Happy New Year, one and all! Last week’s Joint never left the launchpad (Christmas casualty), so we’ve got some catching up to do. History of Surfing is doing prep work for the shortboard revolution, and “The Tao of George” and “Getting Slippery with Bob McTavish” introduce the two main actors in the birth of what LeRoy Grannis once endearingly called the “shorty boards.” It is always a delight to spend time in the company of Bob and George, even if just on a computer screen. I dug out this gem of a Greenough profile, originally published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser of all places, and posted this Greenough clip, which is as much fun to listen to as it is to watch. (Prog-jazz theremin, anyone?)

McTavish has another chapter or two on the way, but here's a warmup piece about his wonderful but ill-fated 1963 stowaway trip to Hawaii. McTavish’s own account of the adventure is great, but for my money the better telling is found between the lines of the short Sydney Morning Herald account. Turns out McTavish was actually facing jail time (charges dropped), and I love all the comic possibilities folded into the line about McTavish getting “caught by immigration officials after a chase along the beach on Tuesday afternoon.” Bob’s stumpy legs were perfect for the point peelers at National Park, Noosa, but evidently failed him on the sandy bit between Rocky Point and Sunset.

Encyclopedia of Surfing

Encyclopedia of Surfing

A final update on the December fundraiser, which ended in spectacular fashion. You may recall that we hit our $30,000 target just 10 days into the drive, leaving another three weeks to go. Surprisingly, the donations and subscriptions kept rolling in, and when BeachGrit dropped a surprise New Year’s Eve gift of $6,000 into the kitty yesterday afternoon, it blew what was left of my mind, and put the drive just over $60,000 total. Double what we were shooting for!

Thanks again to all of you. Here’s to a happy, healthy, wave-filled 2018!


[McTavish photo by John Witzig]