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May 24th, 2009 Memorial Day Weekend

And so, it slowly comes to and end. 14 consecutive weeks of surf. And really how fitting. Memorial Day Weekend. I can't think of a better day to stop and reflect than this day. Memorial Day. I know to some of you, it means a day off from work. Or a day to buy, or sell a vehicle. Heck for some, (like those two loud mouth buffoons on TV) it's a day to buy or sell furniture. Although, I can't see how an overweight adult male, prancing around in a woman's bikini, has anything at all to do with selling furniture. But that's just me. I don't know.

I used to get upset at those ads on TV. I used to get upset with friends having Memorial Day barbecues and cookouts and never acknowledging what the day's true meaning was all about. I can remember saying "Americans didn't die so you could sell cars, furniture and eat freaking hot dogs!" But then one year, I thought about it, and it hit me. "Yes they did. " I said at one party. "That's exactly why they died. So we can enjoy the freedoms, to do what we please, when we want to." Then all was good in my neighborhood again. Although, I still think we should all stop and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

I mean, how much of an effort is it really, to pause and reflect on those who have died fighting for all of us. Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, Gays, Lesbians, Straights, Blacks, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asian, Christian, Muslim, Jews...everyone who lives in the United States of America. Should stop and pause and remember those who are no longer with us. Because they died fighting in our Nation's Wars for our right to live our lives the way we want to.

This is not political, or religious, or anything else that would normally divide us. These United States of America are who and what we are today, because of the supreme sacrifices that these brave men and women have given for all of us. Each and every one of us, owes them our greatest gratitude. And after Monday, we can all go back to complaining, and bitching, and moaning about each other. But on Monday we should reflect and remember.

There are people out there, and I believe they are of the majority, that do not, and did not know anyone who was killed in a war. For those people, I say this. If you knew someone in the Military. And I don't know many people, who don't know at least one person, who served in the Military, or is still in the military. Most of us have family members who have served. I say, think about what your life would be, without that person in your life. I mean that's easy to do. For some of you, if one of your parents had been killed, there's a good chance that you would not be here. It's a simple equation.

Now, not to get morbid here. But a few years ago, I had gotten into a heated debate with a family member about the end of WWII. The relative was standing there holding a grandchild. The argument was this. They thought that the US should of never dropped the Atom Bomb on Japan. Now for the sake of argument here. All one has to do is, read up on your history and find out this information on their own. But for the sake of time and space. The United States and all of our Allies were "conservatively predicting" at least One Million US Casualties if they had to invade the Mainland of Japan. That's 1,000,000 Dead Americans. We had already lost 400,000 American lives in 4 years of fighting both the Japanese and the Germans. But after the battle for Okinawa, the experts were all saying that invading the mainland of Japan was going to be costly. And trust me, those same experts, had underestimated most of the battles against the Japanese thus far. So when they said that we'd lose a Million Americans...well no doubt, that must of raised more than a few eye brows.

But getting back to my conversation with a certain family member, who was holding one of our beautiful grandchildren in their arms. "My father, your grandfather, was onboard one of those Navy Ships poised to attack the mainland of Japan. My father, your grandfather, was a NAVY SeaBee. His job was in demolition, and building. They would blow up bridges and buildings and build new bridges and airstrips while under fire. They were not called the Fighting Seabees for nothing."

My point was simple.

"If my father, your grandfather, get's killed fighting the fanatical Japanese on their homeland. And make no mistake about it. The Japanese were fanatical at the end of WWII. Just read a few stories about the Kamikazes. Then we are not having this conversation. And more importantly, you are NOT holding that baby in your arms." That last line was met with dead silence. It was the old..."light dawns on Marblehead".

I just stood there nodding my head and gesturing to the small child. Oh yea. They got it.

So for anyone out there, who didn't know anyone who was killed in a war, think of those you know, who have served, or are still serving, and try and imagine what your life would be like without them. That's a sobering "what if".

I have had, the unfortunate experience of knowing several people who have died in Wars. And I think about them every single Memorial Day. Some, I think of all the time. But for the most part, I think of them at this special time of the year. War is a terrible thing. There's nothing pretty about it. There's nothing romantic about it. There's nothing glorious about it. To put it bluntly. It sucks. I don't know many people who like war. And, I especially don't know many Veterans who have fought in wars, who like it. No one likes it.

But thank God we have brave Americans who have always answered that call to stop what they were doing, and put their lives on hold, to stand up and fight for all of us. Think about that for a moment. How many Americans, over our long great history, have done just that? From the Revolutionary War, The Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The First Gulf War and the current Global War on Terrorism. Thank God for all of them.

So let's all stop and pause on Monday and remember those who fought and died.

And be thankful for few of our own photographers who have served. Ed O'Connell, John Carden and yours truly. Then there's Brian Nevin's Dad Chris, who served in Nam and Jamie Wade's Uncle Denny Lorden, who was killed in Vietnam 40 years ago 1969.
Remember. Remember .Remember.

I saw some waves this week. In fact, I took a few photos. Tuesday and Thursday. I shot some pics. Nothing great, but it was still surf. Besides, like I said last weekend. The week starts on a Sunday. And last Sunday was good. So was Monday morning. Clearly this means we had 14 weeks of surf. I have a friend visiting from California and I am hoping he gets some surf while he's here. I have not looked into the crystal ball (Surfline, wetsand, and magic seaweed) but someone did say, they heard some surf is coming. If that's the case. That means we are into week 15. Damn. Whoa! 15 weeks??? Is it possible? Well hell yea it is...because it's happening.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

Big Papi hit his first HR! Yea baby. That's what we're talking about! Things will be better now for all you hardcore SOX fans. Slumps are funny, well not funny per se, but you know what I mean. There's just no rhyme or reason to any slump in anything. Sports to academics. You just have to find your way out. And Ortiz found his way out.

The sad news department. We lost Mickey this last week. That's right kids. Mickey Mouse passed away this week. Actually it was the voice of Mickey. And not the original voice and quite frankly, not even the 2nd voice. But the voice of Mickey from the last 32 years. So the Mickey that my kids knew, is gone. His name was Wayne Allwine. He was 62 years old. He joined Disney in 1966 and became the voice of MM in 1977. Rest in peace Mickey, say hello to Walt Disney for us.

So how about the Fossil they found this last week?. The Missing Link. They found the oldest primate ever. How old? How does 47 million years sound? They named her "IDA". The scientists have claimed that IDA is the missing link between higher primates and a more distant ancestor. I wonder where surfers fit into this theory?

Good luck to our local boys Jimmy Dunn and Drew Cropper who are nominated for an EMMY. The big show is on May 30th. We'll be sure to report the outcome. Click this link for the
Jimmy and Drew Story

Click here for the Hilarious STASH Pics of
Dr Brent and Aaron Buell!
Miss Molly
"STASH FOR CASH" FUND RAISER Events: Dr. Brent Reinheimer
, local surfer and Exeter Hospital physician, is leading the charge for the "Stash for Cash."

Don't forget All the shops are STILL collecting cards, gifts, and other provisions for the Rowlee family. PIONEERS , CINNAMON RAINBOWS, BRICKHOUSE, ZAPSTIX and many more shops are drop off points of interest for Miss Molly. 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). There are several more fund raisers in the making as well. There's still plenty of things going on for Lil Miss Molly and you can find out most of it on the
Ralph's Community Page.

Little Miss Molly Fund Auction

Get Well Soon to RYAN OLSEN. Hang in there Ryan. Get stronger and get better. You'll be back before you know it.
Get well soon to CHRISTOS VALHOULI. The other sacrificial lamb. You too my brother will be back before you know it.
A HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to Lynn Meehan. Lil Jimmy looks more like 30 than she does 50! Happy Birthday Lynn.

Congrats to Kai Nichols who came in 2nd in the Menehunes ESA NE Regionals in New Jersey last week. Kai qualifies for the ESA CHAMPIONSHIPS in September. REPRESENT KAI! *First Local ESA-NNE contest is on call for Saturday May 30th at the WALL .

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.

Remember my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Yesterday- 1943 My late Father Gus. USN CB-WWII
(Below) This is a photo of my late father Gus in WWII. He was a NAVY Seabee They did demolition and built everything from bridges, to airstrips, to roadways and more. They called them the Fighting Seabees. My dad lost a lot of friends in WWII. He fought at ATTU, Bouganville, The Philippines, Okinawa and was slated to go into the mainland of Japan. Then they dropped the bomb and the world changed forever. Thank God. My world might not have existed if my dad was wounded or killed. Remember all those who died in all the wars. Photo by courtesy of G.A.F.

Today 2009- Saturday May 23rd, 2009

Above) Nick Africano stopped by this afternoon to say hello. Nick is a local Surfer/Lifeguard (who helped out last year during the Wounded Warriors Program) he's currently in the US NAVY UDT Dive and Demolition Team. Nick will be marching in the local Hampton Memorial Day Parade on Monday at 11:00AM. Thank you for your service Nick.
*Note. Nick came home to get his surfboard. Photo by RALPH

(Above) Dan Healy. Exeter, NH native. A NAVY SEAL was Killed in Afghanistan in 2005 while trying to rescue four of his fellow SEAL Team members, who were fighting an overwhelming force of TALIBAN fighters in June of 2005. Dan was a Surfer. He was married with 4 kids. There's a dedication for Dan on July 19th in Exeter as they name a swimming pool and bridge after him. More on this in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, remember Dan on Monday.
Photo courtesy of the Healy family

(Above and below ) Shawn O'Shea and his son. Shawn is a Master Sgt in the Marine Corps. He's also a surfer. Shawn has been deployed to IRAQ and he has lost friends in the GWOT. These pics were taken in North Carolina. Thank you for your service Shawn. Keep surfing and Semper Fi. Photo courtesy of Shawn O'Shea

Above) Shawn O'Shea hitting the beach! Photo courtesy of Shawn O'Shea

Hey Ralph,
I don't know if you knew that I had a uncle Denny (my Mom's brother) who was in Vietnam. He was there until 1969 but didn't return. Someone in his company just
got in touch with our family with information on how he really died and sent some pictures. As you know, getting these pictures impacted everyone in the family and
it has been priceless. I wanted to share one of them with you, because people like
him and people like you are the reason we live in such an amazing and
FREE country. My uncle is the one on the far left ,smoking a butt with no shoes on.
His name was Denny Lorden
. 40 years ago...Words and photo courtesy of Jamie Wade

Today-2009 Memorial Day Week Swell May 17, 2009

Above) Mackey V setting up a nice lefty at Cementy. Sunday May 17, 2009.
To see more of Sunday May 17th, 2009 click on MVF. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Above) Casey Lockwood turns on the back of this wave and rides the roof down. To see more of Sunday May 17th, 2009 click on Casey. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) CJ Fsichelli from May 17-09. Photo courtesy of CJ
Today-2009 Memorial Day Week Swell continues with 14 consecutive weeks. Tuesday May 19th, 2009

(Above) Emptiness finds her way in all of our collective souls. Welcome home waves for Nick. To see more from Tuesday May 19, 2009 click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

((Above) Chapel Peak . Say a prayer and go find your empty Chapel Peak. To see more from Tuesday May 19, 2009 click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Unknown woman rider. Tuesday morning in Northern New England.
May 19, 2009
. Too see more click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Doug Street sliding. Tuesday morning in Northern New England.
May 19, 2009
. Too see more click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Unknown. Tuesday morning in Northern New England.
May 19, 2009
. Too see more click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Don't try this at home . Doug's Barrel roll. May 19, 2009. To see more images from this day, click on photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today- This Week's Drop In Sequence May 19th 2009
*Click On The Image below for the Blatant Drop In on May 19th 2009 Click photo.

(Above) This is the victim. He is unknown as is the Perp. Click on image to see the whole crime unfold.
Photo by RALPH Click on the image above to see more.



(Above) Click on this image of NEVER BEFORE SEEN Footage of The Late Joe Somogyi Vietnam War Veteran surfing the Wall in 1975. VIDEO Clip from Ed O'Connel's Super 8mm Movie.

(Above) Lt.Col. John Rastl USAF Ret. My children's Grandpa. The only male figure left in our family besides me. John is a Retired USAF Fighter Pilot. A wonderful Grandpa and step dad to Cory. And a loving husband to my Mother-inlaw Judith. We all love him.
Photo courtesy of the Fatello family.

Today 2009 - Images from this past week in May 2009
*Click On These Images below for more of this week's surf scenes. NEW Photo Galleries That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails, or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click photos.


(Above) Sam Vokey- Sunday May 17, 2009 . Painting ocean the way the Annual RALPH's Call For Art starts July 4th weekend. To be posted July 26, 2009.
Photo by Hannah Vokey Click on the image above.

(Above) From Saturday May 16th, 2009. Kai Nichols on his way to 2nd Place in the NE Regionals. CLICK on Photo for more NE REGIONAL WRAP UP. Photo by Lenny Nichols


(Above) From Saturday May 16th, 2009. Hoku Nichols at the NE Regionals.
CLICK on Photo for more NE REGIONAL WRAP UP.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Christos Valhouli has been named the Sacrificial lamb of 2009 because ever since he's been out of the water with an eye injury (Dec 08) we've had great surf. So you all know what that means. No? Well, simply put, it means when Chris gets back in the water, he gets any wave he wants for the first few times out. Once he get's his sea legs back, he's one of us. But the first few times. He gets any wave. Anybody got a problem with that? Come and see me personally if you do. Photo courtesy of Christo Valhouli

(Above) Me a young Marine in Southeast Asia. We lost a lot of surfers over there.
Photo courtesy of the Fatello family.

(Above) Vietnam Veteran Surfers. L-R. Ron Sizemore, Tom Woods, Jerry Anderson, me, Joe Gianni at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle in San Diego. To honor the 58,000 killed that War. Photo courtesy of the Fatello family.


(Above) These are the colors. Men and women have died for these colors.
Photo By Jamie Wade


(Above) The Colors at my home. May 19th, 2009. Photo by RALPH

(Above) From last Saturday's Harley Open House.
Photo By Jamie Wade


(Above) The GWOT Monument. POST 35 in Hampton, NH. The names of all of those who lost their lives in the Global War On Terrorism are engraved on this stone. Dan Healy is one of the 39 listed here.
Photo by RALPH

(Above) My wife's father. My children's Grampy. My father-in-law. Gone from this world before his time. A True Patriot in The GWOT. He fought the good fight right to the end.
We love you Jerry and miss you every single day.
Photo courtesy of the Fatello family.

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- The Flag Raising on Iwo Jima Statue in Washington DC.

(Above) Over 6,000 Marines died on Iwo Jima. SIX THOUSAND. That was in One month of fighting. 3 days into the fight they raised the colors on top of Surabachi. February 21, 1945. Three of the six flag raisers died within two days of the famous photo from which this statue was carved. I took this photo while attending the service for my late father in Law. Jerry. Who was himself a Veteran, and a bona fide Hero, who helped save this country from those who wished to destroy it. Photo by RALPH

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