“Cult of the Surf Photographer” was last week’s History of Surfing chapter, and if you follow EOS on Facebook, man, didn’t I just stick my hand into the hornet’s nest with that one! I name-checked six or so photogs from the 1980s and thus offended almost everybody who was left unchecked. Should have seen that coming a mile off.
Legacy is at stake, so I get it. But in my defense, History of Surfing, big as it is, was never meant to be a top-to-bottom accounting of the sport and its contributors. Of all the deserving people—surfers, writers, photogs, filmmakers, inventors, industrialists—just a fraction are cited in History. Should Kahuna grant me another two score and five . . . most people will still be left out.
For what it’s worth, my appreciation and respect are bottomless for everybody who has given their time, money, energy, and creativity to keep the sport moving down the evolutionary track.
I posted not one but two interviews with Brock Little. This one from 1986, when Brock was 19 and swooning like a ninth-grade cheerleader over a recent compliment from Roger Erickson, and this one from 2015, recorded just two weeks before he died. I was fairly close to Brock that whole period, and when I read these conversations back to back, it was easy to hear the younger version of Brock in the 2015 piece, and vice-versa. Ask a question, and the man always gave an honest no-bullshit answer. Along with having the deepest passion for what he did, Brock also had the deepest understanding that our sport is, at heart, just about playing in the water. He understood that surfing is to be loved and laughed at in more or less equal measure. There are maybe two dozen people on my shoulder advising me on EOS, and Brock is one of them.
Thanks for reading, everyone, and see you next week.
[Wes Laine photo by Peter Brouilett; Brock Little portrait by Art Brewer]