History of Surfing rolled on last week with “Speed Freaks,” a galloping if poorly titled chapter on Michael Peterson and Terry Fitzgerald. Poorly titled because Peterson was a blue-ribbon drug abuser, while Fitz was totally straight edge, so the vague double entendre is cruel in one case and non-applicable in the other. Forgive me, and please direct your attention to this newly revamped MP video, it all its three-and-a-half-minute Deep Purple-dipped glory. Check out Michael’s finger-jab claim at 2:32, which is as subtle as it is effective. Somewhere in the archive I’ve got a clip of Rabbit doing the same claim at Sunset Beach a few years later. Both men do it well. Let it be noted, however, that MP did it first.
Fitz gets his with an excellent Drew Kampion-authored interview in Above the Roar. “Surfing is fun. If we all remembered that, we wouldn’t worry about cutting each other’s throats.” Ain’t that the truth, and thank you Terry!
You older folks might remember The Forgotten Island of Santosha, which was both a SURFER mag cover story and the film. Here is a short essay I wrote on what Santosha meant in the 1970s, even to those of us who never went there, and how the sport benefited (my opinion) when we put a higher value on secrecy and mystery.
Do you like your power surfing dished up on Lightning Bolt single-fin pintails in heaving northwest peaks at Sunset Beach? Isn’t that pretty much why we’re all here? Jeff Hakman and Barry K are on deck.
Thanks for reading, and see you next Sunday.
[MP photo by Peter Crawford]