I was sitting here thinking back to my life and the things that I have done. I remembered a quote from a Doors song that said, “Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?” Well, sometimes I feel like I have done enough things to create 4 or 5 books!
One of my favorite tales involves our “summer vacation” to California. I really do not understand my employer at the time. I told them that I was departing and would be back at some point and they just waited for my return. Every week they printed out a time card and every week I did not show up so they threw it in the trash and continued their wait. I must have been a pretty good employee for them to do that! Anyway, we left with a few thousand dollars and drove off to California in a van to stay at a friends’ house. We felt that we would be there for around a month. We left on July 5th and the prodigal sons came stumbling off the airplane just before September.
During this stay we managed to do the following:
- Surf almost every day all over Southern California. One day we would be at La Jolla and the next at Trestles. Our base was in Laguna Beach but during the trip at some point, my buddies stayed in San Clemente while I stayed in Laguna Beach.
- Befriend a surfer from North Carolina. This guy won the East Coast Surfing Championships and went out to California to stay with his aunt. At some point he left by himself to the Op Pro and we found him sad and alone. Why not take him in?
- Hang out with a host of World Tour surfers.
- Almost find ourselves in a prison in Mexico. Got out of the situation by using bribery combined with seizing a chaotic moment in the jail house. That is because someone brought in a resident to the police station that had previously displayed poor judgement and rode their bicycle over a cliff.
- Hang out at the Op Pro and other contests.
- Benefit from the kindness of many fine people in the surf industry.
- Talk one fine member of the surf industry into some questionable assistance that culminated in our underage friend (see #2) being escorted into an airline by a caring stewardess due to the poor guy being wheelchair bound. My friend was suffering from a medical problem that needed immediate attention in his home state. However, it has been rumored that my friend had never once visited an actual doctor and who knows; it is very possible that he may have been 100% healthy as well. Well, it’s just a rumor…
Yup! We owe one to our industry pal and he also came through in another way as well. One evening, the phone rang and it was “Mr. X” as he shall be known in this story. Mr. X made some small talk and then asked if we were all still in Laguna Beach. I told him that we were and he asked if we wanted to see a surf movie. He said it was the premiere and that this movie was different from the normal surf movie. I said yes of course and he told us that he was coming into town that Friday night and he would pick us up and to get good clothes.
Well, Friday comes and Mr. X shows up and we all pile into his car. So we start driving to the theatre in downtown Laguna Beach. As we come down the hill, I see the theatre completely illuminated and cars everywhere. We find a spot and as we trudge towards the front there is a big red carpet and photographers. I could not believe it! We get our fliers and read about this new surf movie. Yes, I attended the premiere of North Shore!
So there sat the loser kids from Florida, stuffing our mouths with popcorn, and gawking at the pros and Nia Peeples. For some reason, the part that always sticks out in my mind is when we saw the guy on that bicycle with the skateboard deck on it. We thought that was the coolest thing. Seeing it for the first time was great! However, seeing it later in a different environment really made me have a change of heart for how cheesy the film was.
So that night was something that I have done that was out of the ordinary and a high point in a 2 month debacle. Just like most adventures, it had to come to an end and it most certainly did! The end it came to was about as abrupt as driving your car into a wall doing 60 m.p.h.
We had plans to drive our old van back to Florida and set out for the open road of adventure. We made it all the way to Oceanside before the car broke down. That was the first time. Then it broke down again. We ended up leaving the van owner behind so he could sell it and he stayed in Laguna a few more weeks. My other friend (with a rich mother) begged his mother to buy plane tickets for all of us back to Florida. I was the only one who had any substantial amount of money left so all of my money went to buying everyone food, the taxi to San Diego from Oceanside, and paying for everyone’s surfboards to get back with us to Florida.
So I arrived back home after a long journey and went back to the grind of working like all of us have to. Well, for a little while at least!
Have any of you had any crazy adventures like this? I might one day tell the story of how we ended up drinking in a bar with Benny Hill. Oh yeah, I was also still in high school. I was also in the Bahamas! Ha ha ha! Come to think of it, school was still in session as well!
Sounds like another book!