My dear friend Tony Berardini retired from the Multi Media Giant known as CBS Radio last week. Prior to his involvement with CBS, he was the General manager of WBCN Radio in Boston. Some of you older New England Rockers will remember BCN. They were The ROCK OF BOSTON. No question about it. They were the station that set the bar for all other stations in New England, and honestly? Throughout the country. WBCN was KING. And Tony helped put that crown on it's head. I met Tony in the late 70's when my band (VINNY) was playing in Boston.
I think we met during the BCN Rumble party. I was in the WBCN ROCK and ROLL RUMBLE. In fact, I was in three of those suckers. All three of my bands played in the BCN Rumbles. VINNY, SEMPER FI, and THE NOR'EASTERS. Tony thought that was hilarious that all of my bands played in the Rumbles over the years. It would be funny if my bands never won one. But we didn't. I must be a glutton for punishment because I kept going for it. Truth be told, it was fun. Everything we ever did with the station was fun. Some of my fondest memories were during BCN's heyday. They were truly great times.
WBCN played my singles and eventually my LP. So I have a longtime relationship with WBCN. Hell, I met my future wife at the WBCN Christmas Party. And Cory's Maid Of Honor was none other than WBCN DJ Tami Heide. You all getting this? BCN was a huge part of my life.
Somewhere along the way, I found out that Tony was from San Diego.
That's when we really became tight. He was a surfer and he had no idea that there was surf here in New England. Well, long story short I dragged Tony out into the frigid waters of New England and turned him onto surfing our waves. He surfed them all, from Mass to Maine,
and of course, here in our beloved New Hampshire. He was stoked on our surf and he would surf before and after work. Hey, he was a surfer, and you all know what surfers do. They go surfing no matter what. Tony was/is no different.
But back to his Retirement. He really did do so much at the station.
And it was great hearing his friends a colleagues pay homage to him. Though at times it was more of a roast than a heartfelt send off. We all had a great time hearing the "behind the scenes" stories from Oedipus, Carter Alan, and ChaChi Loprette. I even got up and said a few words. Of course my take was about the surfing angle. It dawned on me as I was speaking about dragging Tony off into insane Nor'easters that I could have been responsible for getting him killed. It's true. We surfed some crazy swells back then, including the infamous HALLOWEEN Storm of 1991.
You know it better as the PERFECT STORM. October 25th-31st, 1991.
Much like the storm we just had over the last five days. The TS Melissa mating with a Nor'easter. Same thing happened back in '91. That's twice in our lifetime we have witnessed this phenomenon. Any way, back in '91 I dragged Tony out at a local reef break. It was a solid 8-10' swell. Dark, windy, and quite frankly, a little scary. But we were young and full of piss and vinegar
There were waves all week from this storm. Just like this past week. It would eventually tap out on the biggest day October 30th, 1991. But the day before, we were out dodging the bigger sets. Watching in complete awe as each wave got bigger and bigger. Tony was new to this spot.
I used to be one of the main locals there. I pretty much cut my teeth on that reef. It was my home break. I loved that spot more than any other spot around.
That week of waves was one for the ages. I was a
hard ass back then. I refused to paddle out the easy way (in the channel). I used intentionally paddle out through the section where all the waves were breaking. When Tony asked why we would be paddling out that way I told him. "We are sending those who are sitting outside a message. That we are willing to take waves on our heads to prove that we mean business." For some reason Tony went along with that logic. In hindsight it was stupid. Arrogant and stupid.
Once I got Tony outside it was pretty hectic. There was only a handful of other surfers in the lineup. They all knew how to surf. This storm was not one of the faint of heart. Any way, long story short, I called Tony into a sizable peak. As he put his head down and paddled, I saw the wave jack up another two feet.
You surfers all know that there's no referee blowing his whistle to stop the play. It's all running time. There's nothing anyone can do to stop the wave from coming and doing what it's going to do.
Well, Tony was at the top of this 10' A-frame peak.
The wind was holding him in the lip as he fluttered there, precariously hanging over the lip. When he got to his feet the wind let up and he dropped straight down the elevator shaft! I remember gasping thinking to myself "You freaking idiot you just killed the GM of BCN." I thought in a flash of all the people that would be wanting my head on a platter. And just as I was thinking all of this, something miraculous happened. Tony made it to the bottom still on his feet! he cranked a bottom turn and then shot up into the face of the wave. He went by me so fast I barely had time to duck dive. But when I popped up on the other side the wind was howling and blowing the spray from that wave back out to sea.
I honestly didn't know if he was dead, dying, or actually flying along on the wave of his life. Turns out it was in fact, the latter.
Because I was out surfing I did not have a camera. So I ended up drawing a picture of him making that drop. He has it hanging in his house today. And if you look closely, in the image above directly over his shoulder you can see the drawing. That day, and indeed that week, will go down as one of the most significant days in New England Surf History.
And that day Tony became one of us. I won't ever forget it. Neither will he.
Tony and Cha chi Loprette at Tony's RETIREMENT party.
Tony's cake and some cool pics that his friends made for him.
Cha Chi, Oedipus, and another BCN alumni.
Cory and I at the party. It was a great time. Great food and big laughs.
The next day (October 10th) was our 32nd wedding anniversary. We go back to this Chapel every October 10th and take selfies of ourselves. Talk about tradition. We've never missed a anniversary here.
Tony and Shelly. So what's next for Tony now that he's retired? Well, believe it or not, Tony is thinking very seriously about taking up surf photography. How serious? Well, check out his first ever photo gallery in this Blog down in the gallery section. He did a great job considering it was first attempt. I have always said to be a good surf photographer, you have to really know surfing. You have to be able to anticipate what is going to happen in the split seconds before it does actually happen. And Tony has that gift. But you can all decide for yourselves. Just check out his gallery.
So while we were all buzzing over Hurricane Melissa and the Nor'easter one of our dear friends Markey J had a serious head injury while out surfing on Saturday October 12th. His own board hit him in the head.
That's his hair in the board.
Here he is showing me where the rail clobbered him.
How serious? Look at this pic below and then you tell me.
After I saw this pic my heart sank. This was a borderline potential fatal wound. I saw him the day after and give him a long hug. In my honest opinion, he was within a fraction of an inch of being seriously damaged. Clearly a "Purple Heart" recipient. Damn that is one nasty ass gash.
Surfing can mess you up. No question about it. We have all been there.
Now don't go reading between the lines here, but...turns out Markey's girlfriend's name is MELISSA!
Now why she gotta be so hurtful to my boy Markey? He just trying to get a little surfing in on a Saturday. I'm kidding.
Be careful out there. Please watch out for each other. Keep your eyes open and your hands in front of your face when you fall.
Get Well Soon Markey!
"Surfing Causes and Heals All Wounds."
Because we saw the most beautiful skies this weekend. I wanted to post one of Ed's sky pics. From August of 2013.
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
You all know by now that I have a problem with 45. It stems way back when he made those ugly comments about John McCain. I never looked back after he said that shit. And he's proven himself over and over again just what kind of buffoon he truly is. I don't buy into the party lines anymore. I'm looking at the individual only. Not the party. To hell with the GOP and the Democratic party. I'm a strong Independent. So whenever I heard about him pulling out all the US Troops in Northern Syria I freaked out.
He's essentially abandoning the KURDS. Our allies. Why?
They helped us fight ISIS. And now, TURKEY is making plans to invade the KURDS. My heart sank once again. The KURDS helped us defeat ISIS. (Who by the way is NOT defeated entirely). This is your typical create a diversion tactic when everyone is focused on his impeachment. Yeah we put a dent in them, but we have NOT DEFEATED ISIS (like 45 claims).
There are TOP ranked ISIS fighters now basically walking free because of this move. This will come back and bite us all in the ass. You wait and see. I'm sure all of the top military and Intelligent officers are beside themselves. How can they not be? This is why I believe, every person who sits in the White House, should serve a minimum of two years in one of the five the branches of the service. Pick one and serve. The Commander In Chief should NOT be in charge of sending young men and women into combat if he or she has never served a day in the military. I don't care who they are. They should serve.
Buffoon on the left never served a day in his life.
Woman on the right is a Veteran. I don't trust him. I trust her.
She's a veteran and a surfer. But after watching the debate? I've got mixed feelings about her. I no longer support her. If by some miracle she makes it to the Finals I might go back to her camp, but right now? She's NOT READY.
And now a break from the Bullshit. Here's DeNiro and Pacino from the new Vanity Fair Magazine. Why am I posting this? They are two of my favorite actors. Plus, they are Italian. That's it.
You have to admit, they have both aged well. We should all age so gracefully. Love these guys.
So I got a text last week from my old friend Gary Ritchie. He basically said "We think we're all rough and tough old crusty men, but when it comes to walking your daughter down the aisle to get married, you better have a box of handkerchiefs near by."
Congrats to Jess and the entire Ritchie family.
You look pretty stoic here Gary. And Jess looks beautiful.
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.
If You Love The Beatles...This show is worth seeing.
COMING FATHER'S DAY 2020.
While I was making the GRANITE GIRLS video I came up with this project and concept. It's never been done before. As hard as that seems to be. I'm onto yet another never been done before Surf Movie concept. This will be an overview of Surfer dads and their sons. It's a work in progress and I'm hoping to get as many dads and their sons as possible in this movie.
The DVD's are available at all the local surf shops. Or by
sending me an email. email@example.com or send a check for $20.00 made out to ADLANTIC and send it here:
c/o OC Studio Suites
703 Ocean Blvd Suite C-4
Hampton, NH 03842
Or RENT or BUY it Online. 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.
GRANITE GIRLS and The RIVER WOMEN from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.
NOW AVAILABLE on VIMEO ON DEMAND.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
These last two to three weeks have been busy for me. But I really wanted to at the very least mention this idiot of a human being. No not KSM he's slightly below an idiot. The woman. She's the one who climbed into the enclosure with an African Lion and harassed it. I guess the big cat had already eaten, otherwise I'm thinking this woman would have made for a nice afternoon snack. Clearly a case for the annual DARWIN Awards. Oh, I put KSM in with her just because I was wondering who the hell put her up to such an idiotic thing to do? Now we know.
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 Kit Kat Bars at
Home Depot this week.
RIP 14 years. Jerry Bunton October 17, 2019
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Evamarie Fatello October 19th, 2019! RIP.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Eva Fatello October 28th, 2019 RIP
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JoEllen Bunton October 29th, 2019!
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 13 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.