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COMING SOON Molly News...

June 20th, 2010 Grads and Dads
The Surf Count of Waist High Or Better is now 16 out of 18 weeks...

My father was not a surfer. Well, technically, he was not a stand up surfer. He was an avid body surfer. And, he may have actually tried surfing in Hawaii as he passed through the Islands on his way to the South Pacific in WWII. But once he was in the South Pacific, it was all business. He was in the Fighting Seabees. And from 1943 until the end of the War in August of 1945. He went from Island to Island, fighting the Japanese and blowing stuff up. No my friends, my father was not a surfer, but he was the single most important person in my life, as the man most responsible for getting me into surfing.

When he came home from the war, he got married and raised six children. Three boys and three girls. And I was the oldest of the bunch. Sometime around the Winter or the Spring of 1961, I saw surfing for the very first time. It was fuzzy images of people surfing on our little black and white TV. I'm not sure where it was. More than likely, it was California, or Hawaii. All I do know is, I was mesmerized by it. And really it was just a quick glimpse into that world, but I knew, that I needed to see it again.

I can't remember exactly when I brought it up to my parents, but I do know it was a short time after that, when I started to plead with them to move to Hawaii. Of course the mere notion of my parents actually pulling up the stakes, and moving the family to Hawaii, just so I could surf, was never, ever, going to happen.

Still, I begged and pleaded.

The beach we went to in the summer was Nahant . Those of you familiar with Nahant, knows that it is a wide open beach. And while it's not quite like Hampton, there are clearly waves. I remember distinctly one summer morning. The waves were probably 4-5' and it was smooth as glass. I was out bobbing up and down in the perfect surf. There were NO surfers back then. Or if there were, we never saw one. I was simply not aware of the surf potential I was playing in, until my dad pointed it out.

"If you had a surfboard, you could surf those waves." I remember looking out at the surf and then back up at him. He was staring as intently as I was. "See that. You could surf that wave. All you need is a surfboard." He was right. In fact, it was one of those "Light dawns on Marblehead" moments, that morning. But damn it, we both saw the potential right then and there. "Yea dad we could! Let's get a surfboard!"

The question was. Where could we get a surfboard? And how much are they?

There were no surf shops in 1961 or 1962 that we were aware of. But clearly they made surfboards somewhere. We knew there were boards in California and Hawaii, but my dad was not about to buy a board in California, and then pay for shipping back to New England. My dad was as thrifty as they came. Hell, he worked three jobs. It was a struggle for he and my mom, and the six kids. But he never tried to persuade me to think about a different endeavor. I wanted to surf. And I think, he wanted to see me surf. Otherwise, he would of said something.

So it was a true dilemma of sorts for us.

It was mid way through December of 1963, when I caught wind of something else. And this discovery would also change my life. I saw and heard for the first time in my life, the Beatles.

And I was equally mesmerized by them. So much so, that I stopped pleading with my parents about moving to Hawaii, and replaced that absurd request with a new one. But this new one, was more feasible. "Buy me a guitar, and we can stay here in New England." My dad just laughed.

Instead, he went out and got me, not one, but two, paper routes. One in the morning, and one after school. "The money you earn from delivering papers will afford you to buy your own guitar and surfboard." And I did. I worked those paper routes to death, and bought my first guitar that late Spring of 1964. And although I had a guitar, I never stopped thinking about surfing. But luckily by the begriming of the Summer, I had an old baby sitter who lived in the neighborhood, who knew about my wanting to move to Hawaii to surf. Well, her name was Millie. And she had just returned from Oahu from her Honeymoon, and she brought back with her, an 11' 2" hollow paddle board, that she and her husband used in Waikiki. She gave it to me. I swear.

My first surfboard came straight from the Islands. Although, it was not exactly what I was looking for. But who was I to complain? The thing weighed a ton. But it was a water craft that we could surf on. By then, I had several friends who shared in my surf dream. Although none of them more passionate about it than me.

My dad tied that beast of a board on the roof on the old "Beachwagon" with rope, and off we all went to the beach. Not knowing what we would find because, keep in my mind, there was no way of telling how big, or how small the surf was back in those days. It could be 10' or less than a foot. The first day was huge. Oh boy. And there were 4 of us. And we took turns trying to surf that beast. None of us could stand on it. It was plywood and it was slippery as hell. We didn't know anything about wax.

The only kid who actually rode that board the first day, for any length of time, was Freddie Foss. He was like a real life Fonzi. He was two years older than the rest of us. I guess he stayed back in school a few times. But Freddie could at least stand on it before falling. By the time it was my turn the board had taken on water. Remember it was hollow. I felt, and I'm sure I looked like, the biggest kook to ever flounder in the ocean that day. But I was determined. We used that big paddle board a few times and then we saw a real surfer one day, with a real board, so we chased him down.

We found out where he got his board, and lo and behold, we were in business.

New England Divers in Beverly had a decent couple of Pop-outs to rent. We stopped using the big hollow dangerous paddle board, and started renting the boards from New England Divers. I think it was $10 a day for the board. My dad would take us all to the beach in the morning, and drop us off, and then he would pick us up in the afternoon. Again, we never knew what the surf was doing.

But getting back to the first time on a real surfboard.

Once I caught my first wave, and rode it like you are supposed to do, I knew right then and there, that I was hooked for life. I knew that I wanted to surf more than anything else in the world. I know this story is true with all of you. There had to be a defining moment in each of your lives when you made that connection. We have all gone through that transition. From a land locked clueless human being, to an aquatic surfer. For me, it was a morning with Bruce Doherty (dead), Donnie Nelson (dead), and Bobby Wickers (kind of dead-Jehova Witness). That was the summer of 1964.

I remember the sound the board made, when it glided over the sections. Like a small sailboat. I remember the look and feel of watching the spray come off the rails. And I remember, telling my dad, how unbelievable it all felt. I was stoked, and so was my father. And he never stepped foot, on any of my boards.

Yet, he would take me surfing all the time. Drop me and my friends off in the morning and pick us up in the late afternoon. And he would take photos and movies of us surfing for years. We eventually had to get wetsuits because we needed to extend our surfing into the colder months. But my dad continued to drive us to the beach. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Never complained about it. In fact if anything, he was as stoked as we were. And when he got older and I had kids of my own, he was stoked to hear of them surfing. And the cycle of life rotated around us all. I had done the same with my kids and their friends, as my dad did with me and my friends.

And I'm sure, a lot of you surf dads have done the same.

Of course, two of my three kids are now driving themselves. And two of my three kids are in college. With my latest Grad, Mackey V graduating from High School just last night. Mackey got to surf that surprise swell yesterday afternoon just three hours before he and his best friends, donned their caps and gowns, and made that historical walk. And I was there shooting the session, just like my dad would of done, back when I was my son's age.

Time sure is flying by. And like a lot of you older surfers, my life seems to be stuck on the fast forward button. Funny how time dragged by when I was younger, and how it now accelerates the older we get. I'm OK with it though. I get it.

Because, I'm a surf dad. And so was my father.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:
The BP oil spill is still gushing oil. Not to sound too pessimistic but, we better hope that a Tropical Storm or Hurricane does not form in the Gulf anytime too soon. That would be a recipe for disaster like you read about. Good Lord can you imagine that? But what has a lot of people up in arms now, is how the CEO of BP Mr Haywood was at a Yacht race today, instead of dealing with the Oil Spill. Come on gotta be focused on cleaning up the oil spill before you can get back into your Rich Ass comfort zone.

How about the 17 Afghan solider's who went missing from Texas this week? H-m-m-m. Something is up there. These 17 Afghans have US high risk security clearance. Gee think they're up to something? We better find them and find them quickly.

Just heard that Campbell Soup is recalling some 250 million cans of Spaghetti-O's...say what? How can that be? I'm glad my kids are older and over that crap.

Was that the saddest and most exciting 7th game of the NBA finals you have ever witnessed? I have to admit, I was like a lot of you and thought this is in the bag right up until the 3rd Qtr. And then it all went downhill. Too many Free Throws, too many fouls. Too many shots from the C's not going in. I shut off the TV when the last second ticked. The last thing I saw was Pierce wading through the crowd heading for the Locker room.

Still, it was an amazing series, and you have to give credit where credit is due. Kobe Bryant is the real deal. But then again, so was Rondo. And Ray Allen's new NBA record...We had our chances. If I was a hardcore fan I'd still be sick. but I'm not. I'm a fan...but only a fair weather one.

But I can certainly appreciate watching an exciting 7th Game like the one we all saw. That's a great night of sports for anyone. Thank You Doc Rivers and Company, it was fun to watch it all.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY ALL YOU Dads Out There (especially you surf dads)!
Happy Birthday Kevin Grondin June 23rd, 2010!
Congrats again to the WHS class of 2010 graduates!
Best of luck to all the graduating seniors!
JUNE 21st is The Summer Solstice. The FIRST Official Day of Summer Begins.
PLEASE Pick up your trash at the beaches.

CHECK OUT THE NEW/Old YESTERDAY PAGE! ALL OLD New England and beyond Surf Pics!*NEW PICS added each week!

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING IN ON
RALPH blog Section.
May is up. *This is the blog section of this website where you can write in and comment. The only downside of this blog is, you actually have to use your REAL Name. No hiding behind some fake handle and name. If you want to comment, you have to man up, and be yourself. I will post all comments, both good and bad.
You just have to be yourself.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
every week for the last
7 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.


Click YESTERDAY Banner Below to see new Old Surf Pic Page
Summer of 1953...My Dad at the Beach
(Below) This was my dad at the beach. He was not a surfer per se, but he loved to Body Surf, and he loved being at the beach. And most importantly, he was the person in my life who got me into Surfing, music, art, and photography. And for all of that, I am forever grateful to have had him, for as long as I did. Happy Father's Day Dad, I still miss you. Photo courtesy of G.A.F.

Today- Friday, June 18th, 2010

(Above) Young HS Grad Mackey V hitting the Wall 3 hours before graduation. This swell came out of nowhere. Friday, June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Hardly anyone was out. Friday, June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Nate backs into a nice left. Friday, June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Jared smacks the roof of the late day short lived swell. Friday, June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Steve Baily gets a good it and see it.
Friday June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH

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

(Above) Grads and Dads. Jesse and Jay. Mackey and me.
Friday June 18th, 2010. Photo By RALPH

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

Today- SURF and CONTEST June 12th, 2010

(Above) This is was last Saturday June 12th, 2010. The day after the good fun swell.
How much fun does this look? Man...where the hell was I?
Photo By Ed O'Connell* Click on the photo above to see
the Gallery

(Above) Theses are good contest waves. Anytime a grom can paddle into a shoulder high wave is a good thing. Saturday June 12th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see
the Gallery

(Above) Hoku Nichols dealing with a wacky water whirl. June 12, 2010.
Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see
the Gallery

HAWAII June 16th, 2010 by Bernie Baker

(Above) This is what they mean by Blue Green. Only in Hawaii. June 16, 2010.
Photo By Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see
the Gallery

(Above) Sunrise at the Bay... Hawaii. June 16, 2010.
Photo By Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see
the Gallery

(Above) Saturday June 12th, 2010. Duffy McCarthy's Bachelor party. I've known Duff since he was a young squirrel running back and forth across the street. This was at his bachelor's party. All of his close friends were there to hang with the Duffmeister. Dave Cropper and I played guitars and we all watched Ray Hackett movies. It was great. Big thanks to Drew Clark for putting it all together. Best of luck to Duffy and Jenn.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Gallery

SFOD's -
13POINT5l 2003-2004 by SFOD and RALPH

Another 13POINT5 Clip from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

Here's another video clip from the SFOD movie 13POINT5. Some say it was my best movie about NH. While others think the WALL was better. Still others talk about North By Northeast.

I say whatever...I will say that's my friend Johnny Meehan taking that steep drop. Yea he made it...come on. That's Johnny.

There was no real surf to shoot this week, so I dug into the archives and pulled this little nugget together for you.

Hope you dig it.

Music is by FF





(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #61 BLATANT DROP IN OF
THE WEEK- This case is another First. It's our first YAKKER vs YAPPER
Photo Via The Internet
Click on the photo above to see the Whole CRIME.

(Above) Musky Reef. Photo by Geoff Haenn
Click on the photo to see the Readers Gallery.

(Above) Jeff Smith below sea level in the Tropics
. Photo by Geoff Haenn
Click on the photo to see the Readers Gallery.


(Above) More Hot Cali Action from West Coast Lensmaster Ben Ginsberg
COMING NEXT WEEK! Photo By Ben Ginsberg

(Above ) In your face Cali tripping by Ben Ginsberg
COMING NEXT WEEK! Photo By Ben Ginsberg

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) Put the cursor over the image 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 becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.

Today 2010 Slow Down SPEED BUMP up ahead!

(Above) Ouch! Now why they gotta be so hurtful? Photo via Internet

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