1950 with my mom at Santa Monica Beach
The Beach Boys sang in 1963, “If everybody had and ocean, across the USA, then everybody’d be surfin’, like CALIFOR-NI-A”. The Beach Boys grew up in Hawthorne, 5 short miles from Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, and discovered at a young age the alluring nature of ocean waves. This was the epicenter of surfing on boards built by some of the heroes of surfing lore; Dale Velzey, Hap Jacobs, Greg Noll, and Dewey Weber. Not everybody surfed, but when I rode my first wave on the south side of the Santa Monica Pier in May of 1962, the surfing craze of the early 60’s was hitting most every coastal area of California.
Providence had guaranteed that I would spend the next 50 years of my life enjoying the incredible bounty of waves on this planet. My mom moved with her older brother Lornie from Minnesota to California in 1936, when she was 18 years old. Growing up in the Land of Lakes she was an avid swimmer and life guard on the Sauk River in Melrose. Being a real dare devil, she bragged that she was always the first girl to dive off of the bridge into the water when the winter ice started to melt. She met my dad in Southern California and they were married before the start of the Wold War II. At the outbreak of the war, my dad enlisted and was sent to fight in Europe. Upon his return, they settled in Ocean Park, Santa Monica, where I was born in 1948. Ocean Park is located between the former Ocean Park Pier, on the border of Venice Beach to the south and Santa Monica Pier on the north. From an early age, my mom gave me swimming lessons and then would take me to the beach in the summers to enjoy the sand and surf. By the time I was 10, my best friends and I would spend most of our summer time body surfing and hanging out at the beach.
RIGHT: 1954 on paddle board in Balboa
LEFT: 1949 with my dad in Ocean Park