March 25th, 2007
If I were to pick out just one line. One sentence. One bit of advice to
share with all of you, it would be these simple words. DON'T GIVE UP.
No Matter What. DON'T GIVE UP. No matter what you do in life. No
matter what anyone else tells you. Remember those simple words. Especially
in Surfing. If you find yourself stuck in the impact zone paddling out
on a big day. Don't Give up. If you find yourself trapped in a
treacherous rip with no board and a broken leash. Don't Give Up.
Life lessons I've drilled into my own children's heads. DON'T GIVE
UP. Simple, yet powerful words. You will look back on your life, and
think about a time, when all hope seemed lost, when you could of easily
packed it in, but instead, you hung in there, and beat whatever it was
that was trying to hold you back.
DON'T GIVE UP.
What brought this on? Several things. Talking with close friends about
marriage. Mending an old friendship that had gone sour. And finally, I
was thinking about a time when a friend and fellow surfer, Mitch Hargraves
and I started to paddle out at the Wall on a Big Day in the early 90's,
or late 80's, and we were met by a series of waves, that seemed
to be relentless, and was corduroy to the horizon. I kept yelling over
to him "DON'T GIVE UP!"
I'm sure Mitch remembers this. We had to have paddled for over
30 minutes NON-stop. Duck diving into oblivion. The roaring, deafening
sound of those waves pounding us, almost into submission. But we did not
give in. Oh we wanted to all right. But we were both aware of each other.
Side by side, taking each wave on the head, and getting completely giddy
over it. We made it outside and were exhausted. But we both knew something
special had just occurred. That we had faced insurmountable odds and beat
them. We did not give up.
Now, there is NO shame in being beaten back by waves. We've all gone through
it in our lives. Each and every one of us has had to at some point (usually
early on in our surfing career) turn back and head for shore. And like
I said. There's NO shame it that. In fact, it's common sense that you
would and should. Especially if your life is in danger. But when it's
not life threatening and more of just an inconvenience for you. That's
when you pull out all the stops and dig deep and push forward. Mitch and
I that day shared that feeling. I know there are many of you who read
this column every week who has felt that same euphoria.
Jack Keefe and I did a carbon copy of the Mitch Hargrave
story. This was during the insane Summer of 95. And, it was again,
at the Wall. We looked at each other that hot summer morning as 6-8' glassy
peaks were unloading a mere 50 yards from where we were spinning our wheels.
We gave each other words of encouragement, as we struggled and fought
for every inch of our battle. The reward was getting those perfect waves
with no one else out. Talk about satisfaction.
I'm sure Mr Keefe remembers that day as well.
Like I said, we've all had them. And it's not just surfing. It's life
in general. Like marriage. It's easy to just give up. Lots of people have
and will continue to quit. The towns and cities we live in are filled
with broken homes and single parents. The hard part has always been to
try and make it work. Anybody can quit. Anyone. It's the easiest thing
to do. I quit. I give up. I'm turning back. This morning I said these
words to two friends who are planning on getting married in October.
My wife and I will be celebrating 20 years this coming October.
Another friend, Angela who owns JB's and 931 said
we should get a medal. I don't know about that. My parents were married
for 50 years before my dad passed away. Lots of people stick it
out. Frank and Ginny Grondin have been married for over
50 years. It can be done.
It's simple. You just Don't Give Up.
In the the Seacoast news department, we want to shout out to
Angela at JB's and 931 Ocean who's having a birthday
today. I believe, she's gotta be close to 21. She looks great and is
doing great. Let's hope she continues to serve the surf community with
great bagels and coffee in the morning at JB's and great dinners
and spirits at nite at 931 Ocean. Also my youngest Noelle
turns 12 on the 27th. Her birthday is the same day as
my late father and late Uncle. It was fun when she was younger they
were both around. We had quite the birthday party.
Last week after surfing those great St Patty's Day weekend waves,
a couple surfers left the Wall and were on their way home, when they
were involved in a serious auto accident. One of them Dwight Churchill
got a few staples/stitches in the head. Talk about post surf session
bummers. I guess the other driver blind sided them. They never saw it
So from all of us on the surf scene, and especially from Cinnamon
Rainbows, we want to wish Dwight a quick recovery, and hope
he gets back into the water soon enough. Another reminder for all you
young surfers (and Old stubborn types) ) to wear seatbelts.
Not that you needed one.
I also want to send another big shout out to longtime surfer Tony
Beradini who was just released from LAHEY after a week long
stay for the replacement of the hip. It seems like a lot of the surfers
in the area have now gone in for these new parts. Which got me thinking.
Would you opt for the new replacement hip, if it meant you could extend
your surfing life? Hell yes I would! In fact, where do I sign up? I
wouldn't mind being the bionic man. You know. A couple of knees. A couple
of hips. Maybe a shoulder or two. Hell, turn me into the Million
Dollar Man if you want.
If it means I get to surf longer and ultimately be happier... well,
put me on that Titanium hip list.
Tony will be out of the water for a few months, however, he'll
more than make up for it on the other end.
I ran into Danny Miller's brother Sean and some of Danny's
friends this past week. Sean told me they found Danny's
boat the Lady Luck. She was 535' down and laying on her
port side. According to the USCG there did not appear to be any
structural damage. Also, they did not probe into the boat, so there
was no sign of either Danny or boat Captain Sean Cone.
It's still a very sensitive subject for his friends and family, and
indeed, the whole surf community. Until, they find his remains, there
will be no closure. I know the Coast Guard and his friends and
family are working day after day in trying to find out what happened.
Meanwhile, if you want to do something you can donate to the Landon
Miller fund. Landon was Danny's young 6 month old
son. There's info here on this page on how you can help little Landon
Say a prayer for the family of both Danny Miller and Sean
Cone that they find them and bring them home.
Remember The Danny Miller Foundation.
Donations for Late Surfer Danny Miller's young son can be made to
The Landon Miller Fund through ANY Citizen Bank.
Or send your donation to:
The Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862
below to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to Danny.
North By Northeast
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.