Peter Heller : Journal

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A Reason to Write

July 23rd, 2010 · 217 Comments · Uncategorized

Just got this email from Hawaii. Sweetest message I ever received from a stranger.

Oh, my, what a great book! It takes me back so many years, just after returning from two tours in Viet Nam…phew….what a great, fun, tear jerking kind book! I had grown up in Seal Beach area, rode Harbour surfboards, as well as Bruce Jones from Sunset, and Robert August from Huntington Beach….I have surfed the Cliffs, Bolsa Chica, and all those wonderful breaks down south while travelling in my 1969 Ford Econoline Van…built in bed across the wheel wells, storage under the bed, surfboard racks across the inside…each holding one board with tight straps or two with ropes….propane stove and lanterns…trips to Baja….K-38, K-55, etc….oh, my, Peter, you hit the mother lode in my heart and memory bank! I live in Hawaii, have taught school for 34 years, will retire next June…surf regularly…9’0″, 9’2″, 2 9’6″ s 9’10” and three 10’0s. Yes, the older we get the longer the boards. I remember about 10 years ago, when I was about 51-52 I found that I needed to have a long board. I bought an 8’0…yes, an 8’0….I was EMBARRASSED! Then, at surfing other spots here on the Big Island, a 9’0″ was needed….got it…rode the hell out of it…then, after seeing lots of older guys riding 10’0″, I bought one….it was so degrading at that time…yes, as you said in “Kook,” lots of old dudes hang around their cars in the parking lot and talk about old times—so true! I am 61 1/2 and often come to the beach at 530 am and have coffee with my mates, all surfers, but my same age….we have stoke, but not willing to paddle out at daylight….need to access the tide, wind conditions, etc before we choose to paddle out. We have a fellah, from “Kook” era, worked for Hobie, shaped boards, etc. Now he lives here and makes boards, old style….10’0’s, plenty of concave, single fins, etc…the boards I have mentioned before are all his! I am so happy to write this and send this your way as you brought back so many memories via your book. I do feel, Pete, that everyone is a Kook…beginner, intermediate, and even pros…we all have our “kooK” days and just smile and grin as we pearl, wipe out, fall off in soup, etc etc. I thank you for your efforts, bud….I will tell everyone I know to read this. My wife bought it “early” on Amazon and she just received it today…I am standing in my garage, surf shop, ding repair shop….surfboard tables for my computer I am writing you on and just beaming with pleasure after reading the book. Ride on, bruddah….mahalo for the memories, phil Heavenston Ps. my wife yelled at me and told me to tell you she has read the rest of your books and loves them…total stoke, bruddah. aloha
Wear the sun in your heart, ride a wave each day if you can, OR remember one you have ridden, and cultivate feelings of happiness and peace to everyone you meet…live aloha, phil

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