The Sunday Joint

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-4-2023: EVERYTHING BUT THE TALLAHATCHIE BRIDGE

Hey All, My wife and her two sisters used to get dropped off at their grandparents’ house, and sometimes for lunch the girls were treated to Jello Surprise in which, through some midcentury kitchen magic, pieces of fruit and mini-marshmallow were suspended in the Jello like tiny sea creatures. So far so good. In her declining years, however, Grandma Mildred became, let’s say, a bit more freestyle...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-7-2023: MIKE HYNSON IS YOUR VANDALIZING GUEST OF HONOR

Hey All, Have a look at this somber little 1963 TV news clip of Mike Diffenderfer, Mike Hynson, and Bill Caster being interviewed about a just-announced project to create Tourmaline Surfing Park, in San Diego. The first breath of onshore wind has just come up, but the surf looks great. That's Pacific Beach Point in the background, and in my desultory two semesters at San Diego State, when I was d...

SUNDAY JOINT, 4-30-2023: ALL AT SEA ABOUT “THE SURFING YEARS”

Hey All, Never read reviews before experiencing the thing itself, the book or movie or tour or whatever. Everyone knows this, but I did it anyway, read the damn review, and that's how I learned Python Lee Jackson did the soundtrack for a one-hour 1966 Aussie surf doc called The Surfing Years before I actually watched The Surfing Years. "Python Lee Jackson has supplied suitably twangy music" is wh...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-21-2023: TACTICAL RETREAT – SURFING AND THE MILITARY GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS

Hey All, If the only thing you remember about Bondi surf legend Bluey Mayes, as described in a recent Joint, is a flame-haired barrel-chested pug screaming “Outta me fuckin’ way, ya goose!” whvuile riding a 16-foot toothpick through the lineup like Major TJ Kong rodeo-nuking the Russians—understandable, that is the Bluey money shot for sure. But between the part on Mayes’ EOS page where a friend...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-28-2023: HERE COMES THE SUN TZU

Hey All, Happy Memorial Day and a big thanks to the military-affiliated among you who wrote in after last week’s Sunday Joint to comment on the unlikely but often very compatible ways in which service and surfing can together exist in a person’s life. I’ve always had a blind spot here. I watched Patton and Apocalypse Now and Stripes, Cliffs-Noted my way through All Quiet on the Western Front, and...

SUNDAY JOINT, 4-9-2023: HIT IT, DON’T BABYSIT IT

Hey All, Remember that thing you did in high school where you’d siphon a half-inch from every bottle in your parents’ liquor cabinet, add orange juice, mix, and look out, world, here comes the party posse? Did you have a name for that drink? In mid-’70s Manhattan Beach it was a Suicide. Here in Seattle, during the ’80s, according to my wife, it was called a Graveyard—and for day drinking during ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 4-16-2023: MIDGET VS PHIL, BATTLE OF THE BIOGRAPHIES – GENTLEMEN, START YOUR METAPHORS!

Hey All, Midget Farrelly's The Surfing Life and Phil Edwards' You Should Have Been Here an Hour Ago were published back-to-back in the summer of 1967, and are more or less the original surfer autobiographies. The genre didn't exist—then suddenly we had not one, but two very good first-person books by surfers who were not only supremely gifted in the water but also bright and articulate and opinio...

SUNDAY JOINT, 4-23-2023: IF THE FLYING SAUCER'S ROCKIN' DON'T COME KNOCKIN'

Hey All, The drink where you grab a little from every bottle in your parents' liquor cabinet and blast out into the night with your sticky 80-proof contraband feeling like Junior Johnson on a Carolina backroad outrunning a half-dozen G-Men? Like I said week before last, we called it a Suicide, my wife called it a Graveyard, and some of you out there called it Jungle Juice, or the Pearl Harbor, a ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 4-02-2023: BONDI BEACH TEEN-TERROR AND SURFING SAVANT KEVIN BRENNAN

Hey All, Kevin Brennan is the jagged little diamond that at some point drops into every historian’s lotion-soft hands as he or she tills the fields of mid-1960s surfing. But unless you’re a pension-age Bondi local familiar with the Hep Pit and can tell Bluey Mayes from Red Ted, you likely know just three things about Brennan. First, he was called the Head, thanks to a large and well-rounded uppe...

SUNDAY JOINT, 3-26-2023: À VOSSA SAÚDE! AND CAIPIRINHAS FOR EVERYONE

Hey All, Correcting surf history misconceptions is great just for the neener-neener I-fixed-it pointy-headed rush, and I’ll be chasing that high till I’m soul-arching past the Pearly Gates on my way to an afternoon meetup with Tubesteak and Rell Sunn. But it also feels great because installing a new bit of history, apart from moving the ball a bit further downfield in terms of truth, more often t...