Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tommy always had a lot of stuff. At one point we counted, in the driveway and in the back yard at Summerland, three cars, a motorcycle and maybe five surf boards. Something like that. He also had a massive CD and VHS collection and more surfing paraphernalia than anyone I knew. All this at the tender age of twenty. Or something like that. Memory is a tricky thing. Either way, he had bunches of stuff. He used to work as a summer life guard at some public pool in Chula Vista. I stole one of his life-guard shirts once. Really steamed him. I was always stealing his stuff. In Chula Vista there was some surf shop he managed to work for when he wasn't life guarding and that's where he got all his gear. Boxes of (and boxes) of wax, a collection of rash guards, a couple pairs of booties, for too many leashes. Ian used to call him "Gear Guy." One summer he saved enough money to get a custom longboard shaped for him. It must have been '96. He told the shaper to make him a 9'6" triple stringer classic longboard shape. When he got the board a month or two later, he was dismayed to find it had a pointy nose and glassed in skegs. It was pretty funny to watch him fret over the thing. He was ready for a nose rider. This thing looked more like a 60's Hawaiian gun. Of course the board was beautiful. The lines were immaculate and after a little while grousing (and after finally taking it out) Tommy realized it worked pretty well in ways he didn't expect. For a long time I was the caretaker of that board and I'll say I haven't ridden a better longboard in big waves. Super fun to paddle and the speed is fantastic. Of course Tommy grew to love it. It was just that initial shock of not getting what he expected. Here it is a number of years ago in the back seat of one of the old Trejo Vanagons. I think near Terramar. Damn I love that board. Happy Father's Day.

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