On Wednesday October 10th, 2018 my wife Cory and I celebrated our 31st Wedding Anniversary. Now anyone who knows me personally, knows that I am a stickler for dates and numbers, and basic traditions. And one of those traditions is, we always go to the Chapel where we were married. To take a selfie. The Chapel sits on the seacoast, embedded among the many beautiful homes along the NH seashore. It's the UNION CHAPEL and it was established in 1877. That's 12 years after the Civil War. There's a pretty good chance that some of the parishioners who prayed there, were undoubtedly Civil War Veterans, And I would imagine they would be some serious church like individuals. As were most folks back during that time period.
We loved the name of the Chapel, and quickly both agreed that it would make a nice setting as our church. From the back of the chapel you can easily see the ocean, and one of the most premier point/reef breaks in all of NH. I'm not gonna lie. My biggest fear is that there would be some serious discomfort for all, had there been surf that day. But the God(s) were shining down on us that day. There was a small bump out there, but clearly not enough to become a full throttled surf day. Whew! I remember thinking how much I dodged a bullet that day. That was a welcome relief. I didn't need the added pressure.
But back to my Chapel story. As I said, we would go to the chapel each year on our anniversary and I would take a selfie of us, or...I would ask some stranger passerby to take a photo of Cory and I. Well, we pulled up around 5:50-ish
and saw a couple walking south towards us. I had Cory wait on the lawn while I stepped out onto the sidewalk (that my entire vehicle had swallowed up).
The couple (seen below) were very happy to accommodate our wishes when I said "Hello, would you be so kind as to take a photo of my wife and I. We were married on this date, in this chapel exactly 31 years ago today." The man smiled and said "Sure, we were married 48 years ago on this date!" And I was like "Wait what???" Cory heard me and she stepped up onto the sidewalk and basically said the same thing. "Oh my god. What are the chances of that?"
And really, what are the chances? We were all married on the same day.
Now wait, it gets even stranger. Of course me being the social butterfly that I am, we opened up a friendly dialogue and found out more similarities in our lives. They have three kids, two girls and a boy. We have three kids. Two girls and a boy. They drive a JEEP, and we drive a JEEP. They live in Hampton Falls and we live in Hampton. They are Ed and Bev Batchelder. A very popular name here in Hampton and on the seacoast. Yet we have never met each other until that moment. I told them, I would be Blogging about this. So I hope they are reading this. Happy 48th Anniversary! And as I said that night, "You guys have 50 in the bag!" And they do. God Bless them both.
Suffice it to say, that was one anniversary we won't ever forget.
And so the weather last week was crazy. I mean it was HOT like summer crazy. With warm water and great waves. We typically get good surf in October, but to get good surf and summer like conditions? Well, that's rare.
But we did. The water was warm, everyone was wearing minimal rubber. And when that happens people tend to surf looser and more radical. And why not? When you fall into the water and it's warm, it feels a hell of a lot nicer than say December through March.
You can tell by these pics that it looked good. Can't you? Look at how hollow that wave is. It's not big, but it was plenty fun enough for those who were lucky enough to get out.
Hell even I got out last week. Here I am with my good friend Johnny Meehan on my actual Wedding Anniversary earlier in the day. We shared some fun waves with Hannah Vokey and Erica Nardone. I remember cursing myself after the session because Mr Photographer left his camera at home. But lo and behold when i looked up I saw Erica coming down off the berms and she snapped off a few for posterity. Thanks Erica! That was fun!
The very next day, I was off to the mountains with my dog Patch and good friend Rich Appel in our annual pursuit of "Bonasa Umbellus." Google it.
There is a heaven on earth. And it is in many places all over the Globe.
This place is one of them.
I will refrain from saying where this is.
This particular blow down caught my eye. And I remember saying to Rich, "Look at this. It looks like some kind of art sculpture." nature has a way of creating her own art on her own terms.
This is looking like a night to remember. Mark it down on your calendars.
Friday October 26th, 2018. NEVER TOWN.
" Surfing, and October Heals All Wounds."
This week's ED's Corner is pic from January 9th, 2013. It was a massive storm with howling winds. I was shooting the other side of Boar's Head when Max called to say he was paddling out at the left. There was nobody out anywhere. The roads were basically closed, and I could not get there. I called Ed to see if he had access to the break. I remember him saying "If Max is going out, I'll find a way to get down there." Ed only shot three photos. And I think max only caught a couple of waves. The conditions were extreme to say the least. But Ed made his way to the beach, and got the shots. I'll never forget that Ed. And I'll never forget 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
The Hurricane that came out of nowhere and developed into a quick moving devastating storm that will go down in the history books as one of the worst ever in our nation, caught a lot of people off guard. HURRICANE MICHAEL will be a longtime in the recovery process. The pics and videos that we have all seen will attest to that.
You know, I'll admit, that when they make these Mandatory Evacuations announcements I take them with a grain of salt. I'm not saying that they have no merit, I'm just saying that there have been times when they've ordered everyone to leave their homes and businesses
only to find out that it wasn't as bad as they thought.
This storm was not one of them. This was a bad ass hurricane.
The death toll at last count was remarkably low. Something like 14 people lost their lives. But I'm sure they will be finding more bodies as the recovery mission drags on.
The majority of the people in Michael's path took heed to the warnings and got out of Dodge. Now they are all waiting the "ALL CLEAR" sign to go back in and pick up the pieces of their lives.
Mexico Beach took it hard on the chin. These photos remind me of the Tsunami pics we've all seen in the past. That and Tornado damage, and I might add a little bit of Hiroshima too.
This pic below speaks volumes of the work that is facing these poor residents who lost everything. Terrible.
So if you're like me you're obviously wondering what you would do if you were faced with a similar catastrophic situation like this. What would you do? Where would you start? It's just heart breaking to watch.
This pic? This poor woman is looking out at unfamiliar territory.
And the emotional toll it will take on so many people's lives is truly beyond comprehension. Heart wrenching sadness. I hope that 45 will seize the opportunity to make good on his words. Don't let the disaster of MICHAEL become another MARIA. PLEASE HELP THEM 45. HELP Your people.