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October 17th, 2009 34 out of 35 weeks of surfable waves.

There was a time in my life when I would drop everything at the slightest hint of a Nor'easter blowing up the coast. I know I am not alone in that statement. Hell every surfer from the Dirty Jersey Shore to the Pristine Pine Coned coastline of Nova Scotia can relate to that. It's true. Just the name alone speaks volumes of where, and what these beasts are all about. They are our own versions of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. I say our version, because no one south of Jersey get's em. 90% of 'em form off the Jersey shore and grind their way north to our doorstep. From there, they continue their journey. Bearing gifts of hellish winds and high surf well up into the Canadian Maritimes.

Great for us. Bad for boaters and everyone else.

But just the mere mention of an "Easter" and I was in a tizzy. The anticipation of these ferocious storms would get my blood pumping. I was usually in a frenzy in preparing for them. We never had wave cams, or wave modules like you guys have today. We didn't even have cable, or a weather channel. It was a Marine Forecast short wave radio, and the local weather. It was hard. But it was also filled with intense anticipation of things to come.

And for me, the only place to surf was a reef on the North Shore. I had surfed it in the 60's before I went off to war. The whole time I was in Nam I thought about this spot. It was one of the things that I hung onto to get my ass back in one piece. I wanted to surf that reef again in a roaring Nor'easter. I knew there were surfers back home, who had not gone into the Military, who were undoubtedly holding court at my favorite spot. And that was another motivating factor. The thought of one particular individual, getting all those waves, while I was humping through the boonies, was another reason why I believe I survived.

But in spite of what many people think. Me and that Gas Bag were actually friends at one time. It was after the war and into the mid 70's. We surfed that reef together and tried our best to protect it from the outside world. It wasn't until I heard him tell some of the young surfers one day out in the line-up, that he was a Navy Seal in Nam. From that day forward, I knew what he really was. A piece of shit. Some day I'm going to be with one of my REAL Navy Seal friends, and we are going to bump into this piece of dog manure. That's when I will bring that up. Hopefully, I will have my camera with me.

That would make one hell of a YOUTUBE viddy.

But getting back to Nor'easters. I remember days of surfing alone in the early 70's at that semi secret spot, with the wind gusting to 30-40 and upwards of 50 knots! And I loved it. Staring down those steep, deep wave faces, with that pelting wind and icy rain in my face, was a right of passage. I couldn't get enough of that spot. It was at the time, my home break of sorts. It became known as Shazamland, and I had become one of the enforcers of the spot. I know I was bad. I'm sure I made a lot of surfers uncomfortable back in those days. I was in short, an asshole. But only to those who showed no respect to the locals, and the break itself. And to those who surfed with too much aggression.

I had become as intense as the storm itself.

I was committed to protecting this spot at all costs. And I'm sure I was a bad influence on some of the younger surfers who came around in the 80's. The Beauchesne brothers. Jamie and Mark. Those young surfers would watch and listen to me and think that this is what needed to be done to protect this break. In some ways it was, in other ways, it was clearly not the way to go about policing the lineup. I will say that for a time, it kept the riff raff out. But like all Surf Spots, the word leaks out and the next thing you know...well, you know.

It ain't a secret anymore.

Besides, what's the line I came up with a few years ago? "If you can drive by ain't a secret." It's just that to this day, I can't help but think of that particular break every time the wind blows out of the Northeast. I am fortunate, to have surfed it for as along as I did, without the crowds. For that, I am forever thankful.

I was so into Nor'easters back in the 70's and 80's, that I named my band The Nor'easters. To this day, I still think it's one of the best names for a band in these northern New England States. We were a Blues Rock band. And the name said it all. In fact, we never officially broke up. And I know, that those guys in my band are talented enough that should we ever get called upon to play a gig for some decent money, the Easters would be able to pull it off with little or no rehearsing. I mean it's Blues and Rock and Roll.

Our slogan was..."Look who just blew into town...The Nor'easters".

I used one of the old Nor'easters songs in the video clip of the week. 95 on 95. I was cracking up listening to the lyrics. And talk about small worlds. John Carden (yes the Photographer) used to run a recording studio. BIG CHEESE. He was the one who recorded us back in the day. No overdubs. It was all live in the studio.

Live and raw. Just like a damn Nor'easter.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

Have you seen the new SURFER? I know earlier in my column, I was touching upon some of the early days of protecting certain surf spots, and I may have let on that, there was more than just yelling at people out there. There were some serious confrontations. So what's my point? Well in the NEW SURFER there's an article on how to defend yourself against a sucker punch from an irate local. Is this what out sport has become? Where we need lessons on how to defend ourselves against crazy surfers? Whoa. What's next? How to disarm an assailant with a hand gun or knife? Or how to conceal a weapon if some surfer pulls a weapon on you? You guys all thought I was joking a few weeks ago, when I mentioned Surf Security in the Future, carrying water proof taser guns. Well, according to SURFER we are not that far from these dangerous times.

I'm sorry, but if Surfing becomes that urban and that violent in the future, we are all in trouble.

We all know that there are certain places where Americans are not welcome anymore. And it has become increasingly violent in other once safe surf havens. We are targets. We are potential victims abroad and at times at home. Again, I was not kidding about the future with Surf Security. I can see it coming. Not right away. But in the next 10 to twenty years? Who the hell knows where we will all be. Hell, we might be kneeling in the streets praying to Allah if the Radical Islamic Extremists have their say.

But for the time being...I'm carrying my water proof tazer.

So what did you all think about Balloon Boy last week? Was that one crazy ass news story or what? Turns out it may be a well planned hoax. I guess the dad and his family have been jacked up on "Reality TV" and this might have been a well hatched plan to get some attention. Well I guess it got some attention.
A couple of million dollars worth of attention.
You know, my buddy Jack called and said to put the TV on "There's a kid trapped in a weather Balloon and he's 6,000 feet up in the air." So I did.

The second I saw the balloon, I was a bit apprehensive to think that there was a kid in that helium balloon. Turns out, he was not. He was hiding in the attic, in a box. Apparently waiting the word from dad to come down when the police found him. Not good. Not good at all. Look the kid should not be faulted here, if this was the scheme of a publicity seeking parent. But the dad? He should be prosecuted. The kid's name? Falcon. Go figure.

The RED SOX season is over.
The SOX blew Game 3 against the ANGELS at FENWAY last Sunday. They were ahead by 4 runs late in the game and closer Jon Papelbon could not save them. It was shocking to say the least. Now the Yankees are marching to LA to finish off these same Angels. Life can sure be a kick in the teeth.

The Patriots lost to DENVER last week after being ahead 17-7 at the half. What the...??? The Pats looked great in the first half but could not score in the second half. Tom Brady missed Randy Moss for a SURE go ahead and don't look back TD and then missed Wes Welka for another go ahead score. It was such a frustrating game to watch. And I alone when it comes to this BS coin tossing to determine an Over Time Outcome? Why not let them play out for 10 minutes each. I mean it's absurd to lose a game over a freaking coin toss!

Today Belichick and company play the winless Titans at home in the rain. Should we win? Yes, but I'm not going any further. Just beat them before the game is over.
Remember: If you're losing - Don't Give Up. If You're winning -Don't let up!

This just In. President Barack Obama wins Heisman Trophy after watching College Football on TV. Boy, he really is awesome.

Happy Birthday Evamarie Urban October 19th!
GO SEE Big Handsome Daddy this Thursday Oct 22-09 at RUDI's In Portsmouth!

Ex- New England Patriots Tight End and One time local Surfer Russ Francais accused of embezzling $29,000 from Indoor Football team in Omaha.
Rest In Peace Charles Capon father of local Surfer Trevor Capon.


*Check out the updated DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section.
*Molly Video by Joe Carter has been moved to the Community Page.

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- My Buddy Phil in an old Nor'easter, 1985.
(Below) I'm sure Phil remembers this day. I was out alone for an hour when he paddled out to join me. Then it was just he out there for a long time. Those days are long gone. No way we'll ever get this place alone at this size again. Besides why would you want to surf it alone? Think of all the wasted waves.
Video Frame Grab from Old Super 8mm By RALPH SFOD

Today- 2009 Saturday, October 17th, 2009
*Click on Photos Below To See Photo Galleries

(Above) Lenny Nichols Saturday, October 17th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) The SURF MOTEL in NEW Jersey??? Ha New Hampshire!
Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Markey J into the Frothy Froth. . Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Better late than never. Unknown takes the drop for glory.
Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Black and White Peak Saturday, October 17th, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.


FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. Saturday October 17, 2009 by RALPH
*muisc by The Nor'easters *SEE BHD at Rudis in Portsmouth 10-22-09



The First Nor'easter of the 2009 Season from RALPH on Vimeo.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The Week. 10-17-09

(Above) This week's Blatant Drop-In dealing with the obvious. Check out the Perp looking straight at the victim. It's all there. The whole damn crime. Just click on the damn image and see for yourselves. Click on the image above to see the complete DROP IN Sequence. Photos By RALPH

Today- 2009 More Images from October. 2009
(Above)The Bull Moose. The most dangerous animal in the North Woods. Monday October 12, 2009 Click on the image above to see More. Photos By RALPH

(Above) The Big Tall Cowboy. The Topsfield Fair is an annual trip for us. Check it out. October -2009 Click on the image above to see More. Photos By RALPH

(Above) Now now be nice...Mackey V stare down.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Nice Puppy...a pup with no name, but he's got a home with Johnny Carden.
Photo by John Carden

Today- 2009 The Ben Ginsberg California Series

(Above) This is one cool view. Ben's got some great shots of Palos Verdes. Hey it's not all 54th Street with Ben. You need to check it out. Click on the image above to see the whole Gallery. Photos By Ben Ginsberg


(Above) MORE Nor'easter shots and video...this baby is just getting warmed up!
Photo by RALPH

Invisible Surfer once again spotted and captured on film.

(Above) I almost freaked when I saw these sunglasses looking back at me. Turns out it was that damn Invisible Surfer again. It's getting creepy with Halloween coming and all. *To see what you might of seen, put the cursor over the photo.


Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- Got Duck Dive?

(Above) I shot this on Saturday morning. Looks like a cement ledge. It's head high. Oh yea. Try paddling thru this.


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