Further ramblings from a (surfin’) SoCal mind.

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If one were to take any two of the nuns that taught me during grade school in the fifties, turn them loose on the marine base at Camp Pendleton, there wouldn’t be a sideburn left on any marine. Let loose all the nuns at St Marks school on the Taliban and Al Quida in Afghanistan, and we would have had Osama under wraps within one week. Such was the nature of my teachers during my early years: they were some bad ass nuns. I think they were called ‘The Sisters of the Holy Order of we’ll rip your lungs out.”

You can imagine how, after the daily ritual of learning under the umbrella of the nuns, us kids had to find some way to let off steam. Thus was born skate boarding. I think every kid, at one time or another, during the early fifties, took apart his old skates, and fitted the skate wheels to a board, nailed a handle to the board, and rode it down the street. The skate wheels back then were all metal, with ball bearings. The metal wheels had a nasty habit of suddenly stopping if they came in contact with anything remotely resembling a crack in the concrete sidewalks or asphalt streets. It is my firm belief they would stop if they contacted a piece of puffed rice.

What we found out was, by taking the handle off, and riding just the board, the adrenaline rush increased by leaps and bounds. We figured if your going to break a bunch of bones, you might as well get a rush out of it. Thus was born our first drug addiction. This lasted until we reached high school, where riding a board, with skate wheels nailed to it, failed to impress girls, which we had discovered frowned on seeing a dude wrapped in a cast. Oh, they loved to autograph it, but what’s a guy to do when he can’t move? Talk about a whore-moaned fueled frustrated teen.

That was about the time the surf board made its debut in SoCal. The boards at that time were about ten feet long and weighed as much as a small car. If you went to the beach, saw some guy lift one under his arm, and walk with it into the surf, you didn’t mess with him.

I had three other buddies I hung with then, Jim, Tom and Bob. One of them came up with a surf board, so we took it to the ocean and thought about trying it out. When we got there, there was a group pf people surrounding some dude laying on the sand. Seems his board caught him in the face when he fell off, and laid his nose over on his cheek. Needless to say, we kinda thought we’d think about this sport a bit more.

We spent about two weeks practicing laying done and paddling, kneeling and paddling, then standing up. Finally, we took the board and actually got in the ocean with it. Things never quite go as planned, as we found out. The laying down and kneeling went okay; it was the standing up part that took us to task. Imagine four high school freshmen, trying to look cool, falling off a board big enough to build a barn door out of.

Anyway, we got semi-proficient at it, and headed up to Malibu. Yep, that Malibu, with it’s hot babes and football/movie star dudes. We attempted to fit in, but after watching some kid, around eight or nine, looking like he was on a two pound suger high, jam past us on a wave, hanging twenty, we decided watching the girls was a much better pasttime. I knew a family that lived in one of the beach houses, and after seeing our attempts at surfing, told me never to see them again. Well, at least as long as we had a board in our hands.

To make a long story short, we pretty much sucked at surfing, and eventually gave it up for bowling. I do have one thing to admit, though: when I was stationed at Lowery AFB in Denver in ’65, the drinking age was eighteen at the 3.2 clubs, the girls there were more than happy to listen to my surfing exploits, them being dry-landers and all. I mean it’s nothing any other red blooded horny American GI wouldn’t do . . . right . . . right?


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9 responses to “Further ramblings from a (surfin’) SoCal mind.

  1. jammer5

    Opps! Guess I’d better do my own paragraph separation. Sorry ’bout that!!

  2. Right, jammer. Nothing wrong with using your surfer exploits to influence a young female.

    Reminds me of my basic training days at Lackland, and listening to the young’uns trying to influence the young women at the USO. I used to smile a lot.

    Being the “old married guy” did come in handy, though; a basic trainee WAF (that’s what they were called in those days) had been a “Bunny” in a Playboy club. Needless to say, she was in high demand as company for the younger guys (and she was, shall we say, not too thrilled). This led to a few afternoons where she and I would just sit and talk about “stuff”, much to the dismay of the younger set. A really nice person; I hope she found her calling in life and was successful.

  3. wicked

    Did you drive a woody, too? The car kind, ya know. 😉 (I know how you guys are.)

    I wanted to take my mom’s ironing board, paint it and set it in the corner of my bedroom, pretending it was a surfboard. My mom said, “Not only no, but h— no.”

    Too many Gidget movies, I’m sure.

  4. fnord

    I loved it, Jammer!

    I’ve heard many descriptions of the Nuns at Catholic schools and although they all express the same sentiments — you hung the words together waaaay better!

    I can’t relate to your side (ya know, the boys side), and I grew up in Kansas where there weren’t any surfers anywhere, but there were young horny guys doing the same stupid kinds of things to get attention.

    And, we stupid young girls were watching and wondering how we could be cool enough to be the one who caught their eye.

    I tell you, we were all young, we were all horny, and we were all scared sh it less! 😉

    How did we grow up to be the adults we are today? Not that we’ve changed in any way except now we’re old, not so horny as often, and hide the fact that we’re scared sh it less by life!

  5. iggydonnelly


    I have really enjoyed these trips into the past. I was born in Wichita, grew up here and never lived outside of Kansas. Your experiences were real different from mine. It seems to me that you have a way (talent) of making your time and place come alive.

    Thank you.

  6. jammer5

    Nope :-0

  7. jammer5

    Thanks, Iggy. It’s Awesome there’s a place where we can bring our own little piece of the past. Good way to get to know each other. I’ve done a bit of writing in the past, and had some good input, so that makes it that much more fun.

    I really look forward to all of you joining in the bonding thing.

  8. prairiepond

    Group hug (((((((((((blogggies)))))))))))


  9. jammer5

    If Cheney used the nuns at gitmo, the prisoners would either convert to Catholicism or shoot themselves in the head . . .