Lost at sea, but not forgotten…
Pierre Agnes is missing, most likely gone. Slater posts this news and my head starts reeling, memories flood my vision.
His son, Mathieu, posted this morning, “I love you! I love you! You are the best father in the world so I will continue to search for you until I die.”
Pierre and his family played a pivotal role in my life.
I was barely sixteen when I met the Australian pro surfer Bryce Ellis. He swept me away by the time I was seventeen. He showed me the World. The first place he brought me was south-west France. We arrived in Bordeaux and Pierre was there to pick us up. He was the French Quik team manager, having just graduated from the University of Pau with a degree in Philosophy. It must’ve been 1986 or 1987.
Pierre drove us back to his mother’s beautiful villa on the quais of Capbreton harbor. The home was classic, elegant and full of soul. His mother that we never called anything else other than Madame Agnes was the quintessential model of subdued French capability, knowledge, intelligence, feminism and chic. She was a nurse, Pierre’s father was a doctor, as are his two brothers.
She taught me to make confiture, magret de canard, ratatouille and daube de boeuf. She taught me to starch linen sheets, groom geraniums, make tisane from herbs in the garden and all those other things French women need to know, me grappling to understand directives in the most complicated language in the world that would ultimately become my first language because they made me want to be French, just like them. They taught me the art of French understatement and non-definition.
Working his way from the bottom to the top, first Hodge retired, and when Murietta finally got chucked out after wreaking Quik-havoc, Pierre ended up at the helm. I was shocked by the decision, but goddammit, Pierre had dedicated his life to the cause.
I will never forget Pierre’s silent cheek-puff, suffering side-mouth-exhale while twinkling blue eyes laughed silently and that meant to say everything all the while saying nothing at all. He taught me to hide my game… de cacher mon jeux. His girlfriend during this period was Arbela d’Arcangues. He introduced me to a woman who would become a lifelong best friend. I lived between his momma’s villa and her parents; chateau for years as a kid. A young, naive American, I felt so blessed to have crossed the paths of people so rooted, so classy and honorable.
Working his way from the bottom to the top, first Hodge retired, and when Murietta finally got chucked out after wreaking Quik-havoc, Pierre ended up at the helm.
I was shocked by the decision, but goddammit, Pierre had dedicated his life to the cause. Of course it would be him, he’d been there since the very beginning, knew the subject in all intimacy. He married the stunning Poppy and they founded a family.
The night I met her, she was wearing a polka-dot Marilyn-Monroe camisole dress at the Waterman’s Ball or some shit. It was her. They got married, founded a family and he took the weight of Quik upon his shoulders.
Of course he could.
That sustained ironic cheek-puff would keep him going.
The world is a more sorry place without it, and him.