Happy New Year, one and all! And from where I sit in the frozen tundra of Queen Anne, WA, it is already among the happiest! Last week’s Joint never left the launchpad (Christmas casualty), so we’ve got some catching up to do. History of Surfing is doing prep work for the shortboard revolution, and “The Tao of George” and “Getting Slippery with Bob McTavish” introduce the two main actors in the birth of what LeRoy Grannis once endearingly called the “shorty boards.” It is always a delight to spend time in the company of Bob and George, even if just on a computer screen. I dug out this gem of a Greenough profile, originally published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser of all places, and posted two Greenough clips, both of which are as much fun to listen to as they are to watch. (Prog-jazz theremin, anyone?)
McTavish has another chapter or two coming up, but here’s a warmup piece about his wonderful but ill-fated 1963 stowaway trip to Hawaii. McTavish’s own account of the adventure is great, but for my money the better telling is found between the lines of the short Sydney Morning Herald account. Turns out McTavish was actually facing jail time (charges dropped), and I love all the comic possibilities folded into the line about McTavish getting “caught by immigration officials after a chase along the beach on Tuesday afternoon.” Bob’s stumpy legs were perfect for the point peelers at National Park, Noosa, but evidently failed him on the sandy bit between Rocky Point and Sunset.
The rest of last week was given over to Felipe Pomar and the 1965 World Championships. Surf history kind of skips over the ’65 titles (guilty as charged), which is understandable in that the ’64 and ’66 title events both weigh so heavy on the timeline. But give Pomar and event organizer Eduardo Arena their due—the contest was a big success. John Severson, reporting from Lima, called Pomar “unstylish but toro-strong,” and here’s a clip of him riding the big stuff, see if you agree.
A final update on the December fundraiser, which ended in spectacular fashion. You may recall that we hit our $30,000 target just 10 days into the drive, leaving another three weeks to go. Surprisingly, the donations and subscriptions kept rolling in, and when BeachGrit dropped a surprise New Year’s Eve gift of $6,000 into the kitty yesterday afternoon, it blew what was left of my mind, and put the drive just over $60,000 total. Double what we were shooting for!
Thanks again to all of you. Here’s to a happy, healthy, wave-filled 2018!
[McTavish pic by John Witzig]