Harvey who? Port Aransas celebrated its 107th Birthday with several traditional Old Town Festival events. The Expression Session Surf Contest felt like an ocean-centric revival of the spirit. Folks gathered, cheered, photographed, swam, surfed, ate, laughed and played on the beach. It was a gorgeous day! Thanks to everyone who stepped up to make it happen, especially Cameron Pratt, the first to say, “We’re gonna do this!”
When it’s windy, hot, and crowded on the beach, the evenings on the backside of our island are blissful. The last two are shared here. In Piper flats light breezes blowing through the mangroves surrounds you with a whistling sound as you drift along. Herons squawk loudly and egrets track your every move. At Charlie’s Pasture jackrabbits bound on and off the trails, often leading you on a good chase. Water birds loop above then land for a stroll in the flats.
Whether you walk, run, bike or boat the other side is the best place to be at sunset.
If you weren’t at the Port Aransas Beach Pole Vault meet on Saturday, you missed some red hot action! Temperatures were high, so was that bar the athletes fearlessly flung themselves over The best women jumped 14 feet and the men 18 feet; but the dedication and effort exhibited by all the competitors was world class. The coaches will tell you pole vaulting is all about speed, but without that intangible “thing,” raw talent only takes you so far. These guys and gals have it. Good luck to all the vaulters and the future world campions that came to Port A to showcase their skills.
Remember those cheesy Father’s Day cards with pictures of fish, boats, and camping gear? Well, at least for most Port A dads, these are common passions. A few days ago, Des ventured over to the north jetty, yes on a surfboard, and lured in one after another. Frying up the speckled trout will be a family affair today. Let’s feast!
From river racing canoe to ocean cruiser, this boat has been transformed into a unique, single-man exploration vessel. Ask Dave or Des for the whole story and Scott can fill in the Austin viewers. It’s a beauty and it’s for sale!
Stan Weston, the creator of the G.I. Joe military action figured passed away on May 1st. After learning a bit more about the maker, we decided to pull these dudes out of their GI Joe lockers and play. My son bought a nice collection at a garage sale a few years ago. Their outfits and gear are cool, of course, but I was surprised when we pushed a button and heard one speak Korean, Vietnamese, or Japanese; I’m not sure which.
GI Joe’s were the first articulating dolls and, boy do I remember the first time I got my hands on one. I really pushed the limits of those joints! Their fuzzy hair and beards and that scar fascinated me. He was way neater than barbie.
Anyway, I found out that Stan Weston sold his concept to Hasbro in 1963 for $100,000 and declined the tiny royalty offer. Since 1964 something like 400 million G.I. Joe’s have been sold, so if you do the math, that’s a few billion dollars in sales. A year before his death he was able to settle with the toy company, and hopefully, at age 83, got a few bucks back!
Here’s to you Stan, and everybody out there who had a great idea that made someone else rich! But the joy you brought to boys, and girls, is priceless.
A friend and fellow surfer, Ewell Clarke, promised to dig through his old slides and found some Port A sessions from 1982-85. This one was shot with high speed Ektachrome film, 300mm lens, from the dunes, and without autofocus – not available back then. Ewell writes, “Hope you can see the riders; shooting from the dunes they sometimes disappeared in the trough on bottom turns.”
I like this photo; the feathering wave is good size, similar to our last wind swell. Nice to see 3 surfers sharing the wave too.
Also, I appreciate the image because it was taken on slide film, the medium I learned with. It’s known as color positive film, “slide,” or “transparency” film. No negatives. What you shot was what you got. Exposure couldn’t be adjusted in development so you had to know your settings in different light by heart. And there was no autofocus, you chose the focal length and hoped the image was in focus, or used manual and lined up little blurry half circles over the subject. Remember? Oh, the anticipation of pulling a newly processed slide from the box and holding it up to the light to view it for the first time! Sometimes I got a gem.