Why do I feel so guilty about going surfing and not taking any surf photos on the two days that there were actually waves? Don't bother trying to answer that question. I already know the answer. It's because in my latter years of doing both (surfing and photography) I've become accustomed to shooting the surf no matter what. And I do it because of you. Well, you, and my sponsors.
And I suppose there's some hidden burden of proof that I live with.
If I say it's waist high or better each week I better be able to prove it. The photo above was shot by my son Max on his cellphone. He tried calling and texting me to tell me there were waist high waves and a Rainbow! As a photographer there's nothing better than to shoot some glassy surf with a cool rainbow overhead. But alas, my phone was dying and I had it on the charger when he called. It was late in the day on the 25th, and there were a couple of serious thunder storms that had just gone through the area. Plus I'm dealing with a young puppy who was outside in the pen and has not yet experienced thunder and lightening. I needed to play Puppy Dad.
But earlier in the week, on the 23rd, was my longtime dear friend's birthday.
Kevin Grondin turned 64 on the 23rd and I had promised him the week before that I would surf with him on his birthday (if there was surf).
And lo and behold there was. And it was a solid waist to the occasional chest high wave. And it was foggy so nobody could see that there was surf. I met Kevin at our friend Tony's house and we all paddled out and surfed for a couple of hours in the super warm waters of New Hampshire. It was a great session...but, the whole time I was out there I kept bringing up how I wished I had taken my water camera out. It would have been so cool to get some pics of that session. We were joined by Johnny Meehan who was already out.
There was one bummer though (in addition to no pics). I got hurt.
I was out surfing on my longboard without a leash, and I wasn't wearing any booties. These were both of my own faults. I figured I could control my board enough to not lose it. And if I didn't lose the board, I wouldn't be walking on barnacle encrusted rocks. Wrong again. So by now you've already figured out that I did indeed lose my board, and had to swim, and walk over rocks to retrieve it. In the process I must have slipped and fallen at least a half dozen times. Thank God for the Fog, because I would have been beyond embarrassed if someone had seen me falling all those times. In any event, on one of those falls, I landed hard on one of those boulders. I hit my thigh bone pretty hard. I'm not gonna lie, it hurt. And it hurt for days on end. The funny thing is, it didn't leave a bruise. When I thought for sure I would see one.
I'm not one for medical answers, but that
seemed odd to me. No bruise.
Speaking of odd. When we all got back to Tony's house I wanted to take a quick selfie so we would at the very least have something to remember the day. I took a series of pics. One of just me, one of Tony's board and my board, and three selfies of the three of us. None of the selfies came out. Not a single one. This is as close as I could get to documenting the day. I feel as if I should have my selfie card revoked. I'm not sure what went wrong here but for the record, that's Tony, Kevin, and myself. Or from right to left: Old, Older, and Oldest. June 23rd, 2020. On Kevin's 64th Birthday. Happy Birthday Doc!
Today June 28th, 2020 is the 15th Anniversary of the THE LONE SURVIVOR Story. On June 28th 2005, 11 NAVY SEALS and 8 ARMY NIGHT STALKERS were Killed In Action in Afghanistan in Operation RED WINGS. One of those SEALS was SCPO Dan Healy from Exeter, NH. Fifteen years ago today.
Dan Healy is a legend here on the NH seacoast. If you are not familiar with this story, I suggest you Google his name and read the story. It was made into a movie back in 2014. LONE SURVIVOR is one of the most amazing stories you will ever read or see. It's hard to put into words the kind of bravery and courage that took place that fateful day. But one thing is for certain. They are ALL Heroes. And their story should never ever be forgotten.
I designed this poster back in 2009 for the dedication of the Dan Healy Monument in Exeter, NH. I was Commander of Post 35 back then, and we helped the Healy family out on this dedication, as well as our own Global War On Terrorism Monument in 2006 where Dan's name is engraved.
We ALL love the whole Healy family, and have pledged and promised them
all since day one, that we will Never forget Dan's sacrifice, nor will we forget the family's sacrifice to our country for as long as we all shall live. It's the least that we can do for this true American Hero.
Dan Healy was a True Warrior. Rest easy Dan Healy. Rest easy.
And speaking of TRUE HEROES. I was beyond stunned and astonished when I saw and read that the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Memorial Monument in Boston, MA was defaced during the BLM Protests. For your information, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment was an all Black Unit during the Civil War. Col Robert Gould Shaw commanded this legendary unit. He was killed along with his men during the battle for Fort Wagnor in South Carolina on July 18th, 1863. The Confederate soldiers offered to return his body back to Boston to his family. But his family refused their offer and insisted that he be buried with his men in the mass grave on the beach.
There was a movie depicting this amazing individual and the heroic Black Regiment. It was called GLORY. If you are unaware of this man and this famous unit, I suggest you Google it and read up on it.
The 54th was the ultimate "Black Lives Matter"
story in 1863.
And this too is tragic. The defacing and destroying the statue of Ulysses S. Grant by the BLM protesters. All because Grant was gifted a slave in his younger years, to which he wanted nothing to do with. In fact, he freed that slave that same year. Grant commanded the Union Army and defeated the Confederate Army in 1865. To anyone who knows anything about the Civil war, Grant's Army fought to Free The Slaves. Hundreds of thousands of white soldiers died in the Civil war to FREE the Slaves. Yet somehow this important information was lost in the mob mentality of these protests.
And when Grant became president, he prosecuted the KKK, and appointed African Americans to prominent positions in Government. Pretty sad.
If you don't find this disturbing, there's something seriously wrong with you.
And finally this. The defacing of the Jimi Hendrix statue. WTF?
Hendrix was all about Love. To do this is just unfathomable. Jimi Hendrix was stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky the day my wife was born. He was in the 101st Airborne. He was an Army Paratrooper before he became the most legendary of all guitarists on the planet.
These are three cases that should make us all stop, and take a deep breath. There are no words.
"Surfing and Love Heals All Wounds."
This week's Ed's corner is another unknown. This pic was shot in May of 2008 and my guess is it was taken at the Wall. Ed was notorious for shooting the unknowns. I know you've heard me mention this before, but Ed was the biggest advocate for the unknown surfer. It didn't make a difference who you were to Ed, if you caught a decent wave Ed was going to shoot you.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local, National and International News
By the time you read this I will be over 20 days of not watching any of the news on TV. I wish I could say that I am 100% away from the news, but to do that I would have to live in a cave somewhere. Let's face it there's a ton of news filtering in and around social media. So unless I decide to not use social media I will from time to time, pick up on some interesting stories.
Like this one. 45's Walk Of Shame. I've never ever seen him like this. Have you?
This is when he stepped off of Marine One after his not so full rally in Tulsa. I know this feeling only too well. When you expect a big crowd and you get a less than full house. It reflects badly on the whole vibe. It is in a word, depressing. And 45 looks beaten, depressed, disheveled, bloated, and miserable. There's no other way to describe this look. It's like he realizes that the wheels are coming off the wagon. Or as in his case, the "Chuck Wagon".
The end is near. His last two appearances have not been stellar performances for the Professional Con Artist. They are simply not boding well for his much sought after re-election. With the recent surges of COVID-19 in key parts of the country, and the continued tanking of the economy, it's just a matter of time. The clock is ticking. And he knows it.
These images below are from his West Point visit. The pic on the left of him sipping water from his glass is like something you'd expect to see in a nursing home. "There you go Donald, just hold the glass with two hands, and take tiny sips. That's right. Use your tiny hands to hold the glass. Be careful not to let the water drip down your chin and onto your big red tie. That's it Donald. Good boy. Look at you. Good boy"
And the pic on the right is the infamous walk down the ramp at West Point. I heard that he tweeted a million tweets on why this seemingly easy walk, was so treacherous for him. It was everything from the ramp was too steep, to his leather shoes were too slippery. The only thing that's slipping is his ratings in
the polls. Look, these images don't lie. This is a man in trouble. Both physically and emotionally. He's on a slippery slope alright.
Slipping right back to REALITY TV.
OK, this is one of those images you see on social media
and you have to stop and wonder if it's real or not. The caption said something along the lines that these are the size of the scary MURDER HORNETS. And I say Holy Crap Batman! That's a big ass hornet. Murder or no murder. Those stingers look deadly. I'm not a big fan of bees and hornets in general, but damn, if these buggers are real? I'm getting out of Dodge.
I'll be sheltering in place alright! Like on the North Pole. Seriously, don't expect to see me out and about if these bad boys come to town. And I'll be wearing more than just damn paper mask too! I'll be in full armor. Homey don't play this shit.
Like we don't have enough to worry about?
PLEASE HELP THESE GO FUND ME Post (Below).
Click on the image below to MAKE A DONATION. Greg Smith was one of the BEST surfers to ever come out of NH. If you can afford it, please make a donation. Thank you.
The ANNUAL RALPH'S PIC SURF ART BLOG is coming at the end of next month. Please help spread the word to all your surf artist friends. I can't wait to see what you all created over the last year. Read the poster for detailed instructions. CREATE ART!
Click on the image above to see a larger version.
ESM (Eastern Surf Magazine) using a READY MAG format did the Best of Ralph's Pic. And while they couldn't possibly use everything thing I've ever done, they did manage to put up some 50 pics of mine, plus two videos. And I was truly humbled by their intro. Mez said some nice things about me. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE WHOLE Spread.
GRANITE GIRLS and The RIVER WOMEN from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.
NOW AVAILABLE on VIMEO ON DEMAND. You have spoken and I have listened. You don't have a DVD player so I made it available Online. Watch it on your Smart TV, your computer, or your cellphone! I can't make this any easier my friends. Unless of course I hand deliver to each and every
one of you.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
With this FOURTH OF JULY Being canceled my fear is that some of you will go out and buy your own fireworks this year. This is what happened to KSM one July 4th when he took it upon himself to entertain his fellow inmates at GITMO. Please don't be a Dumb ass like Khaliddy here and Blow shit out your ass like this. The TRUTH is this shit is dangerous. Please Don't Be A Dumb Ass!
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of ROMAN CANDLES
at Home Depot this week.
REST IN PEACE Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg 1927-2020.
HAPPY 71st BIRTHDAY to Jerry Law June 13th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kevin "Doc' Grondin June 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Cory Fatello June 30th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dave "Crop" Cropper June 30th, 2020!
HAPPT BIRTHDAY Kyle Linseman June 30th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Sidebottom June 30th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Tyson June 30th, 2020!
PLEASE Keep Mrs Berardini (Tony's 99 yr old mom) in your thoughts and prayers.
We'd all love to see her make it to her 100th Birthday in December. She's a fighter, but she could use some help. Your prayers can help. Thank you.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
Lenny Nichols & Colin Madden
Co-Directors, NNE District
Eastern Surfing Association
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 16 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.