Story submitted 2/9/97
by Robert Reed Jr.

"Surfing During the Great Depression; A 1936 Surfing Trip....."

Imagine the time. The economy in ruins, very little work, your dad bringing home a 25 cent paycheck for a week's work. You are 16 years old, and you need a car to get to San Onofre so you can catch a wave on a 13 foot redwood monster board with no fin. You spend months wheeling and dealing, scrounging everywhere, trading things for Ford Model T parts, and finally you put together something that runs, even though you can see the road through the holes in the floorboard.

Imagine going from Brea-Fullerton to San Onofre on dirt roads in 1936, with those redwood monsters on top, and actually making it. Scrounging for gas, camping all summer to keep from burdoning the family during these hard times. But these are great times because we are surfing! Surfing during the great depression.

Imagine living in the caves at Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach, before they destroyed the great harbor entrance break with the jetties. What a wonderful time it was, while the rest of the country was standing in soup lines and families were on the street because they couldn't pay their mortgages. But it is a wonderful time because you are surfing.

Alot of old guys are dying everyday, without having told these stories. There aren't that many of them left. Guys who got to their favorite spots in Model T's. They hold treasures in these stories and those stories are untold.

We need to find these guys and hear their stories. Get the word out.

Time is getting short.


Robert Reed Jr., son of Robert Reed Sr., a 1930's surfer.

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