Dec 21, 2009
have a house full of surfboards. The basement is racked with boards, the garage is stacked with boards, and there are a few hanging on the walls throughout the house because that’s my idea of “art deco.” Meg is a good sport, she always has been, and from the very moment that we first began dating Meighan has always understood that I always have…a lot of boards hanging around.
I have my “go to” Biolos shapes in my garage, a few Stewart longboards, and then I have a couple of gems that I have acquired over the years. The Yearwood twinnie, the Larry Giles single fin, and the 5′9 Machado, Al Merrick shaped, single fin (green tint) that has spent way too much time hanging in the rafters collecting dust over the past several years. I reached for the Machado this morning, and I didn’t quite realize the importance of doing so until I was in the water at first light.
The ocean storm, that dumped a good bit of snow on us on Saturday, also threw us some fun waves. I got in a session yesterday, early morning, and the wind was really beginning to howl NW. When I woke up this morning, I knew that there would be waves but I also knew that I was going to be windy. I had an insane session riding my shortboard yesterday, so I wanted to change things up a bit for this mornings surf – just to keep it interesting – and I stepped down into the basement today to have a look.
The 5′9 Machado single fin was Josh’s. Josh Prince had that board shaped for him, by Al Merrick, close to five years ago. Back in 2004, riding “retro” boards was in fashion. It is fun to have a few retro shapes in your quiver because it’s neat to be able to have the opportunity to ride different boards on any given day. It keeps things interesting and having a few “niche” boards helps keep the stoke alive. With that said, in 2004 I was in the process of trying to find a “cool” retro single fin and I began to scour the racks of the various shops up and down the Carolina coast.
Josh Prince and I were on the same tip. I found a 6′2 Surf Prescription “Donovan” model single fin that I thought was going to be magic. Josh had Merrick shape him the 5′9. But we both got dogs. My Doc was too big and Josh’s Machado didn’t float him too well so we switched boards. Even trade. Josh got the 6′2, I got the 5′9, and we were both stoked. Retro was so cool…..
Josh died suddenly from a brain aneurysm a few years ago. He was managing Eastern Edge Surf Shop in New Bern, NC., and Josh first became aware that he was ill as he was flying home after attending Surf Expo. Josh and I used to surf together a lot – scoring the sandbars at the end of Deer Horn in EI because his sister had a house down the street. We shared some unreal sessions, but we never had a chance to surf our single fins together. Josh was a young father, leaving a wonderful wife and three little babies behind, and I can’t help but think of Josh every time I glance at that green tinted 5′9 single fin.
For some reason, Josh wasn’t in my thoughts this morning when I pulled the board from the rafters. I paddled out at my spot this morning, and I already had grabbed a few waves before the thought of Josh entered my mind. Suddenly images of the sessions that Josh and I shared became very real. I could feel his presence, I thought of his family, and I spoke to Josh out loud. I hope that he was stoked on the waves I caught on his 5′9 this morning. I hope that the crew in New Bern is watching over his family. You are missed, brother. Life just isn’t fair.
Thank you all for the beautiful messages and Meg and I know that you have us all in your thoughts and we love you all so very much. We are blessed. I truly feel as though we’re blessed to have so many folks holding us in their thoughts – especially during this Holiday season. Meg and I are growing stronger and we have many of you to thank for providing us with the courage to heal. Be thankful for the gifts in your lives and please cherish this very special time of year with your families. Meg and I promise to do the same.
I promise that I’ll ride the Yearwood tomorrow, Dave, if there are any leftovers. Regardless of the surf, I’ve got plans to head to Gunstock in the morning and shred my “Molly” board. Something is urging me to ride that board so I feel compelled to do so….tomorrow. See you on the hill, Mol.
Dec 17, 2009
Last week Jennifer Kimball sent me this great email about her daughter donating her hair to Locks of Love in honor of Molly; what a great thing to do right before the holidays:
My daughter Lauren (born in April 2006) always had a lot of hair for her age. She has also always been very tiny. I used to joke that I wouldn’t get her hair cut because it was the only thing that gave her any weight.
Her hair was a huge part of who she is – comments like “Wow, she has such beautiful hair” or “Wow, she has such long hair for her age!” were common. When Molly was first diagonised with lymphoma, I decided that Lauren and I would donate our hair to Locks of Love. When Molly passed this summer, I knew it was time for Lauren to get that first haircut. (I’m still growing mine!) Yet, as the days and months went by, it was hard for me to let go. This past week, I was sitting in church with Meg and Buck as we watched our kids practice for the Christmas pageant. Meg and I were discussing angels and that Molly is still here, giving Meg kisses. That was when I realized that I am so lucky to have my babies with me and it was time to “let go” of the hair. SO, I took Lauren for her first EVER haircut on Thursday Dec. 10. She was able to donate over 10″ to Locks of Love and had a total of about 13″ +/- cut. The new “do” totally suits her personality and she loves it (as do I). We just hope that this little act will help put a smile on some other little girl’s face when she has a new beautiful wig to wear after her chemo treatments rob her body of her own hair.
Here are some shots I took at the salon. Best wishes, Jen & Lauren