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Those who leave too soon...

Boyd ScofieldBoyd’s love of surf began with the Beach Boys’ “Surfing Safari” playing on his transistor and a summer vacation to Oceanside when he was 16. Upon returning to Half Moon Bay he hitchhiked to San Francisco and rented a board at Jack’s Surf Shop. This, his first surfari, ignited a lifelong passion. He’s noted in “Stoked” by Drew Kampion as having been the first to brave the macking and frigid 20+ crests at Mavericks - sans wetsuit. 
Boyd made Hawaii his home in 1980 and carved many a salty curl with his favorite board, “big log,” a 10’ Wardy Hawaii.  The deep and golden voice of Boyd, aka, Charlie Garrett, launched thousands of surf trips across the islands. One of the longest surf reporters for the Hawaii’s Surf News Network, “pray for surf,” and “I’ll see you in the water” are phrases that have greeted wave searchers for over 25 years across the local radio and news channels daily. 
Whether attired as a Paniolo, Thurston Howell III,  or in his favorite Aloha Shirt, Boyd loved attending and supporting SHACC events. He served on the SHACC print committee – vintage surf “paper” being one of his choice pieces of paraphernalia to collect.  He also served on the 50th Anniversary of the Endless Summer Committee. 
Besides the joy of surfing, Boyd also spent 20+ years as the Ghost Rider of the airwaves interviewing such music superstars as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Roy Rogers to name just a few. Thousands woke up with “Charlie” from the Big Island to Guam when he cracked the mic on KDEO and KHCM. Although he was dubbed the “King of Country” and received an award for his DJ expertise, he was also quite adept in various musical genre and under another pseudonym graced those who loved Rock n Roll as well. 
Boyd Scofield, July 27, 1947 to January 24, 2018, gone way too soon. He will forever be loved and in the hearts of his daughter Jill, grandkids Lily and Logan, his son Clinton and by his Surfer Girl and Soul Mate Kathleen.  Aloha oe.

We seem to be losing our icons and heroes right and left these days. George Downing, original North Shore pioneer, shaper, waterman, and the man who determined whether or not the waves were right for the Eddie contest to happen has passed away. 1930-2018

The maker of surfing's most iconic film (and the most watched documentary of all time), The Endless Summer, Bruce Brown passed away in his sleep on Sunday night, December 10, 2017, at his home in Santa Barbara county. Bruce also made the notable On Any Sunday, a film about the lifestyles of motorcycle racers. Actor Steve McQueen was co-producer on the film. Bruce along with memorabilia and a copy of The Endless Summer were inducted into the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 2015.
"Bruce Brown began riding waves near his Long Beach home in the early mid-1950s, still an embryonic period in California surfing when just hundreds rode waves and there was a pervasive feeling amongst those few that they were into a “secret thrill” that was better and more important than almost anything else they had ever done. It was hard to put it into words. By the late 1950s, Bruce became one of four surfers who were the earliest to attempt to capture and share that “stoke” in 16mm cult films that they four-walled around beach towns to grass roots surf crowds. The others, Bud Browne-the oldest and father of surf movies, Greg Noll-a bull-headed, go-for-it board builder and big wave rider, and John Severson-an art teacher/surfer. Each flavored their films with their unique personalities. Bruce, himself a good surfer, used his dry sense of humor while revealing an inner knowledge of the little things about the wave riding experience that surfers found addicting. In his epic, “The Endless Summer”, he was the first to tell a story, not just show rides at different breaks. When he hesitantly risked showing that film in New York and Kansas City, both the critics and general public were wowed by his casual, California beach-style of story telling that plunged them deep into a cool and colorful world and attitude that most had not even known existed."– Steve Pezman, Founder of The Surfer’s Journal

A native of southern California, Don Stewart was born on October 7, 1936 and passed away on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Don lived in and around the beach all his life. He started life guarding in Huntington Beach in 1958, and then Newport Beach from 1964 to 1990. Don picked up his first surfboard in 1955, and rode the waves of the California coast and Baja.
His interest in wildlife and marine life led to taxidermy, where he specialized in birds and small animals. He started fiberglassing surfboards, learning from such pros as Hobie Alter and Gordie Duane. He also rebuilt several Woodies. Don’s unique background in taxidermy, fiberglass, and car restoration provided him with the skills to create stylized aquatic sculptures (we have a examples couple here at SHACC as well as some of his replica vintage surfboards). Don was inducted with a group of surfers into the Surfing Walk of Fame honor roll in 2007 as a member of The HB Boys of ’55.

Five time Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament winner (with partner Mike O’Hara) and Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race record setter Mike “Bones” Bright passed away Sept. 22, at age 79. 
Bright grew up in Hermosa Beach and was a member of the 17th Street Surfing Seals. They spent their summers surfing and playing volleyball, creating the model for what would later be marketed as “The Beach Lifestyle.” 
He was an All American basketball player at Mira Costa High School and an inductee into El Camino College’s “Basketball Hall of Fame.” In 2006 he was inducted into the Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame.
But Bright is best remembered for his volleyball career. He was an All American from 1960-1964, and a member of the USA National Volleyball team in 1960. In 1963 his team won the silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He competed on U.S. Olympic teams in Tokyo, the first year volleyball was an Olympic sport, and in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Between 1959 and 1970, he won 44 beach volleyball open tournaments and was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1993. Bright was also one of the his era’s top paddleboarders and lifeguard competitors. The legendary Tom Zahn said “Bones” was the fastest paddler he’d ever seen. (Photo: Tom Zahn, Greg Noll and Mike Bright in Melbourne, Australia in 1956. Excerpt from Easy Reader News)

Greg Escalante, 62, the owner of several art galleries, was also the brother of Joe Escalante, bassist for the Vandals. He was instrumental in the lowbrow art scene and a tremendous presence in Huntington Beach.

A native of Los Alamitos and bond trader by profession, Escalante started scouring the art galleries and swap meets of Southern California in the 1980s to find any art, kustom kulture artifacts, or just weird stuff that he could get his hands on. "I tend to do things overboard . . (but) art is the heroin of collecting," Escalante told the Los Angeles Times in 1992. That led him to meet Robert Williams, the legendary underground cartoonist; together, the two went on to co-found Juxtapoz in 1994 (along with other lowbrow luminaries such as Fausto Vitello, C.R. Stecyk III (a.k.a. Craig Stecyk) and Eric Swenson). The magazine helped to launch Kustom Kulture and all of its siblings into the art mainstream.

Escalante was also one of the driving forces behind the iconic "Kustom Kulture: Von Dutch, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, Robert Williams and Others" held in 1993 at the Laguna Art Museum, where Escalante was a trustee. "The show proved to be pivotal to the movement, illustrating Southern California custom-car culture's influential reach throughout the 1940s and beyond," we wrote in a 20-years retrospectivetied to the "Kustom Kulture II" exhibit at the Huntington Beach Art Center, brought together by Escalante and curators Stecyk III and Paul Frank.

Escalante, who evolved from collecting art to publishing prints, later opened (with Douglas Nason) one of the most influential galleries in Los Angeles, Copro Nason (now simply Copro). Escalante (also known as Joe Copro) put together some of the most memorable art exhibitions of the last two decades and helped break numerous artists and is widely regarded as one of the most important art collectors of our time. (Excerpt from the OC Weekly)

Greg Graciously wrote the introduction for SHACC's June 2015 exhibit, "This is not Surf Art." His early departure hits home, for me especially. Not merely an accomplished surfer, Greg was an inspiration, friend and tremendous supporter of the arts, giving voice and audience to artwork that was once considered outside of the mainstream norm. His 1993 exhibition, "Custom Kulture" broke down barriers and helped to establish Low Brow art as just as valid as any other form of art being produced today and helped to elevate Southern California as an important art producing region with a unique voice all its own. Greg's wit, humor and eye for the unusual will be greatly missed. —Barry Haun, SHACC Curator/Creative Director

Marge Calhoun (1926-2017), one of surf history's most extraordinary surfers, lived a life of dreams. Statuesque, beautiful, and athletically gifted, she held her own within the iconic group of surfing's legendary riders, all who respected and treated her as their equal. She was practical and fearless in her opinions and I admired her bravery, wit, and tenacity. Like all the greatest people I've ever known, she was intensely private, keeping only those that she cherished close. Whenever I doubt myself I remember her words to build me strong..."Listen to your heart, listen to your mind. They will tell you two different things. Then, go with your gut." She was my friend, mentor, confidant, and I am sure I will never know the likes of her again. Forever young, forever loved, forever more....Marge Calhoun captured by her friend Bud Browne.
-Anna Trent Moore 
(Photos: LeRoy Grannis)

July 23, 2017. Surfing lost another of its pioneers last weekend at the passing of Hawaiian-born Conrad Canha, who was widely credited as the sport’s first premier tube-rider. He was 85. 
Born in 1932 and raised primarily on Maui, Canha began surfing at age 15 and would grow to become Hawaii’s most influential performance surfer of the ’50s. Talented in waves both large and small, he was a regular at Makaha (He won the Makaha Invitational in 1956), though his favorite break was Ala Moana on Oahu’s South Shore, where he used a backfoot-heavy stance to duck his black balsa board into the barrel more frequently than anyone in the early- to mid-’60s. (photo: Tim McCullough)

Australian shaping legend, Joe Larkin passed away on July 20, 2017. PT likened Larkin to Joe Quigg in his significance and contributions. Click HERE to read an article on Larkin, published in Pacific Longboarder.

L-R: Carl Tanner, Marni Larkin, Joe Larkin and Kelly Larkin on a visit to SHACC.

Shaper Chuck Vinson passed away on June 16, 2017.
"I met Chuck Vinson in 71’ when I moved back to town and we became friends. I learned all I could from him. He was older and more experienced than me. I could never do any step as well as him, but neither could anyone else! Chuck came o the North Shore in 73’ and landed a gig making Lightning Bolts for Jack Shipley. Keep in mind that the Bolt was the number one most recognized label at the time in all of surf culture. Only 10 or 12 guys were good enough to fill the position of making Bolts. Chuck made many of the high-end Bolts that brought an extra $35 due to the quality. That was a lot of extra cash in those days. Shipley even had Vinson fill in for Gerry Lopez (the head shaper); while he was surfing Ulu, Chuck shaped his orders!

Chuck later returned to Santa Cruz where he made boards for O’Neill along with his custom orders before finally returning to Ventura with his wife Linda where he continued to build boards for his loyal followers. I thank him for the inspiration he has given me."

–Shaper, Marc Andreini, from his forthcoming book, due out next spring entitled "The Gift."

Thank you to Chuck for donating this beautiful board, to Skip Saenger for arranging the donation, to Mark Andreini for the words and to Scott Bass to delivering it to SHACC. 

The surf world mourns yet another iconic figure, Jack O’Neill, one of the first to sell surf-specific wetsuits, and founder of one of the world’s first surf shops, who passed away in Santa Cruz on June 2, 2017. He was 94 years old. One of the more memorable O'Neill wetsuit tagline was, "It's always summer on the inside." You can read more about Jack in this LA Times article. 

Iconic surfer, writer, filmmaker, artist, and founder of SURFER Magazine, John Severson, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, May 24, 2017. “In this crowded world,” Severson wrote in the very first issue of SURFER, “the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.” Basque shaper, Guihem Rainfray credits John for his learning to read and speak English, "I learned so I could read very word of every issue." A great reason for sure. You can read more about John's numerous contributions to our sport on the Surfline tribute.

We lost another surfing legend, East Coast stalwart and hall of famer, Dick Catri passed away. You can read about his amazing life by clicking on these 3 links.

It's always sad when we lose one of our fellow surf tribe members, but it's particularly tough when someone leaves us well before their time. Such was the case on January 28, when Sophia Tiaré Bartlow was killed in a tragic car accident in Waialua, on the North Shore of Hawaii. A frequent visitor to SHACC, Sophia was the most surf stoked individual one could ever come across (sorry Mickey Muñoz, you're definitely a close second). Always smiling and practically bursting with energy, her smile and demeanor was contagious and infectious. I dare you to find a photo of her not radiating joy! Sophia's mom, surfing legend Jericho Poppler instilled her daughter with a love of the ocean–Sophia was also a tough competitor in short boarding, long boarding and stand up paddling–and she was even a titled champion. Our condolences and prayers go out to Jericho and her family. You can visit Sophia's website HERE. (thank you to Betty Depolito for the use of this picture)

One of SHACC's staunchest supporters, Founding Partner and longtime family member, Ed Clapp passed away unexpectedly on January 17. Ed owned Surfboards Hawaii and helped SHACC acquire many of its best boards through either his own donation or getting others to donate theirs (including 30 from his collection). Ed also donated a large number of surf film posters and fins (we're working on a permanent fin collection - coming soon) and bequeathed SHACC his entire book collection. We're all grief stricken and truly saddened. Aloha Ed, we have a bottle of Jack Daniels in our bar in your honor.
Back in 2012, Ed drove the Stephan Gonsalves collection 2700 miles across the country with Andy Weil, delivering 38 classic surfboards to SHACC.

Bob is pictured here (in the green tee) with some friends and the Gudauskus boys and their dad. Photo: Linda Michael

Longtime SHACC supporter and friend to all of us here, Bob Nealy passed away from a battle with cancer. He had visited us recently and seemed to be doing well, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. There's a nice article about Bob in the SC Times, you can read that by clicking HERE.

Bernard "Midget" Farrelly passes away at age 71.

"Midget Farrelly was the best in every sense of the word. I learned first hand of Midget's dignity and honor as a gentleman in Puerto Rico in 1968. He pioneered modern day performance surfing in Australia and was truly the best. Australia should always remember Midget with pride. Surfing has been enriched by his life." — Fred Hemmings. Photo: LeRoy Grannis. You can read more abut Midgets' passing on Surfline.

We Say Good-Bye to Rabbit Kekai, One of the Last of the Original Beach Boys.

Kekai was born (1920) and raised in Waikiki, began surfing at age five, and was later given informal instruction by pioneering surfer and gold medal swimmer Duke Kahanamoku. Kekai earned the nickname "Rabbit" as one the island's fastest runners, and he's said to have run a 10-second 100 yard dash in high school.
According to Kekai, the invention of high-performance surfing—turning up and down the wave face instead of just holding an angle—came about in the mid-'30s, as he and his friends began dodging the rocks at a Waikiki surf break called Publics. Kekai was one of Waikiki's best canoe steersmen as a teenager, and sometimes competed in canoe races against the aging but still formidable Kahanamoku. He was also a Waikiki beachboy—a beachfront concession-stand worker who gave surf and canoe lessons to tourists, lounged on the sand, played the ukulele, traded stories, romanced the endless stream of vacationing women, and frequently engaged in small-time hustles and scams. A black-and-white photograph from the late '40s shows Kekai riding a small wave alongside actor David Niven, his student for the day. He also gave surf lessons or canoe rides to Red Skelton, Dorothy Lamour, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Sandy Koufax, and Gary Cooper.
Meanwhile, Kekai's active wave-riding style had a big influence on the coming generation of surfers, including Californians Matt Kivlin, Joe Quigg, and Phil Edwards and Hawaii's Conrad Canha and Donald Takayama. "He was light-years ahead of anybody," Kivlin once said, recalling the first time he saw Kekai surf in 1947, also noting that the forthcoming "Malibu" style of riding was based on Kekai's high-performance technique. Kekai is sometimes also credited as the surfer who invented noseriding. Never shy about his own accomplishments, Kekai told Liquid Salt magazine in 2010 that he was "the best around." An early motivation for his style, Kekai went on to say, was to distinguish himself from "the 'society-type' surfer—the guys who just stand there. I used to whip my board up the wave and come back down. Everybody copied me; I was so far ahead. I used to do spinners and guys would say 'What the hell you doing?' They never did see anything like that." (Excerpt from Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing). Read more on Rabbit on LEGENDARY SURFERS.

Aloha & RIP Lord James "Tally Ho" Blears
Handsome, funny, a brilliant wit, a master story teller, a champion sportsman, and a truly exceptional human being, Lord James “Tally Ho” Blears has passed away at age 93 on his home island of Oahu Hawaii.
Born in Manchester, England, Lord Blears survived a torpedo attack that sunk his ship mid ocean, and after capture by the enemy and surviving being adrift at sea he somehow returned in one piece to his native England, where he reunited with being a legitimate champion wrestler.
Soon he was traveling the globe and using his athletic skills performing with notorious television wrestler Gorgeous George, who encouraged Lord Blears to excel in the theatrical side of popular modern wrestling.
When a wrestling tour led Tally Ho to Hawaii he fell in love with the amazing beauty of the islands.
Like many travelers who’ve been touched by the magic of Hawaii, Lord Blears vowed to return. He loved the people, the weather, and the ocean, and when he did finally return he went on to become one of Hawaii’s most well known and most loved public figures, living much of his life in the Makaha area of Westside Oahu.
Lord Blears learned to surf, and went on to raise a family that was an integral part of post war Hawaiian beach culture, and as all of his native friends knew, truly embodied the Spirit of Aloha.
Both his son (Jimmy) and his daughter (Laura) became world surfing champions, and Lord Blears was a fixture during the early days of champion surfing as the announcer at all of the major surf contests on the North Shore. (photo: Dan Merkel/A-Frame Photo)

It’s with a heavy heart that we report the passing of North Shore surfer Brock Little, who died on February 18, at the age of 48. Little announced via social media last month that he was battling advanced cancer.
Born in 1967 in Napa, California, Little’s family moved to Haleiwa when he was three years old and he began surfing at age seven. As a teenager, Little was considered to be one of the most talented and hardest-charging surfers of his era and was a stalwart figure at Waimea and Mavericks. In 1986, at only 19 years old, he finished fourth in the Eddie event, solidifying his reputation as being utterly fearless. Just a few years later, in 1990, he finished second in the prestigious contest, amid some of the most harrowing conditions ever seen in the competition.
“Although Little was runner-up to Hawaiian surfer Keone Downing in the 1990 Quiksilver contest, held in spectacular 25 to 30-foot Waimea surf, he stole the show with a gladiatorial wipeout on the biggest wave of the day, and followed up by pulling into the tube on a 20-footer—a rarity in big-wave surfing at the time—and nearly making it out,” wrote Matt Warshaw in the Encyclopedia of Surfing.
While he would continue his search for massive surf in the coming decades, Little also began a career as a stuntman, appearing in numerous Hollywood films including Tropic Thunder, Training Days, and Transformers, just to name a few.
He was also a prolific contributor to both SURFER and Surfing magazines, penning more than 30 articles.
When he first announced that he was battling cancer via his Instagram account nearly a month ago, the surf world rallied around the icon. When news broke today that Little had passed, Kelly Slater wrote that Little was “Larger than life to me. The world I know will never be the same. I love you, man. Thank you…”
Even as Little’s health deteriorated, he still kept in high spirits and was very open about his condition. A few weeks ago, he gave his final interview with SURFER, where he discussed a life spent chasing heavy waves and his thoughts on his legacy in the surf world.
In Little’s last public statement, which appeared on his Instagram account yesterday, he wrote that he was “Lucky to be surrounded by love.”
Little was a true legend in the sport and will be greatly missed.

RIP Larry Gordon. Thanks for your many contributions to surfboard innovation…and for spreading the Stoke. In the summer of 1959, when Larry Gordon was a chemistry major at San Diego State College, he and his friend Floyd Smith built a mold, bought the necessary chemicals (from Gordon Plastics, his dad's family business) and started blowing foam blanks in Smiths's garage--and Gordon & Smith Surfboards was born. By 1961, Gordon & Smith had become the most popular surfboard brand in the San Diego area. The name became widespread in the '60s and '70s as some of the world's best surfers became G&S team riders, designers or shapers. Mike Hynson's Red Fin, the Skip Frye model and the QuarterSpeed were three popular models that come to mind from the '60s, and the G & S Modern Machine--first introduced in 1974--was the precursor to today's fun board. Greats like Hynson, Frye, Dale Dobson, Billy Hamilton, Butch Van Artsdalen and Barry Kanaiapuni rode at one time or another for the G & S team, and a host of other well-known names have shaped for the label, including Mike Hynson, Skip Frye, Rusty Priesendorfer and Mike Eaton. (Here's some more on Larry Gordon) That's Floyd Smith on the left and Larry Gordon on the right in this shot taken by LeRoy Grannis.

The last original member of the Palos Verdes Surf Club, Fenton Scholes passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2015. One of the first and most enduring mainland surfing clubs in the U.S., the Palos Verdes Surfing Club began in the mid-1930s, in either 1934 or 1935 depending on the account, by Hermosa Beach dentist John Heath “Doc” Ball and Adolph “Adie” Bayer. It held its regular meetings in a back room at Ball’s dentist office on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles and included Fenton, John "Doc" Ball, Richard "Mo" Meine,
 Adolph “Adie” Bayer, LeRoy Grannis, Lewis Earl “Hoppy” Swartz, E. Calvin “Tulie” Clark,  Cliff Tucker and others. The Palos Verdes Surf Club had its own distinctive green club jackets. Smoking was forbidden during meetings, and the group had its own creed, in which members swore to “at all times strive to conduct myself as a club member and a gentleman.” In addition to its own activities, the PVSC organized and conducted surfing contests and popular paddleboard race events between themselves and other clubs that had begun to spring up along the Southern California coast in Santa Monica, Venice, San Onofre and Del Mar.
The club’s members were part of a a fairly small group of surfers in that era, 25 years before surfing started to become a national phenomenon. Its members say there were so few surfers back then that if a car went by on the highway with a surfboard sticking out, chances were better than good that both parties knew each other. (excerpts from the South Bay Daily Breeze by Sam Gnerre) Fenton is pictured on a recent SHACC visit. Photo Linda Michael

Fred at Waimea 1965 - Photo by Don James
Big Wave Pioneer, Fred Van Dyke passed away on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Fred was a presence in so much of what we now think of as surfing history -- pioneering San Francisco and Santa Cruz and the whole West Coast. He showed John Severson's first movies on the California four-wall circuit. He rode the beasts at Sunset Beach and Waimea. He conceptualized early versions of what evolved into professional surfing. He told stories and wrote books that captured the essence of the magical world in which he grew up and lived. He was also one of the kindest, most generous persons I've ever known. Aloha, Fred and long may you ride. — Drew Kampion Click HERE to read about Fred on the Encyclopedia of Surfing. And visit his Facebook Timeline HERE.

Surfing Legend, Wally Froiseth passed away on Monday, June 29, 2015. Wally, along with George Downing (pictured above, surfing with Wally), John Kelly and Fran Heath, were responsible for the creation of the modified "Hot Curl" surfboards, the first true high performance models of their day. You can read more about Wally and his accomplishments by clicking HERE

Shaping Legend, Dave Sweet passes away. CLICK HERE for a write up by Bruce Weber in the NY Times and HERE for a piece in the LA Times by Elaine Woo. Surfing Heritage is saddened by the loss of yet another important innovator and we feel privileged to have one of Sweet's early foam boards on loan from the collection of SHACC co-founder, Spencer Croul.

R.I.P. SHAWN 'BARNEY' BARRON (1970-2015) Santa Cruz aerialist and Mav's pioneer passed away on May 5, 2015. CLICK HERE for a photo feature on Surfer Mag. And check out this video feature on SURFLINE. Photo: Doug Acton

Brian "the Sparrow" Test. Please click on the images above to read about this legend, and to see more, visit his website here:

Bill and Kathleen Blackburn. 

(Photo courtesy: Tiffany Blackburn Coyne, Coastline Pilot / March 19, 2015)

It's with great sadness that we report the passing of longtime SHACC supporter and wife of  SHACC President Emeritus, Bill Blackburn, Kathleen Blackburn. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill and his family in this time of sorrow.

Kathleen Diane Blackburn died peacefully on Monday, March 16, 2015. The cause of her death was long term complications from an automobile accident thirty-four years ago.

Kathleen grew up in San Marino. When she was twenty years old, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of California at Berkeley and went on to do research at the U.C.L.A Brain Research Institute.

Kathleen met her future husband Bill Blackburn in 8th grade math class. In 1974, they moved to Three Arch Bay. David and Camron, their two children, and she and Bill settled into the happy, active life of a young family. Their two children attended Aliso Elementary School where the family made many lifetime friends.  She was active in the P.T.A, and she herself played tennis and volley ball and women’s soccer. She also coached girls’ soccer teams.

When South Laguna began the process of annexation to the City of Laguna Beach, Kathleen became involved in planning efforts, the beginning of a long record of public service. Following this successful annexation, she served on the City of Laguna Beach Planning Commission. Later, she was elected to two terms on the City Council and also served two terms as Mayor of the City. During her tenure the Orange County Bankruptcy and the City fires presented major challenges. In particular, her term as Mayor during the Millennium was something she considered an honor.

The centerpiece of her Council service, however, was the successful completion of the Montage Hotel.  She took pride in its community legacy of free parking, a public park, easy access to the beach, a continuous boost to annual City revenue, and on-going, generous donations to local charities from Friends of the Montage.

Kathleen was preceded in death by her two children, daughter Camron and son David.
She is survived by her husband Bill, her three grandchildren Lauren, Evelyn, and Daniel Blackburn, her sisters Marolyn Peterson, Jacquolyn Sawyer, and Gloria Cormier, and her adopted daughter Paula Vercelli.

She also leaves behind many friends who will always remember her for her intelligence, courage, style, and grace as well as her sense of humor.

A very private service for the immediate family will take place. Friends and family are planning a public Celebration of Kathleen’s life during the month of May, and details will be forthcoming.

A Memorial Fund is being established at the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.  The fund will continue Kathleen’s deep concern for people in need in Laguna Beach. Memorial donations may be made out to the Laguna Beach Community Foundation and designate for Kathleen Blackburn’s Laguna Beach Fund, and mailed to: The Laguna Beach Community Foundation, 303 Broadway, Suite 212, Laguna Beach, CA. 92651. (submitted by Anne Johnson)

Ricardo Dos Santos, Brazilian tube-riding specialist and big wave charger, was gunned down and later died from his injuries, in his hometown of Guarda do Embau in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Dos Santos appeared in several (CT) events in recent years including the 2012 Billabong Pro Teahupo'o, during which he received the Andy Irons Most Committed award (beating Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Kelly Slater in the main event) and in 2012, he won the "Wave of the Winter" with a tube at Pipeline. Tragically, Ricardo was only 24 at the time of his passing.

Shelley Merrick, 50s female surfing pioneer, passed away.  A contemporary of Marge Calhoun and Linda Benson, Shelley was a competitive surfer and learned to surf from people like Matt Kivlin and John Larronde. She was active in Surfrider for many years and competed well into her 50s and was a one-time Dewey Weber team member. She was also featured in Andrea Gabbard's Girl In The Curl, a book on female surfers; the California Surf Museum Women On Waves exhibit; and Don Wolf's 1965 film, Always Another Wave. Here's an article on Shelley from 2008 and a facebook page created for memories of Shelley.

Buzzy Bent (left) rides a balsa board shaped by Joe Quigg, as Dempsey Holder (center) and Bobby Ekstrom share the same wave in 1949. From the day Buzzy showed up at Windansea, he amazed the loclas by doing bottom turns, redirecting his surfboard at the bottom of a wave, which no one had ever seen. (Excerpt from Surfing in San Diego, by John C. Elwell. Photo courtesy of Woody Ekstrom)

"Butch's good friend and fellow WindanSea legend BUZZY BENT passed away at 1 am this morning (Jan 4, 2015). He was a pioneering surfing stylist among the La Jolla set, often being credited for inventing the "WindanSea bottom turn". Dale Velzy told me that before Butch arrived on the scene, Buzzy Bent was (in Velzy's words) "IT!"; the surfer that all the other San Diego wave-riders looked to for cutting edge moves and inspiration. In fact it was Buzzy who first introduced Butch to Velzy, thus giving Butch his first surfboard sponsor. Buzzy also started the Chart House restaurant chain with Joey Cabell, which went on to become very successful.

One of the great tragedies in Buzzy's life was the death of his younger brother PG Bent (along with Pete Sachsie) in a plane accident over WindanSea Beach.  
I was told that PG was always trying to measure up to Buzzy's lofty reputation by doing daring things and that the plane crash was a result of one such thing. The source told me that Buzzy blamed and never forgave himself for his brother's death. I hope PG was at the gates of Heaven this morning, giving his big brother a big hug.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Buzzy back in the 2000s for "Remembering Butch" and spoke with him at length during some of the WindanSea reunion Luaus. He was a terrific guy and will be missed. Aloha, Buzzy." — Annette Lucas (Butch's sister)

"Buzzy was my friend and I will miss him. What I will always remember about Buzz was his positive attitude, his genuine smile and his creative ingredient. His restaurant in Telluride, the "Cimarron" had a model of his yacht on the wall in the bar area. In the dining room, there was a huge photograph (like 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide) of him and Greg Noll taking the drop at Waimea Bay on the biggest wave ridden that year (69). Buzzy was driving down the face of a 30 footer right next to Noll. he was fearless!

Buzz was never pompous or arrogant, yet he was one of the original creators of the Chart House restaurants, one of the most famous food and beverage chains on the planet. I believe that much of the creative aspects regarding the interior designs were from Buzzy. What a creative man!

I drove to McCall, Idaho to visit Buzz a few years back and saw the work he had done on the restaurant/cafe he wanted to open in New Hope. He took an old run down loggers cafe that had been closed for years and turned it into a beautiful interior which all of us would have been proud to have been a part of. It is so unfortunate that he never got to open it. 

Buzzy was my friend and I did not get to say goodby to him. I will never forget him and I know I will get to see him again in heaven. Rest in peace brother Buzz." — Ed Andrews

East Coast Hall of Famer, Mike Tabeling (pictured on the left) passed away on December 20, after a year-long battle with cancer. Mike was able to make the transition from long to shortboards and inspired a generation of Right Coast surfers with his smooth stye and effortless radical maneuvers. Mike was featured in John Severson's final film, "Pacific Vibrations", riding the board seen here with artwork done by Mike himself (that's former longboard world champ, Taylor Jensen on the right). Mike spent his last year with his wife, Nancy, traveling around the US and Mexico, crossing off items on his bucket list. He and Nancy even had their wedding at SHACC a few years back. A true friend of Surfing Heritage and one of the nicest guys around (with a great sense of humor to boot), Mike will be greatly missed. You can read about some of Mike's adventures in the recent Surfer's Journal, number 23, volume 6, and for more on Mike, check out these postings on The Encyclopedia of Surfing and on Surfline.

Fritz's shot of Duke Kahanamoku, Dr. John “Doc” Ball, Pop Proctor, Nils “Viking” Jensen, Barney Wilkes, Bob “Hammerhead” Gravitch, Jim “Burrhead” Drever, Fritz Watson, and other locals of the day, hanging at the Shack. San Onofre, California.

Frederick (Fritz) Watson was born September 1, 1922 and left us on November 9, 2014 at the age of 92.

In the early days, Fritz rode the redwood boards he shaped and built himself.  He was a life guard at Corona Del Mar beach in the early years when he was not surfing.

He free dove for abalone and lobster along the coast between Corona Del Mar and Laguna for years and worked for Loren Harrison commercially diving for abalone. 

He was really known for his craftsmanship as a woodworker, both in the marine world and for custom homes that needed  a unique touch.

Now that I think about it, he built whatever our family needed - The '59 Chevy bread van (with yacht spec. interior) that we lived in every summer.  The skiff we fished from on Baja trips.

All of our surfboards, until I started to shape my own and every addition of space to our house in Sun Valley ID.

To my knowledge, he and Ted Nicholson, school pals, started going to San Onofre in 1939 to learn to surf.  At that time you could camp on the beach overnight.  He continued going to San O every weekend until we moved to Sun Valley, Idaho in 1963 to ski. But we returned to waves every summer. Pete and I, his sons, grew up at the beach learning to surf and body surf.  He became interested in windsurfing when he was about sixty years old and continued enjoying that sport untill his late 80's.   

In August  2014, a couple of months before he left,  the whole family was at the beach on an unusually warm glassy day.

As Fritz and I sat on a log, feet in the sand, watching the grandkids surf, he looked at me and said "Man, this is really great!" His love affair with the ocean never ended. —Tom Watson 

It's with sadness that we wave farewell to one of surfing's early pioneers, Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz. Not only did helive his life his way, he also spread a message of holistic well-being, surfing's benefits, and love. He leaves behind an amazing eclectic family who each have carved out their own paths in life, ones that Doc would surely approve. Aloha Doc, we know you are smiling wherever you are!

Here are some insights into Doc on The Inertia and also a nice piece on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Ricky Grigg, supremely confident regularfooter from Honolulu, Hawaii; winner of the 1966 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, and sometimes referred to as the first big-wave hotdogger. Grigg was born (1937) in Los Angeles, raised in Santa Monica, began surfing at age nine, and by the early ’50s was one of the hottest young surfers at Malibu. In 1955 Grigg won the first annual Catalina-to-Manhattan Beach paddleboard race, a 32-miler that would come to stand as paddleboarding’s supreme test.

Rick passed peacefully around 2:00 this afternoon at his home (May 21, 2014). The Hospice had moved to Rick's place.  He was surrounded by his loved ones.

Our Aloha and Prayers  go with him on that last ride....

Aloha nui loa, Ricky

Dave Rochlen

Roger Yates, Forgotten Island Of Santosha fame, passed away. Roger is pictured here at SHACC with Steve Wilkings. Roger would stop by whenever he was in the area, always high energy and willing to chat with whomever was around. He will be missed.

Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – Hobie Alter Scholarship Fund

Of all the legends we've recently lost, this one hit closest to home, especially since our own Dick Metz was such a close friend and associate of Hobie's. We all are truly saddened by the passing of this gentle man, and modern creator of so many sports innovations.

Hobart “Hobie” Alter, who started out shaping surfboards, and ended up shaping a culture, passed away peacefully at his Palm Desert home on March 29 surrounded by his loving family. Born on October 31, 1933 in Ontario, California, he was 80 at the time of his passing.

The recently published biography “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves” reveals the story of this true Renaissance man. The son of a second-generation orange farmer, Hobie flourished spending time at his family’s Laguna Beach summer home. And it was here in the family’s garage back in 1950 where he began his somewhat accidental career by combining his two loves, wood shop and water, crafting handmade 9 foot balsawood surfboards for his friends. Business was good, and his father had grown tired of the sawdust, so in 1954 Hobie would open the area’s first surf shop in Dana Point. But as demand continued to grow, balsawood was becoming scarce, and even with Hobie’s creative assembly line, the wooden board building process was cumbersome. This is where Hobie’s extraordinary gift for self-taught, “outside the box” engineering rose to the challenge. Through a top-secret trial and error process, and along with friend and employee Gordon “Grubby” Clark, Hobie pioneered the development of the foam surfboard. With the lighter and more responsive boards, and his gift for design and commitment to uncompromising quality, Hobie quickly became the number one surfboard brand in the world. The list of legendary surfers and shapers that worked or rode for Hobie is a virtual Hall of Fame and his success is widely considered the launching point for California’s iconic surf industry. Hobie himself was a top surfing competitor.

In the late 1960’s having achieved great success with surfing, Hobie turned his attention to another of his water-based passions. And after much on-the-water R&D, he unveiled his namesake “Hobie Cat” catamaran. This fun, lightweight and affordable craft is credited with bringing high-performance sailing from the yacht club to the masses. “The Cat that Can Fly” could be launched off any beach and soon became one of the world’s top selling sailboats. But his curious mind and constant tinkering didn’t stop there. A few of his other inventions include creating the “Hobie Hawk” a high-performance remote controlled glider (another of his lifetime passions). He also designed the hugely successful Hobie Super Surfer skateboard, sculpted a revolutionary 33-foot mono-hull sailboat, pioneered a “Float Cat” for fly-fishing and built the “Katie Sue” (named for his mother Katie and his wife Susan), an awe-inspiring 60-foot power catamaran from scratch.

As the result of this serial innovation, the name Hobie has come to mean a great deal to the world. But it is the integrity of the person behind the name that has meant so much more to family and friends. A humble man of incomparable character, he made it clear that the one thing of which he was most proud, was his family. His sister recently recalled that their father taught Hobie early on to always tell the truth, no matter the consequence, and that any deal worth doing could be done with a handshake. It was a lesson that Hobie incorporated into every aspect of his personal and professional life, and one that he passed on to his own children as well as those that interacted with him in his various enterprises. He was incredibly giving of his love, his time, his resources and his expertise. Always the first to do whatever was necessary to help those in need. Yet he never wanted any accolades or recognition. His kindness, sage counsel and generosity literally transformed countless lives. But as he was quick to say, “A lot of people helped me along the way, I’m just trying to return the favor”.

In discussing the future with friends as a young man Hobie declared that he wanted to make a living without having to wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway. By “Making people a toy and giving them a game to play with it” he was able to realize this dream. And in the process, he introduced an active outdoor lifestyle and collection of products that made the world just a bit more fun. Hobie’s passing will leave an incredible void in the world of surfing, sailing and watersports. But as with any great author, actor or artist, the legacy of his work, and the strong wake of his innovations will live on forever. And for his family and friends, the lessons he taught, the quiet, moral and ethical example he set and the lingering warmth of his abiding love will comfort them as long as they live.

With his loving wife Susan at his side, Hobie lived life as an adventure spending years on the lakes and ski slopes of McCall, Idaho, navigating the Katie Sue through the channels near their home in Orcas Island, Washington and hitting the links at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California. In addition to Susan, he is survived by his sisters Carolyn and Lillian, his daughter Paula and her partner Ian, son Hobie Jr. and his wife Stephanie, son Jeff and his wife Laurie, grandchildren Cortnie and her husband Dylan, Brittany, Scotty, Cody, Ashlyn, Tyler, Noelle and Justin, great-granddaughter Serena, and many close friends that were always made to feel like they were immediate family.

Hobie received the Waterman Achievement award from the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association in 1993, was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997 and admitted as an inaugural member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011 alongside Dennis Connor and Ted Turner.

You can learn more about Hobie on our website HEREHERE and HERE.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to either:

Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – Hobie Alter Scholarship Fund

Sport of Kings Foundation – in Memory of Hobie Alter
PO Box 2499 Capistrano Beach, CA 92624

Orcas Island Community Foundation – Deer Harbor Volunteer Fire Department– in Memory of Hobie Alter
Mail donations to: Barbara Bedell ℅ Fire Station 24, PO Box 370, Deer Harbor, WA 98243

Dick “Mo” Meine, a Manhattan Beach home builder, was an original member of the Palos Verdes Surf Club and began surfing redwood boards at Bluffs Cove in the mid 1930s. In the mid ‘60s, Meine started “The International Surfing Magazine” out of Hermosa Beach with photographer and fellow Palos Verdes Surf Club member and Hermosa Beach Surf Walk of Fame inductee Leroy Grannis, editor Dick Graham, and surf filmmaker Bud Browne. The magazine evolved into “Surfing Magazine.” Meine continued to surf Bluffs Cove through his late 70s.

Matt Kivlin's Californian and Hawaiian peers respected him as the best California surfer of the postwar '40s into the 1950s. Many point to him as the originator of the classical California point style: riding small, perfectly peeling waves with knees and ankles together and slightly flexed, torso upright, arms gracefully spread low and balanced, slotted deep, in perfect trim and control."

"Kivlin built boards for that type of surfing, thin-railed blades with speedy pointed outlines-boards foam impresario Gordon Clark regards as being closely related to the modern equipment of today, but over fifty years ago! All surfing that followed Kivlin was either directly or indirectly influenced by his approach."–Steve Pezman

The surfing world lost a genuine legend, Kivlin passed away from complications from pneumonia on Sunday, March 9. Photo: Joe Quigg, Matt Kivlin, and Tom Zahn, returning from Hawaii on the Lurline. March 1948. Photo: Joe Quigg collection 

Natalie Kotsch never surfed, but she was one of surfing's biggest supporters. She and co-founder, Ann Beasley both shared a love for the ocean and for their home town of Huntington Beach. They opened the International Surfing Museum in 1987. The ISM has played host to a number of first-class exhibits as well as establishing "Surfin' Sundays," a series of free concerts that featured top artists such as Dick Dale.  In recognition of her work, Huntington Beach named Natalie Citizen of the Year in 1991 and in 1998 she was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame. Then, in 2013, Huntington Beach gave Natalie its highest honor, a Key to City. Natalie passed away on February 20, 2014, after a long bout with cancer. She was 75. 

Bruce Jones, passed away after suffering a heart attack on January 14, 2014. Bruce was there at Hobie's, during the golden age of the mid 1960's, when the best shaping talent in surfing history was gathered in one place: Phil Edwards, Dale Velzy, Terry Martin, John Gray and Ralph Parker, among others. Starting in the gluing department, Bruce worked his way into rough shaping and then into the actual shaping room and lost no time in getting help from everyone involved.

In the mid to late 60's, Bruce moved to Huntington Beach, where he shaped for Vardeman Surfboards, doing all the Jackie Baxter Models, which to this day are considered rare collector's items, being the first board on the west coast to combine the low tail rails of the Hawaiian Gun (for speed), with a refined longboard outline and eventually a turned down, flat-bottom nose for superb nose riding (influenced by the famous Morey/Pope John Peck Penetrator model). 

Top photo of Bruce is from the Shapers Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Bottom photo: December, 1965, Rocky Point. Both photos: Leo Hetzel

Here's Bruce's website:

Montgomery “Buttons” Kaluhiokalani, lost his battle with cancer on November 2, 2013. Surfer Magazine did a nice write up with a link to a recent interview with him that you can access HERE. And Surfline has a great pictorial HERE and then check out a VIDEO on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing. Buttons was new school before new school existed, throwing skateboard moves on waves, along with Bertlemann, and Mark Liddle, that would inspire the Dog Town crew and vice-versa. 

There will be a memorial and paddleout on Saturday November 9, 11:30am-3pm in Malibu, at Surfrider beach. Celebrate the life of Buttons Kaluhiokalani and support his wife Hiriata Hart and family.

Shaper Bruce Grant, passed away quite unexpectedly on October 29. We had just seen Bruce at our hosting of the Longboard Collectors Club meeting at the SHACC just a few days earlier. There will be a paddle out on Nov. 16 at 3pm at Torrance Beach, just down the ramp of the parking lot. Here's a nice piece did on Bruce. RIP Bruce Grant

Bob Meistrell, co-founder of Dive N' Surf and Body Glove wetsuits, along with his brother Bill, passed away at the age of 84 (Bill left this world back in 2006). Both are inductees in both the diving and surfing halls of fame, and were awarded the Surf Industry Manufacturer Association (SIMA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. The brothers were avid surfers and all around watermen. Bob was also awarded Redondo Beach's Man of the Year award, through his efforts to replace the bust of surfing pioneer, George Freeth. Body Glove is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, you can find a great timeline on their history by clicking HERE
Bob will be honored on Sept 15, 2013. The paddleout will start at 9 a.m. just south of the pier, then, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the memorial will move to Seaside Lagoon. It’s open to the public and is sure to be a huge event for the South Bay. In addition, the City of Redondo Beach is putting up life size statues of both brothers in their honor, if you’d like to contribute to this historic monument, please click here for more info:

Surfer and surfboard design legend Allan Byrne, 64, has died in a Balinese hospital after a motorcycle accident last Friday left him with a broken arm and fractured skull.   AB was in Bali to compete in the Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup.

He initially seemed in good spirits after the unwitnessed accident, but lapsed into unconsciousness soon after being taken to hospital and had since suffered bleeding and swelling on the brain.

Wife Jane and their three sons, along with brother Ian, were at his side.

Al was renowned for his mastery of the complex six-channel concave surfboard design, which blew minds under numerous surfers' feet in the late 1970s and 1980s and continues to be sought after by clients both high-profile and hardcore.

He was also a complete tube pig whose second place at the 1981 Pipe Masters was just one highlight in a life spent getting barrelled in Indonesia, Hawaii and on the magical Gold Coast points, where he made his home from 1975.

It is understood AB shrugged off ill-health in order to get a crack at Padang's pits with only three other people in the water -- a typical move for a surfer who celebrated his 60th birthday with a tow-in session at 20-foot-plus Phantom Reef in Hawaii.

Social media has been lit up with messages of hope from around the surfing world since news of the accident broke this week. However, Al's condition took a turn for the worse this morning and he passed away quietly a few hours ago. (Posted on on August 8, 2013. Photo: Andrew Kidman)

Dave Heiser passed away this week (July 15, 2013). He was a true waterman, big wave surfer, lifeguard, volleyball player . He graduated from USC, lettering in gymastics and swimming. He assisted Bud Browne in getting the southern california lineups, and was a teacher at John Adams in Santa Monica. His last few years were spent in a wheelchair as a result of a stroke, but he could be seen daily in Palisades Park talking story and visited by all his friends. RIP Dave — Cary Weiss (Dave Heiser, second from left)
In 1946, fame was in the future for several new Santa Monica lifeguards/interview of Dave Heisen in 2008:,0,686351.story

Andy "AJ" Jones passed away this week. Here's a shot of AJ from back in the day and some details on his service. We'll be posting more info and remembrances soon.

Longtime supporter and good friend of Surfing Heritage, Tom “TJ” Johnston passed away in the hospital from complications due to pneumonia. TJ started coming by for a visit about the same time Surfing Heritage opened its doors here in San Clemente back in 2005. Always cheerful, he’d invariably ask, “So how’s the Old Fart doing?” referring to his longtime friend and Surfing Heritage Founder, Dick Metz. TJ had a knack of just missing Dick by 10 minutes on nearly every visit but that didn’t deter him from taking a little time to chat with each of us or to introduce himself to those he hadn’t met yet. And I might be wrong but–every time we saw him, he was getting shorter and shorter and his socks were getting higher and higher–at some point he was going to become a baseball cap and a pair of socks! We’re going to really miss his visits.
Tom “TJ” Johnston was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on November 13, 1924. When TJ was 3, his family moved to Santa Ana but it wasn’t until high school that TJ began to dabble with surfing. During WWII, TJ started to surf more seriously while stationed in Hawaii. After the war, TJ gravitated to June Lake where he taught history but was summoned to Mammoth Mountain in the early 1950s, to tutor Dave McCoy’s kids (McCoy founded the Mammoth ski resort). Skiing would become another passion for TJ, along with photography and soon TJ took over the business management at Mammoth as well as becoming their official photographer. TJ finally returned to California around 2005.

TJ took this photo of the Beckett sisters skinny dipping at Sano in 1973. It was the last shot on the roll, so no "water exit" shots exist. 

Longtime Sano regular, Gwen “Honey Baby” Waters, had this to say about TJ: “It’s hard to imagine life without TJ, after being friends for probably 70 years. He was a guy who cared enough to keep in touch, dispensing a little advice, and he would always be on time–to the minute–now that’s dependable! A fond farewell to a really good friend.”

Esther Williams, 

Sally Yater passed away today, May 1, 2013. Sally owned the Bikini Factory in Summerland, CA, but most will  recognize the Yater name from (Reynold) Yater Surfboards of Santa Barbara. Sally was Renny's longtime wife and mother of Lauren Yater. Not only was Sally a seamstress, she was also a cook and author. You can read some of her recipes HERE. On the rare occasion, she would accompany Renny on his trips down the coast, stopping by the Surfing Heritage on their way to the various shops that carried the Yater label. She was always a sweetheart, very polite, and you just knew she and Renny were a great couple. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Renny and the Yater family, she will be greatly missed.

Annette Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an American actress and singer. Beginning her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve, Funicello rose to prominence as one of the most popular "Mouseketeers" on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "O Dio Mio," "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s. In 1992, Funicello announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She died from complications of the disease on April 8, 2013. 

Jeff Harris, 56, of Newport Beach, brother, dearest friend, leader, ally, musician, uncle to many, cohort, wingman and inspiration left us suddenly, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. His smile, wit, loyalty, laugh, intelligence, instinct, talent, passion, artistry and optimism will be with us forever. Jeff had the rare blessing of living his passions and dreams every day. His talent and craftsmanship on the ground and sheer artistry in the air were legendary. The travel bug bit him early, taking him to every corner, and surf spot on the globe. His passion for flying continued that dream, both as a longtime pilot for American Airlines, and as one of the most talented and prolific private and vintage war bird pilots and restoration experts in the country. Jeff's insistence on perfection was always apparent, whether in designing and building a masterpiece custom home or restoring and flying historic aircraft. A humble yet very friendly and outgoing lad, "Hareball" could strike up a conversation and hold court with anyone, anywhere. He surely had his opinions on most subjects and was not hesitant to share them. His love for the water drew him to many exotic destinations, and also to his beloved Beacon Bay, where he was a longtime and beloved figure; and where he was building his dream home and future. Jeff often talked about hanging out in his garage/workshop at retirement, holding court and building fine guitars. Whether you knew him a day or a lifetime, he was your friend, mentor and entertainer. 

Jeff leaves behind his sister, Kirby Carol Harris; brother, David Harris (Kathy); twin sister, Jeanne Harris (Jim); nieces, Cindy Wall (Rob) and Erin Hay (Brooke); great niece and nephew, Julia and Ian Wall; and many friends, worldwide. He was preceded in death by his mom, Kirby Harris and dad, David B. Harris. A memorial service was held Saturday, April 6.

Donations in memory of Jeff may be made to Surfing Heritage, of which he was a founding member CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Buzz Sutfin passes away

From Buzz's widow, Jen:

Hello, Everyone, Our hearts are breaking as we are writing this to tell you that our wonderful Buzz, husband, father, and friend to all, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon. We are reeling because it was so sudden, but after speaking with his doctors, we now understand that the suddenness was a gift to him and to us, because the decline would have taken months but would have been inevitable.

Buzz left us while he was his strong and happy and hilarious self, which is exactly how he would have wanted it to be. Sadie and Mackenzie will be home until Sunday, so we have decided to schedule a Remembrance this Saturday, March 30, at Buzz's favorite place: our home!  

This event will be "Buzz-style" (casual clothes, flipflops, no schedule or formal speeches) and will be open house between 4:30 and 8PM. Stop by anytime for a hello, stay a little while or all evening and be sure to bring your favorite Buzzy stories or photos if you have them! 

There are no words to describe how very much Buzz loved everyone on this list and how much we appreciate the loving words and caring support  you have all given us during these last weeks. We love you all so much and look forward to seeing you either Saturday or another time if you are not able to see us there. Love from Jen, Mackenzie, and Sadie

From the Memorial coordinator, Mary Simpson:

Good evening everyone.
Thanks for all of your kind wishes and emails.  We have been coordinating with Jenifer about Saturday - and she would like to do a "pot-luck" style evening.  So in addition to bringing your favorite Buzzy story, feel free to bring your favorite dish to share (or wine to share).

In order to make sure that we reach everyone who would want to attend and help, please reach out to others who know the Sutphin's to let them know about the event.  Please ask them to make sure any dish they wish to bring is ready to serve, as we won't be able to cook or re-heat anything.  It can be an appetizer-style dish, salad or dessert --whatever is their specialty    We will have serving utensils and tables set up.  They can bring it when they arrive - no need to bring anything early.  

We will have beer, water, lemonade and sparkling water.  We will have some wine - but if anyone would like to bring a bottle, that would be welcome.
Kristin will be coordinating all of the paper products.
Bob Rohde is bringing ice.
We have tables coming as well - and will be setting up on Friday.

If you have any questions, feel free to email <> me or you can call me at 760-522-8178.  

I thank you so much for all of your support, and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Warm regards,

Daryl "Doggie" Diamond (1946-2013)
Daryl "Doggie" Diamond, a highly skilled Dana Point surfer of the 60s has passed away. He was one of the best surfers in Orange County as evidenced in 1960s Ron Stoner photos of him carving, and riding the tip at Neepees (a surf spot now covered up by Dana Point harbor). Lifelong friends with the Fletcher family, Dibi described him as the best surfer at Doheny, and because of his stunning good looks "We called him The Doheny dreamboat. He was perfect, perfect hair, perfectly ironed shirts, a perfectly kept, immaculate black VW, and well-mannered. He wouldn't let Herbie and I sit in his car for fear of messing it up. At the time that intrigued me because none of the surfers we knew were neat and tidy. They were all slobs. He had the biggest surf knots of anyone we knew. His beautiful 'can do anything' wife Shirlene was the rock in his life." His son Eric became a well-known surfer, and designer for Quiksilver and Billabong. In his 20s he was a competitor in Hawaii at the Makaha contest and was known along the California coast as the Clark Foam blank delivery truck driver. As friend Tom Mckray described him "'The Dog' was a good guy. Skier, Surfer, Hunter, and Beer Drinker (16 oz. Buds). He will be missed."
Diamond at Makaha. Photo: Ron Stoner/Surfer archive

Denny Waller passes away
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Corky Carroll recall's in an article in the 18 May 2006 issue of the Orange County Register:
"Surfing at the Newport Beach River Jetty......a few locals surfed there all the time.  The most notable was a dude named Denny Waller.  They called him the 'River Rat' because he was always there"
I worked side-by-side (well shift-opposite-shift) with Denny Waller at Dave Sweet Surfboards in the sixties.  And remember firsthand all those phases and changes that Dave and Denny made at the shop.

There was always just enough sibling type rivalry between Denny and I to make it interesting:  competing for who did the best in the latest contest or who starred in “Another Top Surfer” Dave Sweet ad.  Or even who was getting what-hours-when in the showroom.

When I mentioned to Denny my idea for a gag in the film I was making, Denny volunteered his girlfriend (and his hand) for the “Backside Bottom Turn” in “The Living Curl”.  Denny is also featured driving his Porche up Highway 1 at step-frame speeds.

When I re-released “The Living Curl” in 2008, Denny and I talked via telephone and emails. He seemed the same as he ever was: getting Dave Sweet Surfboards online, selling memorabilia and even getting a few “classic” boards made for Dave.

It seems like he was always there and involved in the spirit of those pioneering days of ‘60’s surfing.   Denny and his energy will be missed.
Jamie Budge

Mark Fragale, legendary surfing collector, author, historian and friend writes:
"Shortly after the birth of their son in 1964, Bonnie Sweet left the retail end of the operation and moved her accounting duties to the home front. Taking over, as manager of the surf shop was Sweet Surf Team member, Denny Waller. Waller helped with the expansion when Sweet moved his showroom to the corner building of the 14th and Olympic location and created one of the most esthetically appealing surf shops of all time. Waller was also one of the few privy to the secrets of the foam room and often helped Sweet with design concepts and board testing. As shop manager, Waller was in charge of the increasing mail order business that Sweet was starting to accrue. He would correspond, answer questions, process orders and then pack and ship the new out-of-state bound surfboards. Sweet also sent Waller to the East Coast for a summer of promoting in 1966 to fuel the burgeoning new market starting along the shores of the Atlantic. Denny Waller managed Sweet's shop until 1968, when he walked away from surfing in protest of leashes and short boards. Waller did not surf again for 14 years. He began his comeback in 1982 in the traditional way, single fin longboard sans leash with paraffin on the deck, and continues with the old style to this day. It was 32 years before Denny Waller and his old friend, Dave Sweet, reunited in 2000."

Since then, Denny continued to represent all things Dave Sweet in the most professional manner.

So, Aloha no, Denny, I so much respect you for your devotion to Dave Sweet, the Surf Team and your friends. I know you are riding deep, no leash, no wetsuit-old style brudda. You da bes.....
Dave Rochlen

Henry Preece
Attending HENRY PREECE'S celebration of life were, GREG NOLL, BUFFALO KEAULANA, PETER COLE, RENO ABILLERA, KIMO HOLLINGER, AND EARL DAHLIN, just to name a few. Surfing's royalty.

When crowds at Makaha chased Noll and his friends to the North Shore, one fateful day, they spotted a young Hawaiian named Henry Preece surfing all alone at Haleiwa. When he invited them to join him, the stage was set for a shift in emphasis from Makaha to the wide-open spaces of Haleiwa and beyond. Over the next few years, Noll and other Californians pioneered the various North Shore surf spots. Belovedly known as the “Mayor of Haleiwa”, there is  park bench in Henry’s honor, at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park on the North Shore.

Two legends that are no longer with us, Donald Takayama and Harold Iggy. photo: LeRoy Grannis Collection, LLC
(please note: these photos are copyrighted and watermarked and may not be reproduced without permission)
Donald Takayama's Memorial Service

There are photos of Donald posted here: and R.I.P. Donald Takayama 1943-2012).

To view photos taken at the Oceanside Pier ceremony held on November 10, you can click Here.

Go Here to read Matt Warshaw's entry on Donald in the Encyclopedia of Surfing

Remembering Mike Riedel
Dick Metz called to say a mutual friend had passed on, Mike Riedel. "When?" "A week or two ago."

Who today knows of this fine Malibu surfer, a great guy. Dick asked me to put some thoughts together. 

What I've written doesn't particularly go somewhere. It’s just writing... and by so doing–remembering and yearning.

For no other reason than that he stood 6'4" (if he'd ever really stood up straight) and was lean, we called him; 'The Noodle'.

I met Noodle somewhere in and-around spring, Malibu, 1954. Maybe by a beach fire, or in the line up yakking between sets. 

He was a smooth and graceful surfer. 

Although not someone you'd particularly notice from the beach, his skill was well-respected by his peers; one of a handful of hot West LA guys I'd occasionally see at Malibu: Bailey, Hopkins, Bullis, Schurmer and Riedel. 

And, beyond many, Noodles had top-notch wave savvy.

Looking back, he maybe should have been called 'The Guide', for showing all of us "who was who" and "what was and wasn't worthwhile".  And demonstrating that–with very little effort–gloves, a dive mask and tennis shoes; instead of catching waves off the Malibu reef, you could pick off good-sized lobsters!

In his final years, he served as resident guide in an up-scale Idaho fishing resort, a job he thoroughly loved.

Mike entered USC a couple years after me and we hung out often... Mostly hung out getting out of there to surf Swamis, Malibu, or Rincon.

Then one by one, the opposite sex picked us off. In Mikes’ case I think it was even before finishing college. I moaned when it happened. He'd hooked up with a Mormon girl, Marilyn. Nice enough gal and not that I have anything against Mormons. I moaned because of all friends, the Noodle seemed least likely to give up drink.

And I'll add it wasn't so much drink, it was about Mike no longer being a bachelor. Gone. If you wanted to hang out with him, it was at his house with all the domestication. Before then, if you went to dinner with Mike Riedel, you'd know you'd really been somewhere and done something special... even if it was just to El Cholo where you always went.  Riedel was perhaps the best host, most conversationally entertaining human I've ever known. You felt very alive and comfortable with him... and continuously entertained!

In any case, he did give up drink. And stuck with it for many, many years during which time he and Marylyn spawned a whole pastel of kids; now of course, all grown. At least two of them became prominent in the surf world, shaper Stretch Riedel and promoter, Clark Riedel.

In 1958 or 59, I wrangled a job with Douglas Aircraft. After a few months, I got Riedel a job there too. Although, like me, his experience didn't extend much beyond surfboard repair, he was able to fake his way along for several years and surely did some good. 

We played chess at lunch, ate often at the Chatum in West LA and occasional ditched out to surf Malibu.

Various times and places along the way, Mike, ever the wood working hobbiest, became a surfboard shaper for Dave Sweet, carved beautiful rifle stocks, and in the early days of epoxy resin, came up with use of an electric bar-b-que rotary to flow epoxy continuously around the base of fishing pole eyes (all of them at once!) to hold them to the pole instead of laboriously binding them on with fine lines of cord one at a time.

Years passed, families grew, marriages dissolved and Mike remarried Vickie. They moved to Idaho where they bought a very high-end fishing magazine, which they published for decades.

A couple of years back Mike visited me here in San Clemente. I was somewhat shocked to find he was no longer 'The Noodle'. Back problems followed by operations had cut him down to about 5'10", badly stooped over. But inside, he was the same humorous pal. That was good.

A year or so ago I wrote him that Anning had passed, three or four months ago Ken Price, and then a month or two, Tubesteak. After that he wrote back he was soon to follow, "Cancer has me by the balls, I've very little time left". I emailed my good byes briefly, over the years we had already enjoyed plenty of quality correspondence. 

Of what might be considered a kind of set of 1935-37 Malibu waves, Bill Bullis, Scott Schurmer, J.J.  Moon, Lynn Bailey, Bill Hopkins, Karl Pope and I remain. 

Frankly I feel the draft...  look more forward to a major transition than a continuation of progressive decline. And, there's always the possibility of transcending from grub to butterfly.

So long for now, Mike Riedel, Terry Tracy, Kenny Price, John Anning, and Bobby Patterson.
—Tom Morey

From Drew Kampion
This note is intended to reach folks on my list who know or are familiar with Danny Calohan, one of the partners and the principle shaper for Plastic Fantastic Surfboards from 1968 to 1972.

Danny lives up in my area, here in the Pacific Northwest of the US. We've had a few road trips together in the past 10 years, primarily to serve at judges for the Clean Water Classic surf contest in Westport, Washington. In between those events we've stayed in loose contact.

A gifted wood artist and carpenter, Danny's had his share of physical challenges over the past few years, but I was stunned to receive this message from his daughter Sarah:

"I'm incredibly sad to inform you that my father is not going to be with us much longer. We recently found out that he has lung cancer that has metastasized to his adrenal gland; he doesn't have more than a couple months.

"I hate to ask this of you, but I was wondering if you could contact some of the ol' gang and let them know. He isn't completely lucid, but he has his moments. If anyone has any pictures or memories to share, I think that would really brighten up his last days. I'm sure you know this about him, but he never stopped missing the good ol' days. Thank you for being a friend. 

"Aloha and Mahalo,
Sarah Lina"

So ... if you would like to send Danny something, the address is: 
Melissa & Daniel Calohan
P.O. Box 2631
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Eddie Bertrand, the guitarist from the Bel Airs died. The Bel-Airs were an early and influential surf rock band from Southern California, active in the early 1960s. They were best known for their 1961 hit "Mr. Moto", an instrumental surf rock song that featured a flamenco inspired intro and contained a melodic piano interlude. (excerpt from Wikipedia)

Bobby being interviewed by Colby Klink, at the opening of "The Innovations of Hobie" exhibit. photo: Linda Michael
A founding member of the Pacific Beach Surf Club in the late 1950s, Bobby "Challenger" Thomas took over Challenger Surfboards and made it one of the most successful surfboard manufacturers of the late 1960s. After a detour into the financial sector in the 1980s, Thomas returned to San Diego to sponsor surf tournaments, advise the PB Surf Club and even compete in surfing contests. Mr. Thomas died in Escondido on Sept. 16 of complications from lung disease. He was 69.

To read the rest of the article in UT San Diego, CLICK HERE

LeRoy Grannis, Whitey Harrison, and Terry Tracy. photo: Leo Hetzel
Surfing legend, Terry "Tubesteak" Tracy passed away on August 22, 2012. Also known as the "Mayor of Malibu", Tubesteak was the inspiration for "The Kahuna", Cliff Robertson's character in Gidget. Tubesteak was infact responsible for giving Kathy Kohner the nickname of "Gidget", on first seeing young Kathy, he yelled out, "hey look, it's a girl midget, a Gidget!" They soon became good friends. Tracy built the first shack at Malibu in 1959 and infact lived there for two summers. There were a lot of characters at Malibu, but Tubesteak was the character of characters. Tubey, we will miss you! 

For more on the Tubesteak era at Malibu, go to:

Richard Mobley started shaping boards at age 13. He shaped for Dale Velzy, Gregg Noll, Hap Jacobs, and Bing Copeland, who he helped open his first store. Richard opened his own store, Ski Surf Shop in Manhattan Beach in 1964 (a legendary ski and surf shop in the South Bay for 40 years). He also produced and shaped his own Mobley surfboards for 40 years. Richard was an expert sailor, surfer, skier, fly fisherman and was known for his helpful, caring ways and overall love of life and the great outdoors. Richard was inducted into the Surfer Walk of Fame on the Hermosa Beach Pier in 2011. Richard was terminal with brain cancer at the time and he felt this to be his memorial with an attendance of 400+, never seen before for this event. 

Richard and Vicki Mobley were Founding Partners of The Surfing Heritage Foundation (now known as SHACC). 

Richard passed away March 9, 2012. His paddleout and memorial was in July 2012, at 22nd St in Hermosa Beach and a huge gathering at the KHYC in Redondo Beach along with other memorials at Wind N' Sea in LaJolla Ca, and Hot Creek in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. in 2012.



Anonymous surfboard brands said...

For many folks, surfing is a passion and a romance. It can be thrilling; it can be deceitful. Just like love, one might say. If you're near a beach, chances are that you are smitten with the idea of surfing

May 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM  

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