Corky Carroll: The Day of The Dead is to celebrate and honor our family and friends who have moved on
Some of you know this, but I am sure most of you don’t. November 1 and 2, yesterday and today, are celebrated around the world as “The Day of the Dead.” It is a huge holiday in Mexico, Spain, Brazil and many other countries.
Dating back to the Aztecs in Mexico, “Dia de los Muertos” is a time when people traditionally celebrate and honor dead family members and friends. There are festivals and parties along with offerings such as putting out the dead person’s favorite foods and drinks overnight – sometimes favorite clothing that has been saved, too.
There are all kinds of skeleton art and other goodies that go along with this holiday – it’s a very cool deal.
With our large Latino population here in Orange County I am sure there are many activities going on right now. I thought that in the spirit of the Day of the Dead I would give a small tribute to some of my friends and great surfers who have pulled out of this part of their wave and moved on to the next.
We recently lost Donald Takyama, one of the great surfers and surfboard builders and a good pal. I put a post on my Facebook page and got tons of comments from all over the world expressing sadness at his passing. But Tom Morey, a great thinker and inventor of the Boogie Board, put it most perfectly. His post was that he couldn’t understand all the “sadness,” and that we should all be celebrating the passing of his body into the next phase and reflecting on the great life he led, great surfing he did and amazing amount of masterpiece surfboards he gave us over the years.
That post right there more than less sums up the spirit behind the “Day of the Dead.” Celebrate and honor our family and friends who have moved on.
Here is a short list of fellow surfers from Orange County who I would like to remember today and raise a toast to in celebration of all they did for us and the surfing community.
Terry Martin. One of the true master surfboard shapers of all time, possibly the greatest of them all. A wonderful person to boot. I don’t know of anybody who shaped more surfboards in his life than Terry.
Flippy Hoffman. This guy was fearless and was THE pioneer of tow in surfing. As far back as the 1960’s he was getting towed into enormous waves off Oahu’s North Shore all by himself. He rode as big a wave as anybody in his day and maybe as big as anybody of any day. Who knows? He was out there all alone and was never one to “claim” anything. He was just an out-and-out true waterman, hard-core surfer and amazing person. Walter Hoffman’s brother and Joyce Hoffman’s uncle.
Mike and Jack Haley. The winners of the first two West Coast Surfing Championships (changed to United States Championships the next year) at Huntington Beach in 1959 and 60. Mike went on to become a great surfer on the North Shore and beloved in the inner surfing community. Jack made surfboards and later opened Captain Jack’s restaurant in Sunset Beach.
Bill Holden. One of the all-time great personalities in the surfing world and a fine maker of surfboards in Huntington Beach. You had to love this dude. He always was smiling and stoked. It was impossible to not be happy around Bill.
Dick Barrymore. One of Orange County’s first surfboard builders and one of the greatest storytellers of all time, along with Brennen “Hevs” McClellend. Dick had a surf shop in Seal Beach and later became one of the premier ski movie makers. He lived the last part of his life surfing on the East Cape near Cabo San Lucas in Southern Baja, Mexico. Dick also built my first surfboard.
There are so many more, but these are the ones that came to mind as I sat down to write this, and I don’t have room for more. May they all be cranking turns on perfect waves in the next life and know that we who are still in this one appreciate what they did while they were here.
Source: Corky Carroll.com