As I was searching for the right words to use in this latest Blog to express my most sincere apology to those of you, who I might have offended with last week's Blog, I stumbled onto this meme on Facebook by Jeff Bridges. And this just about sums it up for me. In other words, if you want to wear a mask, Wear one. If you don't want to wear a mask, Don't. If you want to vote for Biden, Do it. If you want to vote for 45, Do it! Because like Jeff Bridges here, I DON'T F***ING CARE what you do, or don't do when it comes to politics.
I'm not trying to convince you either way. I'm really not. I'm just a Blogger.
I write this weekly Blog sometimes knowing, that some of the topics that I cover, will end up leaving myself hung out to dry. I'll be dammed if I do, or dammed if I don't.
Look I'm just a surfer with a weekly Blog. And believe it or not, sometimes, I'm just looking for words to fill space. These two columns of words require "X" amount of space to be filled. I don't have some kind of radical agenda to focus on week after week. It is after all, just a Surf Blog.
Yes I cover other subjects, and reluctantly, I sometimes cover politics.
Against my better judgment. I should just stick to Surfing, but, that's not my MO. I typically see wrong and try to right it. Or at the very least, write about it.
But when I do that, I will ultimately end up pissing someone off, because I didn't fit their narrative. Truth is
I have readers, family members, and friends on both sides of this political coin. They all want me to be on the side of their candidate and or some political stance. And some have even suggested that I endorse and promote their choice for president. I'm not doing that.
Who F***ing Cares What I Think or Say? I'm just one voice.
You just do your part by VOTING ON NOVEMBER 3rd, 2020.
Don't worry about what I say or do. Use your own brain and Vote.
I thought this was both clever and funny. It's certainly contemporary.
Last week while I was shooting the first pulses of OMAR I was standing in the wet sand at 10th Street. It was getting late, the sun was already setting when I spotted a girl walking towards me from 8th street. It took me a few minutes but the camera around her neck, and the Surfing With Smiles hat on her head, I knew exactly who it was. "GRACE! I can't believe it's you!" And she instantly recognized me. "Ralph, of course you would be here taking photos of the surfers!" We were both so happy to see each other.
For those who don't know what Surfing With Smiles is all about.
Each summer Cinnamon Rainbows and the SWS group along with hundreds of volunteers meet three times in the summer. We all meet in June, July, and August at North Beach to take young children and adults with Autism and other disabilities surfing. It is so much fun for the participants and the volunteers. And for those of us who are there for each one of these events, to not have them this year has left a big void in our hearts.
And Grace is one of the most fun
individuals to be around each year.
"Grace you just made my summer!" I told her. "We miss you all so much!" Then it dawned on me. "Where's your mom?" "She's out surfing down there." She said as she pointed to 16th Street. And no sooner did I ask, when I saw her mom Christine walking up the beach in her wetsuit. They really do share this wonderful bond of surfing.
There they are, a mother and daughter surf family.
Grace also took a photo this pic of me, and when she showed it to me I instantly loved it. So PLEASE CLICK ON THIS PIC OF ME (Above) to see some of the photos that Grace took on this day. They are truly amazing. She's got talent and then some. Seriously, check out her work.
That little chance encounter made my night, and quite possibly the summer.
Except the very next day, I got to surf with three close friends. Tony, Johnny, and Markey in what turned out to be one of the best surf sessions of my life. The waves were waist to chest high with bigger sets every now and then. The water was super warm (I only wore a shorty) and there was not a cloud in the sky. Perfect waves and great friends made for one of the most enjoyable days we've all ever had. Laughing? Oh my God did we laugh.
It was three solid hours of surfing and laughing.
At one point I said to them "It's like we're on a surf trip." Perfect lefts and perfect rights. And we all got our share of memorable waves. Johnny is a speed demon when it comes to catching waves. And at one point he took off on a right, that seemed to jump up in size and I was sitting there with Markey saying "Look at him carving that wave." And he was. Just carving up and down the face of this long right. It was beautiful to watch.
When he paddled back out he said that was the best wave he had all day.
There's no way of telling how many waves he caught that day.
Suffice it to say it was dozens on top of dozens. At one point as I was paddling out I saw Tony get a beautiful wave and come flying off the bottom and into the face on one of the bigger lefts of the day. God I wished I'd brought my water camera out there. It was one for the ages. I mean it was that good. Markey was catching waves that he had no business catching. I watched him wave after wave get into some that had me scratching my head. "How that hell did he catch that?" There were so many "splitting of the peak" with Johnny taking the rights and Markey taking the lefts. Tony and I sitting outside would watch them split the peak over and over again. It was so cool to see them sharing waves like that.
And while there was not a single photo, or video clip, I'll never forget it.
In fact, at one point I caught three waves in a row with the last one being a one paddle take off.
As I paddled back out, I started with a new line that I would drive into the ground. "I Don't Mean To Be A Braggart, But..." Ha ha. I must of said that a dozen or more times. And each time we'd all laugh. But you know what? I did manage to scratch into a couple of beauties out there. One right in particular that Johnny called "The wave of the day." Johnny had just caught one and was paddling back out when this beautiful peak and bowl swung my way and I took off behind the peak and pulled into the pocket. Now, it's important to know that I have not been close to anything like this wave in years. And for me to put myself into this perfect position was so incredibly satisfying for me and my fragile ego, that I was almost giddy by the time I reached Johnny on the inside. He had the perfect view of that wave.
Truth is I had just as many lefts where I was sitting in the pocket taking it all in.
Later, we all texted each other and agreed, it was one of those special magical moments in our surfing lives where all the elements came together.
I'm fortunate to be able to catch and ride waves on a surfboard at my age.
Knock on wood, that I haven't been hit with deteriorating hips or knees like a lot of my friends my age. I can still surf on a longboard (my shortboard days
are gone forever) and have fun. My surfing is much like my music. I started off playing Beatles songs and the Blues, and ended up doing the same.
My surfing started off with me riding longboards in the early 60's to going
back to them 56 years later. And I am as stoked today as I was that summer day back in 1964. It was such an incredible natural high.
I've gone full circle with both my music and my surfing.
Welcome GULLRISING to RALPH'S PIC! Brainchild of local surfer Erica Nardone and her genuine love for Gulls (I love them too) and all that is Gull related. Click on the ad below to visit her facebook page. She's got a lot of cool Gull pics, drawings, stickers etc.
"SURFING, MUSIC, and GULLS HEALS ALL WOUNDS!"
This week's Ed's corner is from TS Danny on August 31st, 2009. The surfer is Tony Berardini. The same guy I just wrote about sharing those special waves on 9-4-20. This pic was taken before the bad hips, and other injuries.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local and National News
The latest hype in the media has everyone up in arms. I have stopped watching all the news because it has literally become insane to try and decipher what is true and what is not true.
Again, I was going to dig into the whole BLM and Blue Lives Matter issue, when I came across another Facebook meme that said it all for me. I remember our drill instructors beating the color out of lives and making us all one. Brothers and warriors.
This said it all for me. And it's so true. I'm sick of all the bullshit out there. This is what I know to be true. SEMPER FI.
I worked on this CD (designed the front and back cover), and I recorded one of Asa's songs. Click on this image (below) to read some of the reviews and find out how and where to buy one. There's some great recordings on this record by some of Boston's best musicians.
There will be a live performance of all the artists who played on this record at some point (once the Bloody Covid leaves), and it will be a worthwhile gathering of friends and artists of the super talented Asa Brebner. Stay tuned for more info.
The family of Hayden Moulton has started this trust fund page to help his young daughter Renee in the future, and more importantly, to keep the memory of their son Hayden alive. I've only met Hayden a few times in his life, but I've known Scotty for years. So I want to help him out in any way that I can. If you can help donate to little Renee it would be greatly appreciated by the Mouton family, and the local surf community.
Local NH resident Gary Ritter made the paddle on September 4th, 2020. He paddled 14.2 miles in 3:31 hours total paddle time. 1:34 on the way out. Brutal headwind chop on the way back. (the wind was offshore) Gary said he was "Feeling good and pretty psyched. Raised over $3k for charity water. Considering that and the paddle itself, one of the best experiences. Thanks again for posting the link on your blog Ralph."
This was quite the undertaking. And for a good cause.
Congrats to you Gary Ritter! Well done.
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.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
The Kentucky Fried Derby was held on Saturday September 5th, 2020 with NO fans due to COVID. It was yet another pathetic attempt to make things seem somewhat normal. But if you look closely at the Jockeys seated in this pic, there's nothing normal about this. Damn Khaliddy, your head is too big!
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 KENTUCKY FRIED JOCKEYS
at Home Depot this week.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Johnny Fatello August 25th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jaiden Ciarmataro September 4th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hokulani Nichols September 7th, 2020!
September 11th, 2001!
PRAY for Sun and Warmth on September 12th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY "Mackey" Fatello September 14th, 2020!
PLEASE Keep Mrs Berardini (Tony's 99 yr old mom) in your thoughts and prayers.
We'd all love to see her make it to her 100th Birthday in December. She's a fighter, but she could use some help. Your prayers can help. Thank you.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
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.