OK, can we talk about this Social Distancing thing? Please? First and foremost I am all for it. It makes sense. Social Distancing is one sure way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Besides wide spread testing. So why am I posting this pic of gulls? Well, these gulls are well within their range of Social Distancing. Using the human scale of six feet, this works for them. But this is not about gulls. It's about humans. Or rather, Surfers.
For the record. SURFERS HATE CROWDS. We Hate Them.
And Surfers have been practicing Social Distancing LONG BEFORE we were ordered
to. As long as I can remember (and I'm talking since 1964) we have hated and avoided crowds. And surfing in general, is not a interactive sport. In other words, we are not passing the ball to anyone. We are not touching anyone. That's called Team sports. Surfing is NOT a team sport. Never has been, and never will be. (In the traditional sense).
Team sports are practiced between opposing teams, where the players generally interact directly and simultaneously between them to achieve an objective. The objective often involves teammates facilitating the movement of a ball or similar object in accordance with a set of rules, in order to score points. SURFING IS NOT ONE OF THESE SPORTS.
So where am I going with this you ask? I'll tell you.
As you all know, I am a surf photographer/videographer. I take photos and videos of surfing. That's what I do. That's what I did before this COVID-19,
and it's what I do today (during this COVID-19), and it's what I'll do when COVID-19 is over. The only thing that has changed for me is the Parking Ban and the Beach Closings in NH. On behalf of all the Surfers in NH we have all agreed not to surf in Hampton out of respect to the local law enforcement. In other words the "Mecca" of NH surfing being North Beach (The Wall) is OFF LIMITS. We all agree on that. We don't agree that closing the beaches to the Locals is a good idea. We all disagree on that. But, we are all staying clear of North Beach out of our respect to HPD.
This is not the case in other towns and states. There are parking bans in North Hampton
and Rye, as well as beach closings. But surfing is allowed if you walk to the beach, ride your bike to the beach, skateboard to the beach, or get dropped off at the beach. But wait, didn't I just say the beaches are Closed? Yes I did. But I'm not talking about the beaches, I'm talking about the rocky coastline and reefs. Places where people don't gather. There are no beaches where there is surfing. And in Massachusetts, the beaches are OPEN. But the parking is off limits. So you could, if you wanted to, drive to Mass and find a place to park within reason and walk onto the beach (legally) and go surfing.
Now that doesn't sound so bad you're thinking, so what's my beef then?
Well, I always post photos and videos of surfing on social media. Usually as a tease to let my readers of the Blog know what's coming from week to week. This week I shot a video of some of the local surfers surfing in the places that I just mentioned. In other words, well within the legal bounds. And every single surfer that I shot, saw, and spoke with, all PRACTICED Social Distancing. In fact, they were well OVER 6' apart most of the time.
But a few surfers (who shall not be named) complained on social media about my photos and video, and basically started a shit storm that
is still ongoing. They claimed that seeing my photos is not helping the cause. They said that by me posting photos and videos, that I am in someway, contributing to helping the spread of COVID-19. Some of these individuals I'm pretty sure have ridden their bikes along the seacoast, taken walks along the seacoast, and I'm sure have gone in and out of supermarkets since the Lockdown.
And all that I just mentioned, are well within the reach of COVID-19.
You mean to say, that you couldn't catch the virus if you were riding your bike along the seacoast, and were downwind from another person on a bike (who was unknowingly contagious) who just so happened to sneeze, and you get a facefull of COVID? Or if you were walking down the sidewalk and somebody upwind of you who was infected sneezed, and again, you get a facefull of COVID? That's OK? But being out in the water where you can keep your distance and be covered in a wetsuit, and be able to wash your face continuously just to be safe, is more likley to get COVID?
That is TOTAL F***ING BULLSHIT.
And here's the killer part. And I don't mean to offend them, but, the places where I've shot video and photos, are places that some of them wouldn't have paddled out in prior to COVID-19. Let alone during the lockdown. They just wouldn't surf those places. And there's no shame in that. There are plenty of places that back in my day I would pass on. But acting like it's not fair for them to see these photos and videos, if they can't surf there too? Well, chances are you wouldn't surf there even if there wasn't COVID-19. And that's the truth.
What I'm saying is, as long as the surfers practice social distancing, and play by the rules, the others should just live their own lives without trying to live ours. In other words, kindly mind your own business.
Or go surfing somewhere where it's totally legal. And while I'm at it, if someone could show me just ONE CASE, where a Surfer (while out surfing) has spread this virus. Show me definitive proof where a surfer has spread the virus while out surfing. Just one case. From Hawaii to Hampton. Show me one case. This is NOT New York City. As of today there are only 32 deaths in NH. And in every single case, the deaths were all over the age of 65 and, they had pre-existing medical conditions. Prove to me without a shadow of doubt, that a surfer has spread the virus while out surfing and I'll at least acknowledge it.
And can I also say that in the BIG picture, none of this really matters. The whole matter of to SURF or NOT TO SURF? That's the least of the world's problems. We NEED WIDE SPREAD TESTING. And a Vaccine.
Let's all Pray To God that this Virus dies a quick death, and pray for those families who lost loved ones during this ordeal. And we should all recognize and say THANK YOU to all the Healthcare Workers who are on the Front Lines of this Battle by helping to KILL THE VIRUS.
THANK YOU ALL and May God Bless each and every one of you.
So until then, PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. DO THE RIGHT THING.
And speaking of Social Distancing. This is a Facebook Post of mine.
I want to share something with you. Some of you know me very well. Others, not so much. There are many things about me that you just don't know. And that's fine. We all have our personal lives, families, and friends. Let's face it, Facebook is just a place to enjoy certain posts, photos, comments, and funny memes. It's a way to stay in touch with old friends and acquaintances and make new friends. And for the most part, I enjoy coming here. It's always fun and highly entertaining.
I also belong to several Private Facebook groups. One of them being, Viet Nam Vets. It's a place for Vietnam Veterans only. I think I may have posted once or twice since joining that page. I may have commented here and there, but usually I visit to just see what the other vets are up to. We come from all walks of life. Just like the 60's. And it's been a good place for some of us to go and just say hello, or to seek out a friend or two. So when this latest "Social Distancing" order came to light, it brought me back (temporarily) to a darker time in my life. 50 years ago.
So, I went ahead and posted this a couple of days ago.
I was reminded of that very real darkness in my life, when I came home from the war. As some of you already know, it wasn't like it is today, when warriors leave the battlefield and return to America. "Thank you for your service?" Never once heard those words back then. ( I have been thanked many times since the late 80's). But back then? It was awful. We came home from a terrible place, and we were all just looking forward to being back home with family and friends. Some of us were told not to wear our uniforms at the airports. (That's true). Some were even spit on. (Also true).
We all tried to quietly slip back into society, and get on with our lives. And forget all about Vietnam. We tried.
Unfortunately, some didn't make it.
The negative vibes that we all experienced were too much of a toll for some of them. They turned to drugs and alcohol, as the darkest of dark depressions set in. They committed suicide by the thousands. I know this, I lived through it. I was never spit on. But I was told NOT to wear my uniform. And I was clearly aware of the negative vibes that followed us everywhere. And I mean everywhere.
It was in a word...awful. Just a suffocating depression.
I hung out with five other Vietnam vets while I was attending college in Boston. We were basically outcasts throughout the school and dorms, as well as workplaces, and even some Veterans Posts. The VFW and the American Legion. Not all of them. But some. So what's my point? Well, most of you know that I take surf photos and videos. I may get 100 likes here and there. But nothing like I got from my fellow Vietnam brothers and sisters who saw this post. Apparently it struck a nerve with all of them. As of today, I have 1,300 likes and well over 270 comments.
So you see, I've already lived through Social Distancing.
Only ours lasted for years and years. But, we made it through it all. Today, we are stronger because of it. And we did some good as well. For you see it was the Vietnam Veteran who FIRST welcomed home the veterans from the First Gulf War. (it's true). It was the Vietnam Veteran who welcomed home the Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. We started that whole movement of welcoming home veterans.
Because, we would not stand by and let another group of veterans have to experience the "Social Distancing" that we had to endure. So, there is hope up ahead. There is light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel. You can do this. Trust me, you can do this. Just like we did.
Thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy post. I just wanted to share that with you all. Peace and Love.
Say hello to our newest sponsor
My dear friend Mike Rosa's son
Chase Rosa, has joined the Ralph's Pic Of The Week Sponsors with his new Podcast DRIVING FORCE. You'll need to check out his Podcasts because they're not only interesting and cool, but he also did one on yours truly. I'm episode 9. I have to admit, I ended up telling him some things that I never told anyone before.
It was a pretty cool experience.
Chase made me feel very comfortable, otherwise I never would have said the things I said to him. Search for Driving Force Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Click on the image above to check out all the DRIVING FORCE Podcasts.
Again, I am on episode 9. Check it out. Click on the image above to hear my podcast with host Chase Rosa. I think you'll find this, and all of the other Podcasts he's done a great way to spend time, especially now with this whole Lockdown mode we're all in. I love the whole Rosa family.
Last week I mentioned our old friend, "CRACKIE" who has been gone for 8 years. It seemed like yesterday that he was here spewing forth all kinds of venom and wisdom. Turns out he's been in a coma. A medically induced coma.
Anyway, one of the Doctors currently working on the COVID-19 virus came up with a pill that they believe could wake "CRACKIE" up from his 8 year medically induced coma. According to the medical team working on "CRACKIE," they gave him the pill on Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2020.
I asked for a group prayer because I truly believe, that this is just what the world needs right now. The Good news is the Lord heard our prayer. CRACKIE HAS RISEN From His Coma.
This GREAT NEWS! The Video
of Crackie's Easter Awakening is down in the video section! He has risen!
"Social Distancing, Common Sense, and Surfing Heals All Wounds."
This is the place where all the controversy happened this week. Or rather it's one of the places. A deadly low tide break that is not for the faint of heart. A Black Diamond Spot if there ever was one.
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
What is with these guys? Look I'm a responsible gun owner. I've always had guns. Shotguns for bird hunting mostly, and a muzzleloader for deer. I don't understand why these guys need to walk around in public looking like they are some special OPs members about to go on some covert mission. What's the reason behind this? I'm willing to bet that these guys never served a day in the Military or Law Enforcement. Frightening shit right here.
PLEASE HELP THESE GO FUND ME Posts (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 ASA BREBNER GoFundMe page is also asking for Donations. If you donate $25 or more you get a CD of the artists who are recorded some of Asa's songs. Yeah, I'm one of them. If you can afford it, please donate to this fund raiser. Thank You.
Click on the image above to make a Donation. Thank you.
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.
COMING FATHER'S DAY 2020.
(Unless we're all wiped out by COVID-19)
(Same thing...it's all pending on COVID-19)
Look "FOR LOVE AND WAVES" sometime in the near future.
All hinging on the COVID-19 and when it all ends. It will be an all original soundtrack. And this all original concept of couples who surf will be fun. Married couples. Single couples. Gay couples.
Lovers who surf together. From SURF FREE OR DIE and RALPH'S PIC OF THE WEEK.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE TRAILER.
The TRAILER was posted on Valentines Day
February 14th, 2020. Get the significance?
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
Here he goes again. Now he's pissing off the TRUMP supporters. He's working part time at the local City Hall and as you can all plainly see, Khaliddy won't acknowledge the Community at the front doors. How is he gonna help "Make America Great Again"
if he won't open the doors to the city? This is not gonna end well. I'm afraid who ever hired KSM to do this job is gonna find themselves in some big trouble. Oh boy.
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 MAGA hats at Home Depot this week.
HAPPY EASTER 2020!
HAPPY PASSOVER 2020!
REAST IN PEACE to one of my childhood inspirations.
Mort Drucker age 91, Caricature Artist for MAD Magazine.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Christopher Nichols April 12th, 2020!
RIP Tom Dempsey 73, Place Kicker for the Saints COVID-19.
RIP Local longtime Surfer Russ Dockham.
HEAL QUICKLY Jacko Keefe and Johnny Meehan!
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
Congrats to Marky J on this fantastic catch! That's a Big Fish!
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.