Donald Takayama

North County, San Diego, 2008

I named it “Velzyland,” because I worked for Velzy, and because I always wanted to go to Disneyland.

“First Person: Donald Takayama” was recorded by Scott Hulet, and published in the December 2008 issue of Surfer’s Journal. Takayama was 65 years old.

 *  *  * 

I went through Waikiki Elementary School—not to it—on the way to the beach every day. I was riding paipo boards, standing up on them. After about three months of 1st grade, my mom asked me for a report card and I said, “What’s that?” Deep trouble. My brother and his buddies were always out surfing. They had redwood hot curls...