by Corky Carroll
This is the time of year when people like to recap the past year, forecast what is to come going forward and just make general comments on the state of things at this moment when the calendar is flipping over to a new year. As we all know 2020 was so far far far from being a good year for most people, and the world as a whole, that to give it an honest recap would be a whole lot of negative stuff. So, thinking I might take the high road, maybe I should just go ahead and talk about all the great stuff that happened this past year. I sat down and turned on my laptop and pondered where to start. After a little while I had to just go…….. naaaaaaaaaaahhhh. Not enough material.
I do my best to stay away from politics and world events, it’s not my area of expertise. So, in an effort to not get zillions of pro or con emails, I will just say thank you to President Trump for the good things that he did and for also the entertainment value that he provided with all his unbelievable comments these past four years. I say “unbelievable” because they were just that, but darn funny. I am still laughing at the “border wall in San Antionio” one. And I would also like to welcome in our new President and wish him good luck and a safe journey through very challenging times. There, that’s my political message in a nutshell.
Now, the big story. Freaking Covid 19. My arena is surfing, beach lifestyle and culture. This horrible virus has changed all of our lives in so many ways and its effect on the surfing world has been severe. Although probably not as severe as in many other areas of life and the economy. Surfers just seem to find a way to keep on keepin’ on no matter what. World on shut down, everything closed, stay at home and lock your windows and doors order in full swing? Thirty people in the lineup like it was all good and fine, no problem. People found a way to surf through all of this, good or bad. Yes, sometimes this did cause a bit of a rift between those who were good citizens and went by the letter of the law, or wishes of the establishment so to speak, and those who have never done that and just went surfing anyway. Are these the same ones who see a No Trespassing sign and immediately figure there are good waves in there and find a way to sneak in?
I was one of those who tried to be good and did what I was told, totally going against my nature in the process. I would see all these dirty scoundrels out there catching great waves like it was safe of something and it would make me angry. But, as I thought about it I realized that it wasn’t so much anger as it was jealousy. I wanted to be out there too. But, I also wanted to live to ride another day. At my age and with my health issues it did not seem wise to take the chance.
My year was not the best health wise with heart issues and back issues and the knack for maintaining a full complement of baby fat. But, that said, it was also a great year as I got to spend almost all the time together with my beautiful wife Raquel. And I got to spend tons of time working on music when I would have been surfing those hours instead. Now, if only venues would open up again so I can get out and play some of this stuff.
The surfing year kinda ended with the running of the “Pipeline Masters” event on the North Shore. No spectators allowed on the beach. At least it wasn’t in a “bubble” like the NBA playoffs that my LAKERS won. The semi final heat between John John Florence and Kelly Slater was great to watch and a perfect social indicator. Florence was winning the heat and it was all but over, Kelly had no way to come back and win it in the final seconds. A small wave came along and Kelly went to take off and waved John John into it with him to go in on. This created an “interference” call on Slater. But it didn’t matter at all. None the less TONS of people started blowing up social media saying Slater burned Florence and all this blabbering about it. People take this stuff way to seriously. Those dudes are pals and it was a nothing thing at all. But to zillions it was a major issue. Folks, there are way more pressing “major” issues in play than that. How cool is it that a dude 48 years old is successfully competing at the top level of his sport?
So, to wrap up this babbling and that year, I just wanna say that I am hoping we all have a much better 2021. I hope at this time next year this virus thing is in the rear-view mirror and we are going out to eat, to sporting events, to hear live music (me I hope) and to be getting back to at least a cleaner version of B.V. (before virus). Here’s to “FUN IN 21.”