"I will be the Oskar Schindler of California surfers..."
Last night California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, extended the Bay Area’s draconian “shelter in place” law to the entirety of the state. I was in bed watching the new season of Westworld when I read the news and do you like? I found season one entirely enjoyable but fell off during season two once the cowboy motif transitioned into industrial sci-fi which surprised me. I enjoy westerns from time to time, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being one of my favorite movies ever, but don’t necessarily consider myself an aficionado and will generally prefer a dystopian tale to a cowboy one. Well, the show lost its oomph once the cowboys went away, I felt, but I was willing to give it another go and so there I was watching the new season when I read Gavin Newsom’s “shelter in place” edict.
“Shelter in place?” I wondered. “What does that actually mean?”
According to Time magazine:
People should stay in their homes unless they need to leave for “essential” activities and work. The mandate went into effect on March 17 and will continue until at least April 7. The order details that violating the mandate is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.
“Hmmmm.” I thought while feeling selfishly gleeful. From my reading it essentially outlaws surfing unless it can be categorized as “work.” Being a surf journalist, the act is, of course, fundamental to my profession and I pictured being out there alone, catching any wave I wanted, shouting a friendly hello to the surfboard shaper the next peak over as I imagine he can count surfing as fundamental to his profession too.
R & D etc.
But then something miraculous happened in my imagination.
I missed you.
I missed silently criticizing the way you wax your board all OCD-like. Missed being jealous of your turns. Missed glaring at you when I paddled back out after my own personal wave of the winter. Missed the annoyed sigh we share when a SUP strokes into our midst.
Then I had an idea. A wonderful idea that will bring you back to the lineup. You can be a surf journalist too. You can “write” for BeachGrit.
So here’s the deal*. If you’re out for a California surf and a police officer tries to fine you or imprison you for being outside your shelter, tell him or her that you are a surf journalist who writes for BeachGrit and in the middle of researching an important story. I will vouch for you in any court of law.
A great, warm sensation of benevolence washed over me once my inspiration crystalized. “I will be the Oskar Schindler of California surfers…” I thought.
“…A legend in the annals of altruism.”
More as the story develops.
*Deal does not extend to SUPs, longboards or midlengths. No foils or Wavestorms either.