Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A trip to Byron Bay & reflections on good times spent in the Bay area over the years...





When I was about 14, my old man (R.I.P) took me & my younger brother on a road trip from Melbourne to Byron Bay, these days people tend to fly alot more,but we took the overland route back then which is about an 18 hour haul through Sydney,then Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie & then onto Byron. You can do it differently if you want, especially if there has been a cyclone & there is a decent swell running you might luck into some epic waves at legendary spots like Angourie or Lennox Head. On one of our many trips up to Byron one of my most memorable moments was meeting famous 70's surf filmography pioneer George Greenough. I think Dad had been in contact with him about a documentary he wanted to make or something, but I just remember driving up to his house which was on a huge property out the back of Byron. I vividly remember thinking it looked like a rubbish dump outside the house,there were old shells of burntout cars,24 gallon drums, huge piles of tree cut offs & other odds & ends. Greenough greeted my father at the front door,then me & my brother were introduced. He looked pretty similar to photos & footage i'd seen of him. He invited us into his house which was one of the coolest & scariest things i'd ever seen. His house was sort of an A-frame open plan deal & there were just shark jaws wall-to-wall, of all sizes, frightening. Greenough explained that that's how he spent alot of his time, shark fishing off Byron, when we asked him if he still surfed he said " I usually only ride my inflatable mattress at Wategoes Beach " Cool. . . so we hung around at Greenoughs for a while & him & Dad had a good old chin-wag then we headed off. . . recollecting on this moment in time gives me a great sense of happiness & I'm glad to be able to share this experience. . . literally. . . with all of you who read this blog. I remember also I told a shortened version of this story to Mike at Mollusk NYC when I bought my Larry Mabile Fish & Mike said that was the best story he'd heard all day while we yarned about different aspects of surf culture over some chicken wings & afew rolling rocks. Anyway, returning to Byron in 2008 was fantastic,it was great to see how much the little town has grown & prospered. There is an SAE institute there now with a massive campus full of up & coming producers,sound designers,editors etc, etc & you can now blow a cool 4.5 million on a beachfront home at Belongil Beach. Even though there wasn't heaps of surf to be had over the weekend it was just good to be there (with Kate) because Byron has an unrivalled beauty from it's dense rainforest canopies overhanging the winding stretch of road around to Wategoes Beach to its smiling locale contingent, never to busy or cool to stop & have a chat to one of its many visiting haoles. . .
I recommend a long & prolonged trip to Byron for anyone who hasn't graced it's shores. . . oh & Happy Thanks Giving Toddy & Antonio. . .
It was only a year ago Todd that we were sitting at your place in Williamsburg watching Kevin perform some weird medi-evil mating dance in your lounge room, swilling copious amounts of red wine & beer, eating that amazing spread & talking to some good people. . . I miss it. . .oh & excellent film from San on Ofre. You got deep in another kinda way. . .hope the fam are well and the boy is getting in the water!

Cheers,

A.

2 comments:

toddy said...

Melbourne Bureau rises! Great post Angus. I love that story. Just how I'd imagine the Greenough compound to be. A classic, great memory.

That was a one of a kind Thanksgiving to be sure. Obviously this last one was a bit more full of surf for me, while Antonio found himself in Berlin of all places for the big day. Go figure.

Look forward to the next post!

toddy said...

Oh, and the boy is not hitting the water as hard as he'd like. While I am a super proud pop to see my son losing his shit about NOT getting in the Pacific Ocean this last time around, I am bummed to report he had reason for NOT being there. Check it:
http://www.ok-oh.com/blogmedia/brokenboy.jpg