Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Endless Summer

Came across some photos from my surfing past. Many a weekend of the mid to late 1980's would find me at the beach towns of Morro Bay and Cayucos. My whole goal in life was to live at the coast. I accomplished that goal and lived in Morro Bay for a year and a half at the end of the 80's. But before moving there, I would often take day trips to surf. Often George, Yez and I, along with our girlfriends, would leave early in the morning and not get back to Fresno until late at night. George, Yez and I would be in the 50 degree water the whole day. Now, Yez would never be confused with a Beach Boy, but like the rest of us, he had fun trying to catch that perfect wave. I remember him trying to get out to where he could catch a set of waves and having to jump over smaller waves to get there. He had this habit of jumping with his mouth open. He would burp salt water all the way home!

One of the best trips we took was a overnighter. We "borrowed" the van from where George and I worked (they provided the gas too!) loaded about six or eight guys in it (did I mention that it only had 2 seats?) and set out for the coast. A couple of food fights later, we arrived at the Morro Bay Motel 6 for the night. George and I went in to get a room and were asked if we wanted one bed or two. George looked at me and we both said at the same time "TWO!" We then snuck the rest of the guys into the room and they crashed on the floor.

George often went with me on these surfing trips. George was a cool guy. We had our moments growing up, like the time he threw dog poop at my Camaro, but I really looked up to him even tho he's younger than me. I always wanted to be more like him than I think he ever knew. Our friendship really became strong those days at the beach. George was the guy that I would search out when I wanted, or needed, to talk about girl stuff. He and I would swap stories and experiences and even tho we dated different types of girls, we had many of the same experiences. Somewhere along the line, we kind of lost touch. We would see each other every now and then or I would hear from someone else this or that about him. Some of our friends decided they were mad at him for this or for that but I can truthfully say that altho I have been a little disappointed in him (key word is LITTLE) I have not been mad at him since the dog poop incident about 20 odd years ago. When I think of George, I'm reminded of the fun we had surfing, camping, going to the snow, bowling, just hanging out.

When I think of George, I think of my surfing buddy.

When I think of George, I think of my friend.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Rain, wind, rain and more rain. Yesterday, Fresno, and all of California was hit by a fierce storm. This storm dropped lots of rain and even more snow in the mountains. Very good news for the thirsty valley! I saw on the weather that this storm was equal to a category 3 hurricane when it was still off the central coast! On Friday the wind picked up and the rain fell in huge drops and brought back a feeling that I get every now and again. MUD FOOTBALL!!!! A few years (maybe more than a few) back a day like this would have stirred the phone lines in the old neighborhood into a frenzy! The gang would gather at Sierra Jr High and sides would be taken! The rain would bring out the pro bowl player in us! As if you were wearing a pair of Keds sneakers, the wind and rain would make us run faster, jump higher, and have no fear in diving for that pass! If you were to get tackled, you could expect to be piled on, but everybody loved it. We would play for hours, never really keeping score. I remember going home smelling like a five day old fish, and my mom stopping me at the door. She'd make me go into the garage and disrobe there, leaving my stinking clothes at the washer and head to the shower! How good that hot shower would feel! Once in a while, an outsider would join the game. Often this person would be "the target"! My sister used to date a bill rider, I believe his name was Mark. As many bull riders are, Mark wasn't the biggest guy in the world. Mark was used to taking his lumps and thought that playing a game of football with a bunch of "kids" was nothing. He didn't even last an hour. He limped the 2 blocks back to my house, my mom making him go to the garage, took a shower and when I got home hours later, he was still sleeping on the couch! wimp!
Now a days, the warm rain and windy day will still bring a smile and a wild hair! I'll call Yez and he'll answer the phone saying "I'M READY!" Then reality hits and we just laugh, knowing the best we could do now is hope to not break a hip as we walk carefully down the wet step! But ya know, I never thought I'd toss a baseball with Mike again either! Who knows, maybe there is one last bomb in this old arm, one last diving catch, one last shoe string tackle, one last time smelling like Mr. Limpet! "Ok, fake to Yez, Mike go long! on three! ready? BREAK!! "