hampton, NH. Movies start at 7:30PM.

Now for Some Of My Weekly Global Observances

The news about the latest plane crash involving one of the Asian airlines has me convinced that I will NOT be flying one of those airlines anytime too soon. Good lord, what is going on out there? Thank God they found some of the passengers and some of the debris from the plane. Can you imagine what that would of been like had they not? Talk about black holes.

And the news about the 7 year old little girl who survived a small plane crash that killed her entire family is a miracle. If you have not heard about this story you should google it and read it. It's pretty amazing. Sad but a true miracle.

We lost another Hollywood Icon this past week. Ellie May Clampett passed away at 82. Damn...hard to picture Ellie May at 82. But I guess she was. I think I had a boyhood crush on her.

The BEVERLY HILLBILLIES the end of an era...

KSM hanging with The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962.

Please enjoy the weekly humiliation of the mastermind terrorist who killed 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11th, 2001.
Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind behind 9-11 the captured Al Qeada ICON is getting his weekly slap in the face. As always you're so very welcome KSM fans.

* Note to self: Must pick up a case moonshine at Home Depot
this week.

THE INTERVIEW is on Demand and I recommend it to anyone who could use a good chuckle. Had me laughing, even though I was sick with the flu.

The Patriots will host the dreaded RAVENS on Saturday January 10th
in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Of all the teams we could of played this week, this is the team I did not want to face. I still think we will win, but at what cost?

And Happy Birthday to all you January birthdays!
*Facebook no longer gives me the weekly birthday updates.
They only send me daily ones. Sorry.

RIP Stuart Scott.

Please continue to send positive thoughts and prayers
to our dear friend Debra White and family. And to my sister Evamarie Urban. Also say a prayer for my good friend Robert Gerard. And there are two other seacoast residents who could use your prayers. Rick Fiorentini and Meghan Evans .
Please add them all to your prayer list. Thank you.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every
week for the last 9 years. **Think about BUYING a HIGH RES Photo from any of the weeks on RPOTW.

Remember my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


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Don't forget to go back and read the whole DAILY BLOG on
My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click On the Banner below
on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDED July 26, 2011.
A Wave a day for 365 consecutive days.
Yesterday- Scott Heelen by Ed O'Connell. 1989.
(Below) There was a time when photographers used actual film. Ed O'Connell was one of the best back in the days of film. So you can imagine my surprise when I received this image in my email this past week. It's a photo of then 16 year old Scott Heelen surfing one of the premier left point breaks we have here. And the photo was taken by the late great Ed O'Connell. Enjoy this image of yet another (at the time) unknown getting a decent wave in NH.
Photo by Ed O'Connell.

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.

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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, and their business is a reflection of that lifestyle that we all love.

*Unless otherwise noted.

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Today- The Year on Photos 2014.
Photos from RALPH's Pic Of The Week!

(Above) This past winter was truly noteworthy. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) One of my favorite winter views. Winter 2014. Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) I am not one for using fins. I treaded water this day for several hours
in the dead of winter of 2014.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above)*For the record, we have bought all of our JEEPS from Lansdale JEEP the last 23 years, and have not had a single regret. They are the BEST!!
*Click on the Ad above to see more!

(Above) Big Tres in PR last winter. Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Simon and Ralph at the The COLD COAST Premiere.
Photo by Cory Fatello
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) I was so stoked to get this shot of Kenny in the barrel of his life.
Hurricane Season 2014.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) So thick and so mean. I called it the CAPE NH sesh. 2014.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) The man, Tom Brady throwing one of five TD passes this day.
Fall 2014.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) The Snowy Owl Show returns to New Hampshire.
December 2014.
Photo by Debbie Crowley
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

If you know a surfer who may be struggling with any kind of substance abuse. Click here. They can help.
*Click above to save a surfer from substance abuse.

(Above) Hannah Vokey's KELLY SLATER painting was one of the paintings submitted to the annual RPOTW Surf Art Column. Painting by Hannah Vokey
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Nicole Chouinard's ocean scene gallery was one of the best of the year. Winter 2014. Photo by Nicole Chouinard
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

“Your Maine Mountain”

(Above) The Phantom's MAVERICK'S pics were insane. Winter 2014.
Photo by The Phantom *Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

Today- The Last Week Of December 2014
Photos by RALPH

(Above) I came across these two the last day of December of 2014
Photo by RALPH *Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

“North Conway’s Family Mountain”

“Superior Snow. Guaranteed.”

“Southern New Hampshire’s Favorite Mountain”

(Above) This frozen pond on the last day of December and the reflection of all that had happened in 2014 caught my eye. Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) I cast a long long shadow on the last day of 2014.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

Today- More of The COLD COAST Video Frame Grabs.
Winter 2014.
Photos by RALPH

(Above) Yes that says 3 degrees. And yes it was cold that day.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Seeing something like this will always get my attention.
From the COLD COAST.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Jon Kiskinis squirting by me on a fun day from last winter.
From the Cold Coast.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Kyle Linseman showing the true stoke of the Cold Coast.
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

Today- Julia and Kai Nichols. Winter 2014.
Photos courtesy of the Nichols

(Above) The electric blue of Makaha with Julia Nichols. Winter 2014.
Photo courtesy of the Nichols *Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) Julia Nichols on a powder blue day at Makaha. Winter 2014.
Photo courtesy of the Nichols
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) With the GoPro in mouth Kai Nichols takes a walk to the nose.
Winter 2014.
Photo by Preston
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

Today-More Photos from Around The World.
Photos via the Google Machine

(Above) Whoa this looks heavy. December 2014.
Photos via the Google Machine
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) I love this look. No matter where it is on the planet every surfer loves this view. December 2014. Photos via the Google Machine
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery


We welcome all Surf Related pics from our Readers. Just make sure they are at least 900 pixels wide. If you have any OLD photos of local New England surfers and or of local New England surfing, we would love to see them and share them with our readers.

We can scan them for you. And we get them back to you undamaged. Trust me. We can do this...people love the older stuff. So if you have any, please send 'em along. If you have prints/slides we can scan them for you.

And we don't care if you shoot pics with with your cellphones. I mean it. Most of the images you see on the news and on the Internet were shot with them Smart Ass Phones. So shoot and ask questions later.

Eric Gilston at the WALL December 2014.
Photo courtesy of Eric Gilston
*Click on the photo above to see the whole photo gallery.

Click above to purchase on Amazon

The sunsets in Kauai can be spectacular.
Photo Nancy Pappas
*Click on the photo above to see the whole photo gallery.

Michael Emery aims his camera inside. This looks like Sidebottom.
Michael Emery
*Click on the photo above to see the whole photo gallery.


(Above) ALL RISE: The 10th Street District Court Of Surf is Now in Session.
The Honorable Judge RALPH presiding.
Click the image above to see the outcome of this Surf Crime and the Verdict
that was rendered.
Photo by RALPH

* Click on the photo above to see the OUTCOME.
Click banner below to read the entire CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY Year Long Blog. From start to finish. In chronological order as it happened. And trust me, a lot happened. Some of it almost too hard to believe. But it's all there. Every single day.

CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON on each clip to view videos

The COLD COAST movie is now available now at the New Hampshire surf shops, and at


More clips from the winter/spring of 2014. Featuring: Stevie O'Hara, Jesse Gould, Mike Rosa, Jon Kiskinis, Kevin Grondin, Toby Parke, and Max Fatello. Shot with the Go Pro II and Canon G30 in NH. The music for this trailer is by QWILL. The movie is in the shops or online.
I'm really stoked about this movie. Hope you like it.


The music is by Jesse Ciarmataro (QWILL), Trower, and Tabor.
THE COLD COAST the latest documentary from Surf Free Or Die. 


A collection of stills and old super 8mm movie clips of my late best friend Joe Somogyi and our old surf crew back in the early to mid 70's. This is part of the 9th anniversary of the weekly Ralph's Pic blog. The song is by the Nor'easters and I wrote this about Joe back in the early 80's. Remembering our past, living in the present, and looking forward to the future.

*Additional footage from Ed O'Connell.


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CLICK ON THE CRACKIE IMAGE TO SEE ALL THE CRACKIE VIDEOS. Crackie's still on an unpaid administrative leave. However if you need
a Crackie Fix just click on his face and go to his YouTube page and watch all his absurd videos. And if you have a question for Crackie,
no matter how stupid, or absurd, please send it

You can also check Crackie out on Facebook. You should Friend Him...though there are no guarantees that he'll be nice to you.

COMING NEXT WEEK ....The First Swell of 2015

Recorded in 1978. Click on VINNY CD art to see a larger
version and how to order this CD and others for sale at
GAF Music.
A Division of Adlantic

COMING NEXT WEEK ....The First Swell of 2015

Recorded in 1983. Click on VINNY CD art to see a larger
version and how to order this CD and others for sale at
GAF Music.
A Division of Adlantic

(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to see happens when you DROP in
on someone. You become Invisible.
Simply put the mouse over the photo to see the
original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal
invisible.*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photo by

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Today January 4th, 2015

(Above) Yep. It's true. Home Depot does have everything you need.
Or it does in California . Photo by Jimmy Dunn

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