Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Introducing a New Writer on Our Sky Blog

Introducing a New Writer on Our Sky Blog

Kenny Grey The 4th House of Home has agreed to let me post some more of the writing he has sent me over the last couple of months.  We reconnected via internet this past March after being blown onto different paths at the end of high school 36 years ago.  I never knew Kenny very well- just saw him when he came in to Surfside Pavilion to get a drink or bite to eat when I worked behind the snack counter.  He was the coolest surfer on the beach which is saying a lot since Holden Beach was the coolest beach around.  It was a super place to be a teenager because it was just a beach with pinball machines, foosball, friendly waves and a fishing pier.  Ok there was also air hockey, put-put golf and a few pool tables.  The best parties were at the end of dirt roads hidden among live oaks and sand dunes. 

In the three summers I worked at the Pavilion I never learned anything about Kenny.  So when I made a day trip to visit him and his family this past March I was flabbergasted to see that he lived right near the boat houses that I had looked at countless times, and wondered about, whenever I crossed the bridge over the water way.  I also did not know that his favorite little league coach was a close friend of my parents; I only knew that Kenny was the surfer with the sunniest disposition who always treated others with respect and consideration.

It was a wonderful surprise to learn that Kenny writes, documenting his heritage as a native of Brunswick County.  In the last several weeks I’ve gotten to read about all the ways he has enjoyed the beach and waterways over the years with friends and family; he’s written about kayaking, surfing, camping around the state and family reunion fish fries to list just a few of the topics.

Today I'm posting a few paragraphs from an excerpt he sent from "the surfing diary", and I've sent him the 'keys' to the blog, so he can start posting at his convenience.  Aside from a brief introduction to his birth chart, Kenny is new to astrology.  I will be looking for ways that natural time is reflected in the themes of his posts and the moments he hits the publish button.  Welcome Kenny!

Excerpts from the surfing diary......
October 1994, just before Halloween...Steve Strutski and i are the only ones out, both of us on nine foot long boards. Perfect waist to chest glass, long rides, warm water and air. A great day with a good friend. Rescued a pelican who caught a surf fisherman's live bait and got hooked through his bill.  I was surprised how weak he was; obviously built to glide.

 ...Around September, 1995, we had several days of the most excellent waves, thanks to hurricane Luis passing by offshore. Big waves, some over head high, offshore winds and perfect glass made Holden Beach a surf mecca for a few hours one day. I was out at the bridge; in between sets, the ocean would appear dead calm. This made it difficult to be in the right spot, as there was no lineup of surfers just outside the break zone like usual.  Fear kept my adrenalin pumping as every twenty minutes or so a huge set, much larger than the rest, would stand against the horizon and i would burst into a full speed paddle straight out to sea, to try not to get caught inside as these waves would break much farther out to sea than the rest.  Knowing that a wave breaks when its height is about two-thirds the depth of the water, i knew that I had to get outside the shallow sandbar where the normal waves break. But the waves, although huge and powerful, were breaking very slowly with the strong northeast wind blowing against them, so the takeoffs and drop ins were effortless, almost as if i was in slow motion. The rides were extremely long, and i often got tubed twice on the same wave as the shorebreak was still chest high or higher. I got barreled so many times that day i lost count. Got tubed twice backside on the same wave. 

A week later hurricane Jerry passed offshore and great chest to head high waves again. Perfect glass for several days at the bridge, the pier, and Surfside, my favorite old spot. I lived across the river then, as i still do, and i would paddle my board across the river and surf all day and paddle back home in the dark. My first board was an eight foot long Claude Cogdin "Lightweight" model, so named because it weighed a scant sixty pounds. It was like walking with a ship's anchor. It was too wide for a scrawny fifteen year old to get his arm around, so i had to carry it on my head like the "Endless Summer" guys. I had a knot on my head for years after selling that board.