Sunday, March 10, 2013

California Lesser Knowns

Lesser Known Californian Surfers

Mary Ann Hawkins, the outstanding woman surfer of the 1930s, mentioned some of the notable surfers of her time, focusing on one particular day at Corona del Mar, in 1934: “Some of the boys that were surfing that day were Gene ‘Tarzan’ Smith and Lorrin Harrison.[1] They both became very good friends of mine. There was also Nat and Dave Theile, Gardner Lippincott,[2] Nellie Bly Brignell,[3] Barney Wilkes,[4] Frenchy Jahan,[5] Johnny McMahn, Doakes,[6] and a man named Bill Hollingsworth.[7] And later down there in Corona Del Mar, Whitey Lorrin Harrison brought Joe Kukea over from Hawaii, and he was the first Hawaiian I ever got to know very well.”[8]

There were others, of course. Many are mentioned by their friends and fellow surfers, but only those who were written of stand out – rightfully or wrongfully – from their peers. Such a list of surfers who rode the waves of Southern California in the 1930s would include:

Danny Alexander
Jim Bailey
John “Doc” Ball
Adie Bayer
Tom Blake
George “Nellie Bly” Brignell
Woody Brown
Charles “Doakes” Butler
Bob Butts
Gard Chapin
Jackie Coogan
Ron “Canoe” Drummond
Bob French
LeRoy “Granny” Grannis
Chauncy Granstrom
Tommy Gray
Willy Grigsby
Tony Guererro
Lorin “Whitey” Harrison
Mary Ann Hawkins
Bill Hollingsworth
Tommy Holmes
Frenchy Jahan
Brian Janda
Bill Janns
Ed Janns
Fred Kerwin
Jim Kerwin
Joe Kerwin
Johnny Kerwin
Ted Kerwin
Joe Kukua (Hawai’i)
Peanuts Larsen
Gardner Lippincott
Johnny McMahan
Bud Morrissey
E.J. Oshier
Preston “Pete” Peterson
Mary Kerwin Reihl
Bob Sides
Gene ‘Tarzan’ Smith
Johnny Stinton
Dave Theile
Nat Theile
Cliff Tucker
Dale Velzy
Barney Wilkes
Rusty Williams

Jim Bailey

“Bailey was considered to be perhaps the top hollow paddleboard surfer on the coast,” circa 1939. “Only Adie Bayer challenged Jim for supremacy.”[9]

Adie Bayer (1912-2002)

Adie Bayer was the guy who helped Doc Ball found the Palos Verdes Surfing Club in 1935.  Adolph “Adie” Bayer was born March 13, 1912, in Brooklyn, New York. Not long after his birth, his family moved to California where he spent the rest of his life. Adie was a stoked and highly regarded surfer, swimmer, tennis player and champion platform diver, who went on to become a skilled painter of watercolors.

“He was one of the big ones,” Doc told me, referring to Adie glowingly. “He was real energetic and everything. He helped do organizings, too.”

During World War II, Adie joined the Coast Guard. During that time he met his wife, Alzora. After the war Adie and Alzora lived in Oakland, where Adie worked in sales. The couple moved to the Central Coast of California in 1978, where Adie renewed his passion for watercolor painting and travelling abroad. Adie had won his first art award at the Palos Verdes Art Show at the age of 27. His art was featured many times at the Watercolors Gallery in Morro Bay.[10]

Gard Chapin (1918-1957)

In his book California Surfriders, originally published in 1946, Doc Ball featured a half-dozen photos of Gard Chapin. Despite the fact he was not well liked, Chapin was out in the lineup often at places like San Onofre and Palos Verdes Cove, and was acknowledged by his peers as one of the outstanding surfers of the 1930s and ‘40s. “He was kind of a wild guy; lived in Hollywood,” Doc told me. “He had a sister, Martha. He’d bring her down and we got her to surfin’. Oh, God, he’d go down San Onofre [a lot]… He was quite a guy, alright. I think he finally committed suicide or sumpin’.”[11]

“Innovative but prickly surfer from Hollywood,” is how writer Matt Warshaw characterized him. Chapin was the “stepfather to surfing icon Mickey [sp.] Dora. Little is known about Chapin other than he was one of the most talented and least-liked surfers of the prewar era. He was born in Hollywood… and began surfing in the early ‘30s.”

Thanks to David Rensin’s All For A Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora, we know a lot more about Gard Chapin than we used to. In fact, for further reading about Chapin and especially Miki Dora, Rensin’s work is the most detailed source.

“The heavy solid-wood boards in use during the ‘30s and ‘40s allowed for very little maneuvering,” continued Matt Warshaw, “but Chapin, after developing a drop-knee stance in order to lower his center of gravity, had greater command over his board than virtually anyone on the coast. He preferred to ride ‘deep’ (close to the breaking part of the wave), and when others rode in front of him he shouted or pushed them out of the way or simply ran them over.”[12]

“Gard was a member of the Palos Verdes Surf Club, and the best surfer then,” declared a much younger Joe Quigg. “He ran circles around most guys up and down the California coast because most surfers in his generation were laid-back. To them, surfing was like going fishing. Then there’s this wild, radical guy tearing up the ocean. No wonder some guys didn’t like him that much. I think they were jealous. All those tricks that Miki [Dora, his step son] did later, Gard did first: going over people, under them, around them, behind them, pushing them off waves – and they had the same audacious, wry humor doing it.”[13]

“The rest of us believed nobody had any claim to the wave they were on,” maintained E.J. Oshier. “We’d have five or six guys on one wave and the more we had, the more fun it was. We’d holler back and forth, talk and ride in together. It was pretty square and orchestrated but it worked for us. But guys like Gard would go under you and shove your board out. It’s not that he was trying to perform and needed room; he just wanted to do what he wanted to do, and if you were in the way, he wanted you out of the way.”[14]

“Sometimes Gard would use guys paddling out to get over his wave as a slalom course,” remembered San Diego surfer Woody Ekstrom. “He’d go around one, then around the other, and yell, ‘We’ll all be killed!’”[15]

“I first saw Gard surf at the Palos Verdes Cove,” Jim ‘Burrhead’ Drever remembered. “He would howl while he rode, and his voice would echo off the Cove walls.”[16]

“The yelling was exuberance and wanting to have people watch him,” clarified LeRoy Grannis. “Most of us then felt it wasn’t necessary to draw attention to yourself surfing. If you were good enough, we’d watch anyway.”[17]

“Gard was an unbelievable surfer,” remembers Kit Horn who was a kid at the time. “I remember him at Malibu, coming across a seven- or eight-foot wave. He did this fabulous cutback on a ninety-pound redwood surfboard. He drop-kneed this thing and came back into it so hard, I just thought, ‘Who was that?!’”[18]

“The Chapin place was run-down and didn’t look like anybody lived there,” remembered Bill Van Dorn. “Chunks of cars rusted in the yard, and surfboards leaned up against the eaves. Inside the front door, immediately to the right, was a piano in an alcove, but it had been completely covered over with skis. Books, mostly [Gard’s unattractive sister] Martha’s, were piled everywhere. The kids’ mother, Louise, had pretty advanced cerebral palsy. [Gard’s attractive sister] Nancy and I didn’t socialize much with Gard. He came to visit a few times, once with [his wife] Ramona, twice without. While I was in the service, she left him a couple times. I saw him at the beach when I got back. I remember once he got in a big fight with Martha.

Nancy supported the whole family working for an advertising agency in Hollywood. Martha did bit parts, wrote scripts, and contributed to a few books now and then. Gard did nothing much.”[19]

“Gard went to Douglas Aircraft right out of high school and worked in a tool crib making twenty dollars a week,” Burrhead Drever recalled. “He wasn’t an engineer, but in the late ‘30s that was still a lot of money.”[20]

“He just couldn’t go into the service,” Woody Ekstrom explained. “Because of his ulcers he was 4-F and had to rest a lot. But as soon as he’d get them healed up, he’d go on a drunk binge and be right back to crackers and milk again.”[21]

“Gard and Ramona [Miki Dora’s mother] were a god and goddess,” recalled Douglas Stancliff, “stunning to look at. Gard was 6’1” or so. Extremely muscular. Kind of an Aryan blond. He was also a chauvinist, intolerant, maybe racist, and loud. He drank too much. Ramona did, too.”[22]

“Gard also used to pick on a Jewish family of surfers down at the Flood Control in Long Beach,” remembered Jim “Burrhead” Drever. “He called them kikes all the time. I don’t know why he did that, because any one of those guys could have beat him up.”[23]

“On the other hand,” Gardner Chapin, Jr. pointed out, “my father had a good friend who was Jewish, a guy named Perry, who used to come over and drink with Gard on the weekends.  Gard said that if anything happened to my mother and him, Perry and his wife, Alice, were going to adopt me. So, was Gard anti-Semitic? Hard to say.”[24]

“Chapin married Mickey [sp.] Dora’s mother [Ramona] in the early ‘40s,” wrote Matt Warshaw, “he brought his stepson to the beach fairly regularly when the boy was in his preteens, introduced him to surfing, and had a great influence on Dora’s personality.”[25]

“Gard Chapin influenced Miki a great deal in petty ways,” Miki Dora’s father observed. “Gard felt that the laws were made for his protection but that he didn’t have to respect them himself. One day I saw him at the beach stealing ice cream from a Good Humor man. One guy did something in front to create a distraction while Gard went in from behind.”[26]

“Miki once told me,” recalled Mike McNeill, “that when he was a kid, he and Gard would come back from San Onofre and pull up in front of Miklos’ restaurant in shorts and T-shirts. They’d walk through the door and into the kitchen, grab whatever food they wanted to eat, then walk out, get into the car, and drive away.”[27]

“Many times Gard got out of hand at the restaurant because he was drinking,” remembered Miklos Dora, Sr., “and the more he drank, the meaner he got. One night I left the restaurant early and went to a movie. When I came back, my manager said, ‘Gard came. He walked in and said, “This place is owned by my wife!” He went in to the kitchen. I had some roast ducks left over from dinner, and he picked up a whole roast duck. He said, “I’m taking it. It belongs to me!”‘

“I called Ramona and said, ‘You tell Gardner that if he comes in again and behaves like he did last night, the police will be here and he will be put in jail.’ He never came again.”[28]

“Miki admired Gard – in a way,” attested Gardner Chapin, Jr. “Gard took him surfing. Gard was one of the guys. Gard spent a fuck of a lot more time with Miki than Mr. Dora ever did. Lots of Miki’s personality came from Gard because he was probably the only consistent role model…

“But I’m also sure Miki thought my father was a complete madman, and he’d have been correct. There are lots of examples. My father liked to shoot buckshot down on the neighbors below us on July Fourth, then wait until the police came. Then he’d show them a shotgun that hadn’t been fired. Of course, the trick was that he had two identical guns.

“Another time, I guess it was around 1950, as both Miki and my mother told it to me, Gard got the newspaper, read about new parking meters in the city, and completely blew his top. He said, ‘This is it. Communism is taking over.’ That would have been it with anyone else, but not with him. He started drinking and he kept ranting and raving. As the day wore on, he got madder and madder, and madder and madder. He finally cracked around midnight. He said, ‘Miki, let’s go.’


“‘To take out the parking meters.’

“Gard grabbed a baseball bat and they got into the car.

“When my dad got to the parking meters, he looked around. There was a little traffic but no cops. He started swinging the bat, and in about two minutes had smashed every meter. He threw the bat on the ground; it was shattered anyway. Then he jumped in the car and took off. Miki said he’d never seen anything like it, that Dad was like a man possessed.”[29]

Miki added: “When we were finished, Gard suddenly became very calm, and he climbed up the sign pole on the corner. ‘Here’s a souvenir.’ He handed me the street sign from Hollywood and Vine. I kept it for years.”[30]

Gard’s temper was not just “reserved for parking meters, surfers in his way, and bothersome neighbors.”[31]

“We had a peach tree in the backyard,” remembers Gard’s son Gardner, “and when I deserved it my dad used to make me pick my switch from the tree. Then he’d get out his pocket knife and cut the little branch, pull down my pants, and whip the hell out of me.”[32]

“Miki told my wife and me than Gard used to come home drunk,” LeRoy Grannis said, “and drag him out of bed and beat the hell out of him.”[33]

In the later 1940s, Gard Chapin started a cabinet and overhead door building business, “when he and Ramona lived at Elwood Stancliff’s Studio City home, in the garage apartment.”

Chapin started building surfboards at this time, also, and when he got his own shop, he hired a helper named Bob Simmons. He had met Simmons when they were both recovering from accidents in a hospital.[34] Supposedly, it was Chapin who turned Simmons on to surfing as a way to exercise and strengthen Simmons’ shattered elbow and arm that he had sustained in a bicycle accident. He was probably the guy who also told Simmons about “the green room.”

Simmons went on to become the recognized “Father of the Modern Surfboard.” Surfing historian Matt Warshaw noted that “Surfboard design genius Bob Simmons is said to have bought his first board from Chapin; the two surfers later built boards together.”[35]

Around 1955-1956, “Gard was in a car accident,” related his son Gardner. “Someone rear-ended him while he waited at a stop sign. It broke his neck. He wore a huge cast for a year. He started in on painkillers and drank more. After the cast came off, he was still in a lot of pain, so he drank even more. His real downfall was the absinthe he smuggled in from Mexico. The stuff made him insane. Everything came unglued. He lost the cabinet shop, he and Ramona split. I was sent to live with my relatives… My mother became a secretary someplace near downtown L.A. She took the streetcar to work but said a lot of times she walked so she could save the fifteen cents. She’d come [out near San Bernardino]… about every two weeks and take me back to L.A. to spend the weekend.  She lived in hotels. It was different in those days: everybody seemed to know everybody in the hotel and they’d all play cards, plus they had a swimming pool. She had different boyfriends in these places… Miki always thought they took advantage of her, and that after Miklos Sr., it had all gone downhill.”

“My dad had come to see me only twice when I lived [with relatives near San Bernardino]… The first time was really great. We went out to eat, then to see Rad’s orange grove. Rad gave him a bunch of oranges. He said he’d be back in two weeks to see me again. I didn’t see him for two months. When he came, the oranges were still in the backseat of his car, rotting, and he was drunk as hell, so Frances – Uncle Rad’s wife – had him arrested. He’d brought a bunch of Christmas presents for me, so Frances let him give me the presents before she called the cops. That was the last I saw him.

“Not long after… I got the news that Gard had died.”[36]

“Gard was thirty-nine,” by 1957, explained Bill Van Dorn. “He was in the dumps over Ramona. He drank. He’d get dried out in the Bay of La Paz with a fisherman who had befriended him, a guy who tried not to let him drink. This time he’d been gone for a month, just before Christmas. One day the guy who owned the boat called me and said he had some bad news. They’d had dinner in La Paz. They’d been drinking a bit; Gard said he had a headache and would take the dinghy back to the boat and go to sleep. When the captain got out to the boat, he found no dinghy, no Gard, no nothing. He thought Gard had gone somewhere else, so he went to bed. In the morning, still no Gard, so they started looking. They found the dinghy way down in the bay, beached. Then they found Gard’s body five days later, floating. There was no evidence of injury or foul play. Nothing missing from the boat.  We figured he could have just slipped getting out of the dinghy, or getting in. The dinghy was upside down when they found it… They buried him in La Paz.”[37]

“Chapin died under mysterious circumstances in Baja, Mexico,” Warshaw further wrote. “… Dora later told Surfer magazine that his stepfather had been murdered.”[38]

“My mother and Gard’s sister Martha finally talked to the fishing boat captain,” Gardner Chapin Jr. related. “He said that one of the two Mexicans in the dinghy hit Gard in the head with an oar and took his money. He didn’t say why, or if there had been an argument, but they found his body and his wallet was empty. I don’t think the fish took the cash. The captain also told my mother – and of course my mother and Martha knew this very well – that my father was in excellent shape, a great swimmer, and there was no turbulence. The weather had been fine, the harbor very calm. He didn’t simply drown.”[39]

Tulie Clark (1917-2010)

E. Calvin “Tulie” Clark was born December 2, 1917, in Azusa, California. He grew up in Redondo Beach, riding his horse to attend Malaga Cove School in 1926, when it opened in Palos Verdes Estates.

At age 10, Clark “began surfing in 1927, using a wooden ironing board liberated from the family laundry room.”[40] By age 16 or 17, “Tulie” was building solid wooden boards for Pacific Ready Cut Homes. Also known as “Pacific Systems Homes,” or just plain “Pacific Systems,”[41] and owned by Meyers Butte, in Vernon, it was the second company to produce commercial surfboards – following on the heels of Thomas Rogers, the first company to build Blake boards. Undeniably, it was the era’s most notable surfboard manufacturer in terms of volume and breadth of design.[42]

“When I was in Hawaii,” retold noted 1930s era surfer Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison, “I was paddling canoes all the time... When I came back from Hawaii with my first wife, we lived in Dana Point. I started fishing commercial, and then I got a motorcycle and rode it all the way to Los Angeles to work at Pacific Redi-cut Systems Homes for a summer.

“Tulie Clark and Carroll ‘Laholio’ Bertolet worked there too. Quite a few surfers worked there… We were shipping sixty boards a month to Hawaii...”[43]

A little after he first started working at Pacific Systems, Tulie became a member of the famed Palos Verdes Surfing Club (PVSC).

“It started a little bit before I did,” remembered another noted surfer E.J. Oshier of the PVSC. “Adie Bayer and Doc Ball put that together. They started 9 months, maybe a year, before I got started… When I started surfing there [at Palos Verdes Cove], Tulie Clark was coming down and… we got along real well with Adie Bayer and Doc Ball and all the guys that were down there.

“The club decided the first two new members would be Tulie Clark and me. So, we were the first members that weren’t charter members; the first new members taken in. That probably happened in 1936…”[44]

Tulie “was one of our big guys in the surfin’ club,” Doc told me, laughing at the thought of his old friend. “We got together a lot of times at Hermosa Beach… we’d always stack our boards all together in the back of my car or back ‘a his, or whatever, and take off for where we thought the surf was up!”[45]

But, as a surfer, LeRoy “Granny” Grannis told me in 1999, Tulie could be somewhat “Hot and cold. He’d work and get out of shape, periodically. Most of the time, he was right up there and is in great shape.”[46]

Clark attended Central School in Redondo Beach and Redondo Union High School. After graduating from Venice High in 1940, he lived in Palos Verdes Estates and, later, Palm Springs.[47]

In 1936 or ‘37, “at age 20, Clark became the first surfer to beat legendary waterman Pete Peterson in a paddling contest”[48] and successfully competed in paddleboard races on into 1942.[49]

Surfer’s Journal founder Steve Pezman asked Granny about Tulie beating Pete. LeRoy’s response, while not completely accurate, reflected the attitude most all 1930s surfers from California felt about Pete:  “I don’t remember anyone ever beating Pete.”[50]

Doc [Ball] told me,” Gary Lynch shared with me that “Tulie did not have to go to war. He was an only son and stayed home on the dairy I think it was.”[51] After the war, and after San Onofre had become the epicenter of the Southern California surfer lifestyle, Tulie became a charter member of the San Onofre Surfing Club. He was featured prominently in Doc Ball’s seminal 1946 photo book California Surfers.[52]

Tulie went on to become a real estate developer in Torrance, Lancaster, San Jose and the Palos Verdes Estates – building over 5,000 homes by the time he retired.

“He was one of the guys… not poverty-stricken, but very down, financially, in his early days,” Doc told me years ago. “Everybody used to get after me about him: ‘What are you doing – a doctor! – messing around with those bums; those surf bums?!’ Holy cow; about flipped my lid!

“The guy winds up being a millionaire… He went from a ‘surf bum’ to a millionaire.”[53]

As testimony to this, Gary Lynch remembered that “in 1986 [at the time of the PVSC reunion of that year] Tulie was showing off all his jewelry and fancy cars and such. He was wrapped up in material success.”[54]

In 1964, Tulie became the main investor for International Surfing magazine, known today as Surfing.[55]

Amongst his other notable accomplishments: He rebuilt the mining access road to Bluff Cove; was a Los Angeles County Lifeguard; and was entered into the Pioneer Surfers Walk of Fame.[56]

Tulie passed on April 30, 2010, after lengthy period of Alzheimer’s Disease.[57]

Some Tulie Clark links:

Tulie Clark and Fenton Scholes interviewed:

Some Don James images:

A great image from the 1939 PCSC @ San Onofre, featured in: Surfing in San Diego By John C. Elwell, Jane Schmauss, California Surf Museum:

Boardroom video, 2010, among legends of surfboard shaping:

Jackie Coogan

“Jackie Coogan was an actor who’d earned a fortune as a child star,” wrote photographer and surfer Don James. “As an adult he had to sue his parents for misappropriation of his funds. He didn’t receive a lot, but because of his case, there are now laws protecting minors’ wages. Coogan was relatively philosophical about the fiasco, and he was able to live in the Malibu Colony, where he surfed regularly. Back then, Malibu Point was fenced off and there was no public access. Since Jackie’s house in the Colony was just a couple of hundred feet from the best waves in the world, he considered himself to be extremely fortunate. Coogan let us come up to his house and surf, and he remained a great guy despite the emotional rollercoaster he was on. In later years, when Jackie’s career had resurrected itself and he had become a highly recognizable star… we would laugh about those quiet times in the Colony…”[58]

“Jackie used to bring his wife, [well known actress] Betty Grable, with him to San Onofre, and she would complain constantly, saying things like ‘get me off this filthy beach.’ We were never sure what reception might await us when we walked through the couple’s Malibu Colony house on our way to Surfrider Beach. One day Coogan had sold all of Grable’s furniture without her permission and then used the proceeds to purchase a new Mercury convertible. Jackie’s transgression instigated a tremendous argument. He came out in the water to surf and said, ‘Well, boys, it looks like I’m going to have some extra time on my hands; I think I’ll chrome my new motor.’ I never saw Betty again,” wrote Don James, “except as a pin-up on other sailor’s foot lockers.”[59]

Chauncy Granstrom

Chauncy Granstrom was a friend of Tom Blake’s and later of Tom’s protégé Tommy Zahn, too. In 1937, his “board was a ninety-pound Hawaiian, laminated redwood and pine style, which was popular in the islands at the time. Granstrom was a Pacific Coast Champion in the 1920s, and he served as a Santa Monica lifeguard.”[60]

Peanuts Larsen (1916-1986)

“Quirky pre-World War II surfer and board-builder from Laguna Beach, California,” is how Matt Warshaw wrote of Peanuts Larsen in the Encyclopedia of Surfing, “a model for the irrepressible and irresponsible Southern California surfer. Larson was born and raised in Laguna, and began surfing in the late ‘20s. During the depression he made surfboards, usually out of redwood and balsa, using a drawknife, for most of the two or three dozen Laguna surfers.”

“In 1939, Larson rode a 12-foot wave at a break called Church, just south of San Clemente, that became legendary among Southern California surfers of the period. ‘The whole thing walled up and crashed on him,’ eyewitness Brennan ‘Hevs’ McClelland recalled in 1953. ‘Nobody’d ever seen anybody ride a wave that big.’ Larson, a first-rate raconteur, later told a female friend, ‘My god, honey baby, that thing was 40-feet high! I was smokin’ through the tunnel with my candle lit!’ A photo of Larson on a smaller but still impressive wave at Dana Strand, taken around the same time by John ‘Doc’ Ball, became an iconic image of early California surfing. Larson sometimes worked as a Laguna Beach lifeguard, but was essentially unemployed throughout his life. He died in 1986 at age 70, still living at his mother’s trailer house in Laguna Beach. Larson is featured in two surfing photo books: Ball’s seminal California Surfriders (1946) and Don James’s 1936-1942: San Onofre to Point Dume, Photographs by Don James (1996).”[61] 

The definitive work on Peanuts was done by Craig Lockwood, simply entitled Peanuts.[62]

Don James wrote a caption to a 1942 image he shot of Peanuts: “George ‘Peanuts’ Larson… was a rogue individual who you were never quite sure about. Here he can be witnessed in his full glory after a month of sleeping on the beach at San Clemente reef without a bath. Larson didn’t sweat the amenities; he lived entirely off the sea. He would have made an ultimate jungle fighter or underwater demolition team member, had he made it to the war. Ironically, Peanuts instead chose to spend the night before his pre-induction physical in a closet, where he continually lit sulphur matches in the hope that their fumes would bring on a severe asthma attack. His plan worked, and they gave him an immediate 4-F classification.”[63]

Eddie McBride

“McBride was a surveyor who bought a new Dodge every year on the second of January, like clockwork,” recalled Don James. “He possessed a lucrative contract from the federal government’s Geological Survey to take depth soundings along the entire coast. The fact that Eddie rowed a dory eight hours a day, five days a week, during the course of his work also meant that he was in phenomenal physical condition.[64]

Buddy Morrissey

The following is taken from my “Flat Bottoms and Parallel Sides: The Design Contributions of Buddy Morrissey,” printed in The Surfer’s Journal:

Between the pine/redwood planks of surfing’s revival at the beginning of the 1900s and the emergence of the Malibu Board in the late 1940s, surfboards developed from simple slabs to hydro dynamically designed “surfing machines.”[65] It was nearly a half-century-long process and stuck smack dab in the middle of it was the 1930s surfboard shaper of choice: Bud Morrissey. More than any other shaper of his time, Morrissey helped usher in the advanced designs of “The Father of the Modern Surfboard” Bob Simmons and the subsequent development of the Malibu Board primarily at the hands of Joe Quigg. He did this with flat bottoms and parallel sides.

“As a kid, I got to go down with my family to Balboa Island and the Corona del Mar area,” Bud told surfing historian Gary Lynch in an interview in 1988, a number of years before his passing.[66] “Going out the bay, I saw guys surfing at old Corona del Mar… that looked like a great deal.” Of course, like many Southern California kids of his time, he also saw pictures and newsreels of people surfing. His first hands-on experience riding waves, though, was riding rented kayaks and getting “all screwed up.”

“First board I got was a paddleboard that my cousin and I made. I’m trying to think of a guy’s name – he just had some blueprints – Bob French.”

These were Tom Blake paddleboard diagrams. Although Bud at one point referred to French as “a bit of a screw-up,” he was a naval architect at one time and became an innovator of internal ribbing for paddleboards.[67] His late 1930s paddleboards were some of the finest designed during that period, as testified by the fact that one of his original boards even won a paddleboard race in the 1980s.[68]

“My cousin and I just got the plans from him,” Bud said of French. “Very detailed blueprints. That was the first board. 1934. We went down State Beach, first day, and I got bashed in the head. I guess it wasn’t long after that that I saw the regular type of surfboards. I went to all the different surfing places. Palos Verdes was predominantly paddleboards [hollow boards]. I was probably one of the first ones there to use a square-tail – or whatever you want to call it [a solid wood board].

“Also, one of my school buddies – this is going back to junior high school – was a brother of Myers Butte [pronounced “buddy”]. We were interested in hot rod cars… Myers Butte was Pacific Systems Homes. They built prefab houses. Myers Butte never became much of a surfer, but he was very interested in it [surfing]… Pacific Systems Homes is the place where they made most of the [solid wood] blanks. Lorrin [Harrison] got his blanks from there and shaped ‘em. That was a natural tie-in for me.

“Also, going over to Catalina, we did a lot of aquaplaning – the old fashioned aquaplane. Just a flat board.

“My first plank was a Christmas present. I don’t know who shaped it; possibly Lorrin. There was an old guy named ‘Dutch’ somebody who was not a surfer but shaped boards at Pacific Systems. That was Myers’ hobby, too.

“The balsa wood came from General Veneer. They imported the balsa wood, then Myers got it. Then we went to the balsa wood boards. Then – I imagine Myers was the one who came up with the balsa board with redwood rails. You know, redwood nose and redwood tail piece and some stringers. Then we went to pure balsa. Oh, they were so light compared to what we’d been using! That was way before glassing [fiberglass]. But, the damn balsa boards would just get chewed apart, you know, in the rocks, in rocky areas – Palos Verdes, for one.

“I went to Hawaii first time in 1936. They were still riding without a fin – Hawaiian-style redwoods. I made one of those. They did very badly in cold water. Then, Myers built a lot of redwoods like that [possibly pointing to a balsa/redwood combination], probably before the balsa really came in. I went back to redwoods, then; like that [pointing to another board], chambered. They were doweled.”

Back in the 1930s, most guys made their own boards, but it was generally considered that if you wanted a better board, you needed to get one made by someone with a proven track record of successful boards. Recalling the main shapers of his day, Bud noted Johnny Stinton of Santa Monica, Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison of Laguna Beach and himself.

“I shaped boards for different guys… dozens.

“What I went to was a flat bottom and parallel sides. I’m pretty sure I introduced that. Absolutely flat bottoms. Lots of them [at that time] were rounded bottoms. My idea was – with no engineering [background] or anything – they [the boards at the time] were just kinda pushing sideways all the time. Parallel sides would keep ‘em straight and flat bottoms were like boat bottoms.”[69]

The best example of a Morrissey-shaped chambered redwood – possibly the only surviving Morrissey chambered – is the board held in the Surfing Heritage Foundation (SHF) collection, a gift from William C. Janss, who later in his life owned the Sun Valley Ski Resort. The board is 11’4” x 21.5” x 3.75” and weighs in at 78 pounds.

“Bill took this board on the… Lurline to Hawaii in 1939,” Barry Haun of the SHF told me, “surfed it there, then brought it back to the mainland and later had it in his home in Sun Valley, Idaho. It is one of the first boards to have a fin made of aluminum (only 1”deep).”

Bill Janss recalled the board being built sometime around 1934. However, it was most likely shaped sometime afterwards; probably between 1936-1939, after Morrissey was fully exposed to Tom Blake’s hollow board designs with transverse ribbing. Janss wrote that the board was built to surf Malibu, Palos Verdes and San Onofre. It was ridden at Malibu, Palos Verdes, San Onofre and at Waikiki – Queens, First Break, Public Baths and Castle (Steamer Lane). “Size of waves approximately 20-25 feet. At the time I thought 30-35 feet or more.”

The board is a hollowed redwood laminate with later modifications like a two inch reduction in length (original was 11’6”) and a metal skeg extrusion on the bottom toward the tail. Like other boards of that era, it was typically carried on the shoulder somewhat perpendicular to the ground. Janss remembers carrying the board sometimes a fair distance, like from the cliff road to the beach at Palos Verdes.

The Janss/Morrissey board consists of five air cells, three ¼” horizontal wooden struts for support during construction and strength during hard use. After the board was originally shaped, it was broken apart so that the air pockets could be created and the struts added, then it was reassembled. The board was sealed with 3-to-4 coats of Val spar varnish. The “price from my companion designer/builder,” wrote Janss, “was $30 FOB.”

The board was well cared for and even “wrapped in beach towels from the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki. It was varnished and sanded every two years. It was shipped in a wooden crate yearly to Waikiki. It was a charmed board, as it went over a few coral reefs and finally just arrived from Hawaii [one time] with no wrapping.” [70]

“Main accident to board was in late 30’s when Dick Ince (father was producer Tom Ince who died under mysterious conditions in Catalina Harbor near William Randolph Hearst’s yacht) pearled into Public Bath Reef. Nose reworked locally by a Japanese cabinet maker who copied triangular design... Other damage occurred from storage and bad handling at Duke’s restaurant.

“DAY OF FAME: Was surfing with Duke and Morrissey at Public Baths and got caught in 10’ wave. Board washed over coral reef. It was a long swim to reach a narrow channel through reef. Duke paddled up on his Blake-built koa paddle board (160 pounds, 16 feet long and hollow). Duke took me on tandem and we caught smaller wave that deposited us on reef. I said, ‘I’m out a here,’ and Duke said to stay put and we would catch next wave in across the reef. We did that and I recovered board – no damage – and returned to Public Baths Surf.”[71]

Bill Janss, himself, had begun surfing in the “Santa Monica area, until 1933 when I teamed up with Buddy daily after school. Each weekend we would be at Malibu, Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Storm Channel and San Onofre.” He remembered notable surf sessions with Tommy Holmes and Bob Sides “on reef off Santa Monica Canyon in the early days. Spent a day with Tony Guererro (Santa Monica Beach Club life guard), Duke Kahanamoku and my brother Ed (he owned the car)… surfed at Balboa Storm Channel (Corona del Mar)…”

When he went to Hawai’i sometime after 1936, Janss “started surfing Waikiki... After a year we ventured out past Public Baths and worked Castle Surf which came up two to three times during the summer. Only companions out there were Duke K., Tom Blake, Tarzan Smith and Buddy Morrissey. Sometimes it was quite lonely for the two of us. Our surfing spot could be set by triangulation with objects on shore.”[72]

“We had a one bedroom apartment (could sleep 3) opposite Queens in back of Piggly Wiggly Market, with monthly rental of $35… Our attire was: a pair of shorts with one pocket (for paraffin wax) plus jockey shorts.”[73]

Janss described the way in which they turned a surfboard back then: “Turning – combination of leaning board and dragging foot. Foot was lodged against board, board was rocked back to help board change direction. Body position moved forward on wave to increase speed. Board leaned into wave to increase speed. Hip action helped in turning. Moved back on board when turning.”[74]

The problem with turning a surfboard is what lead Tom Blake, in 1934, to invent the surfboard skeg – or, what we now commonly call the “fin.” In commenting about the first fin on a surfboard, Bud Morrissey commented that “Like any invention, several people come upon the idea [more or less] at the same time.”

About his own first application of a skeg to a surfboard, Bud said: “You’ve heard lots about [Miki Dora’s step father] Gard Chapin and you’ve heard the term huli.[75] That’s what we used to call a board without a fin and a very steep wave that tails pretty good. That’s a huli.

“Gard and I were out one day. We had talked about, ‘God, what we gonna do about this huli shit?’ And I said, ‘Gard, I got an idea. Let’s go on the beach.’ We found an old – oh, like an orange crate – that had some pieces of wood [I thought I could use]. We knocked off a piece with a rock and then hammered it into the boards… That did the trick, yeah.

“Then, I made a very similar design, but deeper, probably only an inch and a half long. There were a couple of reasons for that. Stickin’ it in, in those days – there were convertibles, cars with rumble seats. You’d put the boards in the rumble seat. The fin of today would have been in the way horribly… That was a part of the evolution of it.”

“I made some,” Bud said kind of chuckling about fins, “out of aluminum – T-sections of aluminum. It came in a T-shape. I used that for a while until I just caught holy hell at Waikiki because they were dangerous. Guys would say, ‘Hey, you’re gonna kill somebody with that.’ So, I went back to wood. Actually, the aluminum did have very sharp edges and could have hurt somebody. But, that’s the only other material. They weren’t dynamically shaped.”[76]

As for materials and weight, “I had some solid redwoods [weighing] as much as 120 pounds… I think I got the idea of cedar; a lighter wood; got Myers to [glue me up some]. Solid cedars came in at 80-85 pounds, depending on the size of the board you used. Eleven feet, six inches was pretty standard [for length]… Then went back to chambering… [redwood boards] made out of 1 x 4’s, glued together. They’d come out 80-85 pounds… Balsas were real floaters. They’d come out at 50 [pounds] or less.”

“I shaped most of ‘em right here,” he said chuckling in his home on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles. “I just shaped, is what I did. Myers Butte would, you know, band-saw ‘em out for me. I used to get hell as a kid – balsa shavings blowing down the street,” he said laughing. “I used a hatchet, a draw shave, a plane – then, just sand it.”

In addition to Bill Janss, Bud’s friends included Gardner Lippincott, Bob Sides (pronounced “cy-dez”), Brian Janda – “a haoli from the coast, but also member of the Hawaiian Beach Patrol” – Tommy Holmes, Bob Butts, Danny Alexander, Woody Brown – “Something else!” – Dale Velzy – “Dale’s a real character… The Hawk!” – and Tom Blake. 

“Tom Blake really coached me, really helped me… very positive input.”

When one looks at photographs of the 1930s and notes the changes in shape that solid and hollow surfboards took over the course of the decade, Bud’s parallel sides and flat bottom influences can be clearly seen as the dominant plan shape by decade’s end. The period just before World War II was when Bud considered he was at the height of his art. Coincidentally, this was the time when he married the top woman surfer of the decade, Mary Ann Hawkins. By the mid-1940s, Bud’s influence as a shaper would be felt in the surfboard’s next progression at the hands of Bob Simmons.

“I think we exchanged ideas,” Bud told Gary Lynch about his interaction with Simmons. “We both contributed to each other’s ideas. His boards, I feel, were sort of a take off on mine, only he did the spoon nose which sounded like a hell of a good idea and it turned out to be that way. The top of boards started to be shaped at that point.”[77]

Jack Quigg

Jack Quigg was the older brother of Joe Quigg.

“Jack Quigg… was a superlative athlete,” wrote Don James. “Once at UCLA, Quigg was goofing around in the broad jump pit, when a football flew over from the adjacent field where the varsity team was working out. Jack was barefooted, and he kicked the ball in a perfect high spiral arc all the way to the end of the other field. It was a magnificent feat. The head coach came running over immediately and asked Quigg to come out and join the squad. Jack ignored the coach and uttered some undecipherable grunt and walked away. The coach was quite taken aback; here was this incredible prospect who wouldn’t even acknowledge his offer. We used to call Quigg ‘Indian Jack’ because he was so stoic; he never said much of anything.”[78]

Mary Kerwin Reihl (1912-2004)

Mary (Kerwin) Reihl – “Mimi” as she was known to her family and friends – was born in 1912, and was among the first generation of children to be born and raised in Hermosa Beach. Her Grand Uncle Bernard “Ben” Hiss, was an early real estate entrepreneur in the South Bay area, who was on the original Board of Trustees that was responsible for incorporation of the City of Hermosa Beach in 1907. Mary’s father, John Kerwin, emigrated from Ireland in 1905 and started the family bakery business in Hermosa Beach in 1910, after meeting Mary Emma Hiss in Hermosa Beach and then marrying her at Dominguez Chapel in Redondo Beach. Mary/Mimi was the second of nine children born at the family residence and bakery business, which was located on lower Santa Fe Avenue, an area now known as now Pier Plaza. The building the Kerwins lived and worked in still stands, but is a resurrection of the original wood frame structure that was badly damaged by a fire in 1916.

Mary attended Ocean View School in Hermosa Beach, located at the crest of the sand dunes, near the current location of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Monterrey Boulevard. Although the little town of Hermosa Beach was growing rapidly at the time, the town center and surrounding residential area essentially consisted of an expanse of sand that was the landward extension of the adjoining beach area. With the ocean as a backyard, it was only natural that Mary and her siblings would get into surfing at an early age.[79]

Her family’s home was on the floor above their bakery on Pier Avenue, less than a half block from the beach. “You could spit out the window at the water, and that was our playground,” recalled Mary’s brother Ted Kerwin.

“We were born and raised with our feet in the ocean, all nine of us,” said Mary’s sister Emma Halibrand.[80]

Mary was a natural athlete, and although she was generally the only female surfing, she didn’t feel particularly special or unique because that was just one of the family activities when you lived at the beach.[81]

As kids, Ted Kerwin recalled, they rode waves on everything from belly boards made of scrap lumber to discarded wooden ironing boards before progressing to much larger and heavier paddleboards and solid-wood surfboards. In 1934, Mary’s older brother Johnny – a good friend of Doc Ball’s – founded the Hermosa Beach Surfing Club, whose 14 original members included his brothers Joe, Jim, Fred and Ted. Mary, however, could not join the club. It was a strictly male organization, although she represented the club in contests.
When Mary started surfing in the 1930s, the sight of a woman riding the waves was a rarity. “There were very, very few women surfers,” recalled Ted Kerwin. “It wasn’t the thing to do for many women.”[82]

Mary graduated from Redondo Union high School in 1931, and three years later married Ward Reihl,  Southern California Gas Company employee, at Saint James Church in Redondo Beach.

When the Hermosa Beach Surfing Club formed in 1934, Mary’s five brothers, John, Joe, Fred, Jim and Ted comprised the core of the Club that competed with the Palos Verdes Surfing Club and other newer clubs just starting up. Mary, her sister Emma and a few of the other local ladies represented Hermosa Beach in the women’s division of the surfing and paddling competitions during the 1930s and early 1940s. Although Mary and Ward’s daughter, Joan, was born in 1936, Mary continued to represent Hermosa Beach, and won the prestigious Pacific Coast Surfing Championship that was held in Long Beach in 1939.[83]

“She was the best I saw at that time, which wasn’t really that earth shaking,” said Mary’s brother Jim, a resident of Oak View, near Ojai.  “She just rode straight in; there were no fancy maneuvers like they do today.”

Jim Kerwin still has the 12-foot, 65-pound paddleboard he made out of pine and quarter-inch plywood for his sister in 1939. It’s the same board she used to win the Pacific Coast Surfing Championship in Long Beach. She also used it to compete in other contests, including the 1939 national paddleboard and surfing championship in Long Beach where she placed first in the women’s division for the quarter-mile national paddleboard championship, with a time of four minutes, 32 seconds.

The gregarious Mary/Mimi loved all sports and was an avid tennis player. “I always called her Molly-O because she was a typical Irish gal,” said Ted Kerwin. “She was in the middle of everything.”[84]

Mary’s second child, Bob, was born in 1941, shortly before the departure of most surfers, including her five brothers, to serve during World War II. With the attention of the country directed to the war, the surfing scene in Southern California went on leave of absence for several years.

During and after the war, Mary’s affection and family ties to the beach continued, but her children and family became her primary focus and her surfing career was relegated to a past of pleasant memories. In recognition of her pioneer status in the sport of surfing in Hermosa Beach, Mary was inducted into the Hermosa Beach Surfers Walk of Fame in March 2003, along with four of her brothers.

Mary remained a “kid at heart” throughout her long life, and is remembered as never being far from a good time, which combined to make her a favorite with the younger generations of her large family and extended family.[85] Her nephew Scott Kerwin, said that when quizzed about her early surfing days at family reunions, his aunt wasn’t much interested in the subject. “She was more interested in what was going on now than what was going on in the past.” Mary passed away on March 16, 2004, at the age of 91.[86]

Cliff Tucker

Cliff Tucker recalled the 1930s as a time, “when a man could still be arrested at Santa Monica Beach for not wearing a top.” That is to say, for wearing trunks, only.[87] As for the contests, they were serious business. “If you were in a contest situation and a guy took off in front of you, it was your obligation to show no decency. You either went right through him or otherwise mowed him down.”

“For years,” Tucker said, “surfing was the biggest thing in my life. I remember thinking that if I couldn’t ride a wave again, I couldn’t live. I really thought that there was nothing else in the world that I’d rather do.”[88]

“He was a member of our surfin’ club,” Doc Ball laughed at the memory of Tucker. “Yeah, he was a wild one. He’s the one that got the picture in there (his book) where he got the axe and took about 40 stitches in his leg. He was out of the water for a few days!”[89]

“With pools of blood as a backdrop,” surf writer Gary Lynch wrote, “one such photograph reveals the innermost composition of famed daredevil surfer Cliff Tucker’s leg. With his leg filleted to the bone by the metal fins that were once screwed to the rear of the enormous boards and resembled medieval weapons, Cliff Tucker lies on a bench waiting to be transported to the hospital where some forty stitches later he could once again use his leg to support his torso. Tucker was noted for breaking boards in half along with assorted body parts. The Los Angeles Times newspaper once declared in an article published the night before a San Onofre contest that, ‘Cliff Tucker is the most daring surfrider on the California coast.’”[90]

Tucker went on to win the Pacific Coast Surfing Championships in 1940.

“One year,” recalled Don James, “during Lorrin and Pete’s reign, Cliff Tucker from the Palos Verdes Surfing Club took it [the Pacific Coast Surfing Championship] and everyone was astounded. Tucker was a good surfer who introduced strategy into the competitive scene the year he took the title. During the preliminary heats earlier in the day when the wind was calmer, he rode a lighter more maneuverable board. Later for the finals, which were held in choppy conditions, Cliff used a heavier board that wasn’t affected by the wind and bumps. No one had ever thought of doing that before.”[91]

“The contest was at San Onofre,” wrote surf writer Matt Warshaw, “and during the morning’s preliminary rounds, held in windless conditions, Tucker rode his ‘ultralight’ – a hollow, 50-pound plywood board. Later he switched to a 120-pound spruce board, partly to smooth his way through the wind-chopped afternoon waves, but also to put a little fear into his opponents… In the final round of the Championships, with most surfers eliminated, Tucker went back to the lighter board and rode to victory.”[92]

Freddy Zehndar

“Freddy was an impressive character who used to execute flat swan dives [into the surf]… in a couple of inches of water, to amaze the young lovelies,” recalled Don James. “He was an Olympic team swimmer during the 1920s, and he later worked as the head stunt diver on the [1970s] movie Jaws.”[93]

“Freddy Zehndar… was a newsreel cameraman for the Fox Movietone News in 1928,” Don James went on, “and he filmed the Panay incident, where the U.S. Marines fired upon a Chinese vessel. The resulting furor almost started a war. The Hollywood theatrical film The Sandpebbles was based upon the occurrence.”[94]

[1] Mary Ann occasionally misspelled Whitey’s first name as “Loren.”
[2] Gardner Lippincott (spelled Gardener Lippencot by Mary Ann) won the PCSC in 1934. See Gault-Williams and Lynch, “Doc Ball, Early California Surf Photog.”
[3] George “Nellie Bly” Brignell spelt “Nellie Blye Prignell,” by Mary Ann. See Gault-Williams and Lynch, “Doc Ball, Early California Surf Photog.”
[4] See Gault-Williams and Lynch, “Doc Ball, Early California Surf Photog.”
[5] See Gault-Williams, “Redwoods, Hollows & Redwood Combos.” Mary Ann identified this as “Frenchy Peterson,” but the only Frenchy around at that time was Frenchy Jahan.
[6] See Gault-Williams, “Redwoods, Hollows & Redwood Combos.” Mary Ann identified this as “Stokes,” but it was most surely Charlie “Doakes” Butler.
[7] See Gault-Williams, “Pete & Whitey.” Bill Hollingsworth, Bob Sides, Willy Grigsby and Whitey Harrison were the first guys known to have surfed San Onofre, after Sides first discovered it as a surfing spot, circa 1933.
[8] Hawkins, Mary Ann. Letter to Gary Lynch, March 15, 1989. Punctuation corrected.
[9] James, Don. Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume, 1936-1942, ©1996, p. 132. Don James written caption to image on p. 74.
[11] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. Interview with John “Doc” Ball, January 10, 1998.
[12] Warshaw, Matt. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 118.
[13] Rensin, David. All For A Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora, ©2008, p. 38. Joe Quigg quoted.
[14] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. E.J. Oshier quoted.
[15] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. Woody Ekstrom quoted.
[16] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. Jim “Burrhead” Drever quoted.
[17] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. LeRoy Grannis quoted.
[18] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. Kit Horn quoted.
[19] Rensin, ©2008, p. 39. Bill Van Dorn quoted.
[20] Rensin, ©2008, p. 39. Burrhead Drever quoted.
[21] Rensin, ©2008, p. 39. Woody Ekstrom quoted.
[22] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. Douglas Stancliff quoted.
[23] Rensin, ©2008, p. 38. Jim “Burrhead” Drever quoted.
[24] Rensin, ©2008, p. 39. Gard Chapin, Jr. quoted.
[25] Warshaw, Matt. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 118.
[26] Rensin, ©2008, pp. 50-51. Miklos Dora, Sr. quoted.
[27] Rensin, ©2008, p. 51. Mike McNeill quoted.
[28] Rensin, ©2008, p. 51. Miklos Dora, Sr. quoted.
[29] Rensin, ©2008, pp. 51-52. Gardner Chapin, Jr. quoted.
[30] Rensin, ©2008, p. 52. Quoting from Dora Lives.
[31] Rensin, ©2008, p. 52.
[32] Rensin, ©2008, p. p. 52. Gardner Chapin, Jr. quoted.
[33] Rensin, ©2008, p. p. 52. LeRoy Grannis quoted.
[34] Rensin, ©2008, p. 39.
[35] Warshaw, Matt. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 118.
[36] Rensin, ©2008, p. 103. Gardner Chapin, Jr. quoted.
[37] Rensin, ©2008, p. 104. Bill Van Dorn quoted. Burial date May 23, 1957.
[38] Warshaw, Matt. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 118.
[39] Rensin, ©2008, p. 104. Gardner Chapin, Jr. quoted.
[40] Warshaw, Matt. Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 122.
[41] Santa Monica Heritage Museum exhibit “Cowabunga!” February 1994.
[42] Young, 1983, p. 57. Normally, I would not trust Nat’s dating, but it is true he talked with many old timers when their memories were clear, in preparation for his first edition of The History of Surfing.  Dates of Blake hollow board productions can be found in Lynch, Gault-Williams, et. al, TOM BLAKE: The Uncommon Journey of a Pioneer Waterman.
[43] Stecyk, The Surfer’s Journal, Winter 1993-94, pp. 38-42. Whitey said “this was about 1931,” but it could not have been earlier than 1933, as Whitey didn’t come back from O‘ahu until 1933. He was probably talking about the summer of 1934. Whitey spelled Tulie “Tule;” corrected in this version. See the Pete Peterson chapter in LEGENDARY SURFERS, Volume 3 for date corroboration. Whitey laughed when he recalled Bertolet’s nickname. He explained “Laholio” meant “horse balls” in Spanish.
[44] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. “E.J. Oshier: Living the Life,” ©2001.
[45] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. Interview with John “Doc” Ball, January 10, 1998.
[46] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. “LeRoy ‘Granny’ Grannis, ©1999.
[47] May 4, 2010 -
[48] Warshaw, Matt. Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 122.
[49] May 4, 2010 -
[50] Lockwood, “Waterman Preston ‘Pete’ Peterson,” 2005-2006, p. 57.
[51] Gary Lynch email to Malcolm, May 5, 2010.
[52] May 4, 2010 -
[53] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. Interview with John “Doc” Ball, January 10, 1998.  Steve Pezman told me he made his money in real estate and lived in Palm Springs.
[54] Gary Lynch email to Malcolm, May 5, 2010.
[55] Warshaw, Matt. Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 122.
[56] May 4, 2010 -
[57] May 4, 2010 -
[58] James, ©1996, p. 124. Don James written caption to image on p. 36.
[59] James, ©1996, pp. 128-129. Don James written caption to image on p. 58.
[60] James, ©1996, p. 134. Don James written caption to image on p. 86.
[61] Warshaw, Matt. Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, pp. 332-333.
[62] Peanuts is available at the Surfing Heritage Foundation and Croul Publications.
[63] James, Don. Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume, 1936-1942, ©1996, p. 139. Don James written caption to image on p. 112.
[64] James, ©1996, p. 125. Don James written caption to image on p. 39.
[65] Bob Simmons reference.
[66] December 5, 1988.
[67] Lynch, Gary. Interview with Bud Morrissey, early 1990s. Bud’s acknowledgement.
[68] Lynch, Gary. Email to Malcolm, December 26, 2004.
[69] Morrissey, Buddy. Interview with Gary Lynch, early 1990’s.
[70] Janss, Bill. Description of the Board, written for the Surfing Heritage Foundation.
[71] Janss, Bill. Description of the Board, written for the Surfing Heritage Foundation. In the loving care of Janss’ step son Brant Cooper since 1973, it was restored and refinished by Cooper in 1990 and then shipped to Duke’s Canoe Club at Kalapaki for display. It is now in the collection at the Surfing Heritage Foundation. Duke actually shaped and made the board he rode that day, inspired by Blake. See LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 2.
[72] Janss, Bill. Description of the Board, written for the Surfing Heritage Foundation. Bill claims to have first begun surfing Waikiki in 1933, but Morrissey said he, himself, did not make it to Hawai’i until 1936. Assuming both were around the same age, the later date would make more sense as they would have been high school graduates by 1936, while they still would have been around 16 years of age and in high school had it been 1933. Also, it is generally considered that the first Californians to take up short term residency at Waikiki were Pete Peterson and Whitey Harrison circa 1933 and Tarzan Smith circa 1934.
[73] Janss, Bill. Description of the Board, written for the Surfing Heritage Foundation. Bill recalls this as 1934.
[74] Janss, Bill. Description of the Board, written for the Surfing Heritage Foundation.
[75] Huli – to turn, reverse; to curl over, as a breaker. Pukui and Elbert, Hawaiian Dictionary, ©1986, p. 89.
[76] Morrissey, Buddy. Interview with Gary Lynch, early 1990’s.
[77] Gault-Williams, “Flat Bottoms and Parallel Sides: The Design Contributions of Buddy Morrissey,” The Surfer’s Journal.
[78] James, Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume, 1936-1942, ©1996, p. 124. Don James written caption to image on p. 34. See also other pages of images featuring Jack Quigg and contemporaries.
[79] Obituary, 2004. Source unknown.
[80] Surfer, March 8, 2004.
[81] Obituary, 2004. Source unknown.
[82] Surfer, March 8, 2004.                    
[83] Obituary, 2004. Source unknown.
[84] Surfer, March 8, 2004.
[85] Obituary, 2004. Source unknown.
[86] Surfer, March 8, 2004.
[87] Ball, John “Doc.” Notes to the draft, May 19-21, 1998.
[88] Lueras, 1984, p. 109. Cliff Tucker quoted.
[89] Gault-Williams, Malcolm. Interview with John “Doc” Ball, January 10, 1998.
[90] Lynch, Gary, “Doc Ball, Legendary Lensman,” April 10, 1990.
[91] James, ©1996, p. 128. Don James written caption to image on p. 53.
[92] Warshaw, Matt. Encyclopedia of Surfing, ©2003, p. 655.
[93] James, ©1996, p. 124. Don James written caption to image on p. 32.
[94] James, ©1996, p. 131. Don James written caption to image on p. 69.

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