More Pier Trivia!
I was so excited to stumble onto this awesome site! How long has this been here? (Note to Webmaster: Could you datestamp the emailed web entries?)
I'm a 47-year-old female that moved to Merritt Island in 1963, and have only missed a couple years of Space Coast living since then for job reasons. My parents relocated for the Space Program, like thousands of others. After hitting my teenage years, my friends and I spent every possible moment in Cocoa Beach or Cape Canaveral because that was where the action was. Mostly hitchhiking, sometimes biking, we always made it to the BEACH on weekends and summer school break days.
Surfing wasn't a big deal for women in those days, but I loved the challenge and built up the knobby knees to prove it. Never was very good, but so glad now that I did it.
I'm bookmarking the site and promise to update more later, but don't want to leave without leaving these two facts:
1. The Cocoa Beach Surfing community is alive and well, although much different than when many of us knew it. They've moved south and most now hang out from 12th Street South to Patrick. I attended the early morning paddle out wake for Rob Strickland earlier this year at 13th St S and over 400 people attended at 8:00 a.m. Over 80 surfers paddled out and this was the result of NO press coverage, just word of mouth.
2. John McAleenan,you have always been my hero. Regardless of your surfing abilities, you kept the Florida Today newspaper as honest as you possibly could with your fantastic writing ability and contributing columns. I still have the clippings from the mini-Woodstock we tried to pull off at Kelly Park on MI. For those that don't know him, and I've never personally met him, this guy is a genius.
P.S. -- Whoever started this site and pays the bills, MAHALO!
- More later .... Jacie 7/18/03
(Note to Jacie: letters will be date stamped from now on, thanks for the suggestion. The first of these letters dates way back to 1997, when we first started the site by doing daily morning surf photo updates from 2nd Light, The Streets, and the Cocoa Beach Pier. We were the 1st in this area on the net doing this, while SurfGuru was updating live shots from the south end of the county. Graham was doing surf reports from SurfInfo, Ross's reports from CFLSurf, Walt's spot on local reports. My how time flies and technology changed. Now it seems everyone has a live cam on breaks all over the state, and all the daily manual updates have all but given up. Mark my words... the internet will ruin peaceful surfing as we knew it. I've already noticed a difference in the sheer numbers of people "surfing" around here just in the last 6 years. Oh well. I guess I'm part of the blame since I started this site to begin with, before all the new surf sites came along. Unfortunatly, you can't stop progress. Peace - D at Boardheads2.com
Spanish House, artesian wells
Moved there after HS, lived in Cocoa Beach, 35th St. apts., next to last buildings before Patricks, then moved to Cocoa village.
1969-late 70's, surf in the morning, smoke, go fishing in the afternoons. Surfing inside the jetties was awesome on the right days. Surfed the shoals off the cape, just like monster hole.
Remember the artesian wells on the beaches south of Melbourne Beach?
- OverDunn1 3/10/03
Well hello. Had my first look at Boardheads... where have I been? A friend, a '68 Cocoa Beach high grad, called from Charleston to tell me about it. The pier trivia, misspellings and all, flush out warm memories.
I was working at Today newspaper '66-'72 and work was more like play. Had a 9'6" Hansen, 30lbs. of mean machine. Traded that in for one of the first Ron Jon short boards, then like many, graduated to something finer from Oceanside.
The pier, early in the morning, after a hurried breakfast of white bread and the "Endless Summer" soundtrack on the stereo, pumped you up most of the day. Propper was beginning to find his real element as a promoter. Claudie and his c.c. ryder was smooth as silk, there were occasional sightings of Jack Murphy, and the Pier hosted Strawberry Alarm Clock. Tiny Tim came to town, but his religion forbid him from getting wet. You could still walk in and bullsh*t with Ron DiMenna, who was hustling hatch covers and recycled tires as flip-flops.
As many have extolled, the jetties was pure fun (and terror sometimes) when a good northeaster came rolling through. No leashes and a lost board meant a bruising session on the rocks. The south end of picnic tables was my favorite secret spot, mostly because there was a shower there. There still is, but it's fenced in.
I drive by the Raddison now and then, remembering when it was the Hilton and Jethro Tull played at the convention center next door. The best of all days was a good 3-4 foot session in the ocean, a snack of some topshelf colombian, and a quick drive to the Orlando sports arena where for about $10 you could catch Steve Miller, Jefferson Airplane, Moody Blues, etc.
The next best of all days was a long ride to Sebastian, when south of Melbourne there was nada, save an old coast guard tower or two. For diversion on the way there was Honest John's Fish Camp, and if you got there just at the right time, a session with Honest John, a true pioneer, was a wonderful treat. The inlet was for the hearty and brave on big days. I remember Dick catri jumping off the north jetty into 6-to-8 foot waves, losing his board and disappearing during the swim in for what seemed like a long time. The place had real character when the squatter's shacks were there. Add six zillion fisherpersons and a like number of surfers and the character changes a little.
Anyway, it would be neat to package those four or five years, say '66-'72, put in on film, in words, in memories, and share with those who were there, or who wished they were there, or would like to be there again. but that's what you're doing, right? And good work it is. The place, Cocoa Beach and neighbors, was a party in the those years, the ocean was the icing. The party is over, but the ocean remains lovely despite our best efforts, and there is still nothing more soul-satisfying than an early morning session with a few friends, the water clear, the waves forgiving, the sun warming you as it clears the horizon and another day dawns upon us. We are pretty lucky to have had, and continue to have, all of this. thas all.
- John McAleenan, Merritt Island.
I first came to Cocoa Beach in 1954. I'm originally from California, Huntington Beach. I didn't surf in those days, but I did body surf behind the Officers Club. I lived in North wary. We went back to Cali in '56, and I started to surf on surf boards. I brought my surf board down to Cocoa Beach in 1969 and surfed Cocoa Beach until the 70's. I have very fond memories of living off Third Street north and walking down to surf there. I had to pass by Gary P's house. When Murph the Surf came into town he built surf boards and clowned around in the pool off the high dive. He had a place in the Starlight Motel in the cabanas. Back then this surfing craze was just starting, and Gary asked to borrow my board, it was a 9'6". My first car was a '57 Chevy wagon, it was bronze in color and I took a lot of people down to Sebastian inlet.
If I would put on this page all the places that I have surfed and all the people that I've met it would take up a lot of space. I surf for the fun of it, met a lot of different people, and had a lot of fun... and I'm still surfing today.
- Doug Hume, class of '65.
Cocoa Beach Surf Trivia
I am a Cocoa Beach surfer that is very young, and am very envyous of all you oldies who knew what was like here, back in the day. My friends poke fun at me for riding a longboard as opposed to short. My reasoning is because I am more of a "soul" surfer. My problem is, I have only been surfing for 7 years, so how could I be a soul surfer?
I absolutly crave information about this area when it comes to just about anything. Your articles of trivia completely informed me. I had absolutly no idea that there was a pier in PAFB or north of the jetty, and to me that's very interesting, as is all the other stuff as well.
Ever since I had gotten into longboarding about 5 years ago, when I got my late 9'6" Pat O'Hare FX (god rest its soul; I broke it in 2 exactly 1 week ago today), I started to read Longboard Magazine, and read books about the good old days, and talk to as many old surfers from this area as possible without being accused of being a smart a** punk or somthing of the likes of. Now to the point...could you possibly tell me of anymore surf related stories of Cocoa Beach and the area? Like you could probably tell, I wish I was around then! Thanks,
- Casey the "kuke"
Great job on the Pier Trivia!
Started surfing there in 1972 with Greg Taylor, and he and I placed 1st and 2nd in the 11th annual Easter Festival. I have many pier stories and many local heros, unknowns now, that shredded the place and want to keep the local trivia alive for all the groms to see what it was like back when you saw deer on the way to the inlet and when a $1.00 would get 4 of us to Sebastian. Hey to Kechle, Klugels, Rudolph and Good Luck to Pat O'Hare.
- Tony Graham, Merritt Island
Anyone want to talk old surf story or have original trivia about Cocoa Beach and Brevard County?