Before Computer Aided Design there were draftsmen. and my mom was a really talented one. As a little kid I hung out at her office on the Air Force base and she’d lay out big rolls of blank paper on a drafting table and I went to town with markers, pens, pencils, protractors and compasses.
My Grampa was a hardcore amateur photographer at Volcano National Park on the big island of Hawaii. We moved there when I was about ten. Through my early teens when I wasn’t surfing and bodysurfing in the shadow of Kilauea Volcano, or snorkeling the reefs I hung out in Grampa’s machine shop and dark room. My family on weekends hiked to remote locations to fish and snorkel or we’d drive my dad’s Bronco down to Southpoint to fish the cliffs.
In 1992, after Hawaii, Dad took a job at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I lived my teen years in North Carolina, that time that you grow into who you are, defining the person you become. We lived in a big A-frame bungalow on stilts just beyond the dune line, the crash of the surf lulling us to sleep at night, waking us in the morning, the salt spray always in our hair and clothes and nostrils.
On big surf days, when the powerful winds commingled with the tides to drive the waves, the whole house shook from their thunderous crash.
Surfing and boogie boarding out on the deeper breaks to catch the bigger waves and bodysurfing – I’ve just always loved the feeling of my body against the water. I surfed-fished almost every day on the Outer Banks – bluefish, redfish and striped bass. I hit the piers for kingfish, sometimes headed into the Great Dismal Swamp to gig frogs.