Surfer’s Delight

Dear Millicent,

For some reason, I have met a string of olden surfer dudes in their fifties that are wildly successful.  They all look and talk the part of grizzled surfer: long hair, tan, wildly laid back, spacy, garrulous.  And, they are weirdly rich.  One produces documentaries and lives in a glorious house where his mohawked children run around in glee.  The other spends half his year in Hawaii, and overall has a life of leisure.   I asked Mr. Carla Fran how these guys could be so set up with such a strong amount of flakiness in their personas.  His answer was that they had a big lack of fear.  They wanted to be able to surf all the time, set their life up around that, and they didn’t care about what it would look like.  And, so it ended up beautiful.

We also had this conversation after watching four-year-olds run into the ocean and surf like it was as natural as pushing your brother.  It’s the kind of scene that makes you want to have a family because what humans can do seems so good.

I wasn’t even allowed to play paddleball without safety goggles as a child, and doubt that I will ever be able to throw my kid in the ocean without worry of sharp rocks and sharks.  But, as Robbie Coltrane says in the series Cracker, “Nobody is actually afraid of heights.  They’re afraid of themselves, what they might do.”

I like the idea of the fearless jolly surfers.  Of course, one of them also mentioned that he had a real-deal-Tony-Sopranoesque panic attack the other day while in the water. But he even seemed happy about that.




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