Mary Ann Hawkins

Hawaii, 1989

My mother’s idea to move from Pasadena to Costa Mesa in order to help my swimming career actually backfired, because right away I met the surfing boys.

Gary Lynch interviewed California surfing pioneer Mary Ann Hawkins in 1989. Hawkins was 70 years old. 

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I was born in Pasadena, California, on March 7, 1919. I lived there until I was 15, and then because of my love for ocean swimming— ocean races more than pool races—my mother bought a little house down in Costa Mesa, near Newport Beach, so I could build up my endurance. That was in 1934. Somehow we found Corona Del Mar right off the bat. Although I’d already been in a fe...