Thursday, April 18, 2013
Coming out, I notice a bunch of guys, a camera in water housing, and a log with no wax. Curious, I wander over. "Do I get three guesses?"
They laugh. "Sure."
"Okay," I say, "A PSA to abolish the sticks."
"No, next guess"
"A commercial for a leash manufacturer?"
Another laugh. "One more guess!"
"My third guess is...ah, hell, I give up. What's going on?"
"We're filming a re-enactment for the Travel Channel. It's of Duke Kahanamoku's 1926 rescue of a group of shipwrecked sailors."
Knowing of Duke's visit to Rockaway in 1912, my interest grew. "The Duke carried out a rescue in Rockaway?" says I.
"No, in Hawaii."
I look over at a young dark skinned guy with curly hair and a grin on his face. "I guess this is Duke?"
I look around at the decimated trash-strewn beach, the workers hammering away on a section of boardwalk, the dark brown water, the heavy overcast sky spitting raindrops down, and the villainous sticks. I glance at the fiberglass Wardy with faux wood finish, the black wetsuit on Duke.
"Do any of you guys surf?"
A chilly wind stirs up the sand, and a puff of spray blows off the top of a breaking wave. The cameraman turns to me.
"There are, like, actual waves here!" I nod. "I didn't know there were waves in Rockaway. Were you out in this? There were some BIG WAVES. And the current is HEAVY. I almost got washed into these wooden sticks." He looks out at the ocean. "I'm debating whether to go out and try to catch a few. But I'm freezing cold."
I give him a few pointers on avoiding the sticks and wave goodbye.
Of course, everything about it was wrong. And I can't explain why, but despite all it was kind of awesome anyway.