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I’m not going to lie and I’m not going to whine either but… I miss home.
I miss New Jersey.
She’s deep into the marrow of my bones and still flowing in my DNA as in, you can take the boy out of Jersey but ain’t no way to take the Jersey out of the boy.
Just ain’t possible.
Deadmans Beach, Manasquan circa 1978. According to local lore an alcohol fueled college frat pledge was buried neck deep just north of the river jetty at low tide and died by drowning as a result of his “brothers” not coming back in time to dig him out as the tide came back in- a bad hazing idea gone horribly wrong. @mezapixels
Charlie King was a dominant force at The Peak from the 70s all through the 80s and into the 90’s. The Ying to Scotty Duerr’s Yang. A subdued enforcer when being an enforcer was necessary and respected at crowded breaks, especially during the summer months. Not afraid to scrap, “Tuna” usually just by verbalizing the local attitude towards disrespectful or inept out of towner’s could move them off the Peak but had plenty of back-up if needed which was, usually, just about never. We looked at him like a benevolent surfing sheriff. Our Clint Eastwood in a wettie with a steely squint that telegraphed “don’t fuck with me, pal” that could make you ask yourself if it was going be you’re lucky day, punk, to push back and give lip if Charlie paddle over to flag you for a transgression. Classic Jersey guy and Garden State legend. @mezapixels
I think about where I come from often enough, especially this time of year. Right now, this month and week, I would be kissing my wife Tonya goodbye then jumping in my 4-Runner headed north – Jersey bound, hammer down – on I-95 to cover the Eastern Surfing Associations Northeast Regionals at 16th Ave. in Belmar, less than 10 miles from Point Pleasant Beach where I was born and raised til I turned 40 and pulled up stakes to move to Florida in December of 1989, 40 years ago.
Autumn in Jersey circa 1857. A total set-up shot on the back roads of Brielle that ended up getting published in Surfer, Surfers Journal and sold surprisingly well to other international surf pubs over the years as well as through my stock agency. @mezapixels
For obvious reasons that ain’t happening right now and it’s saddens me greatly but, as we say back home, it is what is is and you deal; be Jersey Strong.
And I don’t really have it that bad. Everybody in my circle of family and friends – both by both blood and through surfing – are healthy and that is the important thing right now.
One of my all time favorite Jerseyian’s to shoot, New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Famer Kevin Casey some where in Ortley Beach during the summer of 1989. @mezapixels
Don’t know how long before I can return but Jersey will most assuredly be there (speaking of Jersey Strong) and I will eventually get to travel without peril to myself or others back to the state of my birth and the best effing pizza, Taylor pork roll, egg, cheese sang’wiches and buttered hard rolls anywhere.
This “Dicks Picks” is for you Jerz. Â I won’t be seeing you til who knows when but you’re in my heart and mind and I will miss you all til then. – Mez –
For Part 1 of this Jersey Archive Dive please click here https://www.easternsurf.com/photos/dicks-picks-7-new-jersey-archive-dive-part-1/
A composite of an Autumnal full moon and a fishing trawler from the Point Pleasant Beach fleet steaming out to sea in a cloak of morning sea smoke via the Manasquan Inlet. @mezapixels
The North side of the Casino Pier April 1986. I didn’t shoot here a whole lot but before Sandy it was one of the states best surf breaks. @mezapixels
ASP competitor Jeff “Boothy” Booth and a gaggle of Jersey Girls at one of the legendary Grogs Garden State Pro events circa mid to late 70’s. Boy this photos doesn’t date it self much does it? @mezapixels
Mantoloking, May 1978. I used to paint houses during the Spring, Summer and Fall with my pops, a retired postmaster. Why I showed up for work at the job site just south of Lyman Ave., this perfect south swell day I’m not sure but I am sure I didn’t stay long after snapping this shot from the second story roof porch. Dad was cool, he knew it was the Call Of The Wild for me and there was an unspoken agreement that if it was firing I was gone. @mezapixels
Jersey’s favorite surfer son and the only one to make the world tour and was compared to Tom Curren, Dean Randazzo. Hell this man could rip the shit out of it and, at his peak, those Curren comparisons was no hype. @mezapixels
A Jersey Shore surfing hazard – “swimming ropes”. Used by many towns to corral swimmers and keep them in front of lifeguard stands or away from dangerous rubble jetties and piers that dot the beaches along the coast. We used them as play things to jump over, try and ride under or hang onto when the currents were ripping. Manasquan, circa 1976. @mezapixels
Bobby “Queball” Howell is one of the under the radar Manasqun shredders who surfed but did not get much recco outside the inlet area. Q could totally kill it and hold is own with top guns like Scotty Duerr and Charlie King among other who dominated the Peak. I always kept an eye out for him waiting for him to lacerate a move like this on the inside bowl. @mezapixels
Jarh Smith nearly up to his nutsack traipsing through a snow drift headed out Jenks at the tail end of a nor’easter, January 1988. Snow pain, no gain. @mezapixels
The Boss, Scotty Duerr slipping into a deep, December 1988 barrel at Manasquan’s Deadmans beach. @mezapixels
New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Famer Tony Giordano, shredding Manasquan circa December 1986. Tony G has one of the longest running, most respected and beautiful down home surf shops on the East Coast let alone in Jersey. TG has also garnered huge respect throughout the surf industry around the world during the past 45 plus years of Ocean Hut Surf Shop’s existence through hard work, innovation and impeccable taste in all facets of surf shop retail. Truly a name, shop and ownership you can trust. And the man can surf it likes he talks it. @mezapixels
Me gearing up to shoot Jenks with my custom, hand built built Mart Togweiler, plexi-glass housing fitted for a Nikon film camera and 135 mm lens, an O’neill Wetsuit Clown Hat and my trademark Playtex dish gloves circa late Autumn, 1985. Don’t laugh, they worked and added on another month of avoiding 3 mil lobster claw neoprene ones which I absolutely hated to wear more than anything while surfing. I got some weird looks from the boys ( but not as much ribbing as whenever I donned the hood ) but they worked like a charm and the grip of the Playtex material was an added bonus. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots
North Monmouth County between Asbury Park and the Hook. @mezapixels
New Jersey Surfing Hall of Famer Brain Heritage surfing Atlantic City. I purchased my first surf board building from Brian’s dad, Dan in 1972 with my good friend Kenny Wag’s” Wagner. I’m not sure Brian was even born then but I ended up watching him grow into his surfing as a young man and into becoming a top, touring East Coast Pro and total shredder. I consider him a great friend and he’s picked up where his East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame father left ( also a NJSHOF member ) off helping run the family owned Jersey based retail chain and becoming an excellent shaper like Dan as well for the Heritage label. One day I am certain he will be joining his father in that august body as well and probably sooner than later. @mezapixels
The one bad thing about shooting Manasquan Inlet from the top of the jetty angle is turning around and looking over at the Point Beach side and seeing the then rare, pre-jetty rebuild Jenk’s rights doing this on a south swell. I usually kept my back to it truth be told. @mezapixels
We lost Chris Rooney to suicide two years ago. As I knew him, he was a truly nice guy, a family man and always smiling whenever we met up to shoot. It’s not something you can ever put closure to in your mind and wondering how a person like him get’s to that dark of a place is a futile exercise in the end. After the shock and abject horror for him and his family’s sufferings softens a bit with the passing time, I choose to try and remember him and his beautiful surfing and style in photos like this. Chris about to throw a full bucket at his good friend, Scotty Duerr in Manaaquan. Surf on Chris, surf on. @mezapixels
Chris, who was a full-on charger, pictured here emptying out his booties after a nasty wipe out attempting to drop into a drainer at Pompano Ave. and copping the resultant, hated wetsuit flush. @mezapixels
Pre-jetty re-build, Jenkinsons high tide insider that we used to call the Washing Machine section, circa January 1977. If you wanted a good thrashing lose you’re board right about here and good luck getting in or back out of that hell zone shore break set-up tat would rip off surf trunks or flush you out of your wetsuit in the New York minute. @mezapixels
Jenkinsons, post jetty re-build. Before the sand fully filled in and changed the place forever, we used to be able to take off literally inside the mouth of the inlet on big swells on it’s best days and ride at least this far with multiple barrel sections. @mezapixels
TR Deveney, Manasquan Inlet, August 1987. The circle is unbroken as I have been enjoying shooting his son, Cole the past few years. Hey grom, the stories are true, you’re old man ripped the hell out of it and was another one of my favorite targets, just like you. @mezapixels
Charlie King Hurricane Gloria. What a storm, what a day, what a wave and what a drop at Pompano Ave.! @mezapixels
Shot from off the East Main Street groin towards Brielle Road with a 600 mm lens. This angle no longer exists with the notching of the jetties and all the beach re-nourishment making access next to impossible with that type of bulky, heavy rig. Sadly, I didn’t discover this dynamic POV until less than two years before I moved to Florida. What a shame on both counts. @mezapixels. For part 1 of this Jersey Archive Dive please click on the link here https://www.easternsurf.com/photos/dicks-picks-7-new-jersey-archive-dive-part-2-mega-photo-gallery/