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Where Are You Joe?

August 27, 2021

The year was 1965. I was a “north shore” surfer at the time, preferring to spend my waves north of Ventura, California in the area that roughly represented C-Street to Hope Ranch. Much of my time was spent in the small town of Carpinteria. Here’s a poem I wrote in retrospect in the Loop’s Restaurant in Carpinteria in 1970, so many years ago:

In Loops, Carpinteria

©1970 Allen E. Rizzi


In a car, going far,

Travelling the going away road at night;

Looking to the deep dark future

            For that something bright;

            Stalking the lusty past,

Like a hunter for lost game,

Only to find the redundant now;

            Hunter, traveler;

                                    They’re both the same.

I and my friends, Kenton Morse and others were regulars in the waves of Carpinteria. It was an un-crowded beach break at the end of a small street that ran perpendicular to the beach. A half a block from the break lived a young man named Joe. Jesus, I wish I could his last name! I believe it was Hispanic but the years have obscured the name forever. He lived alone with his mother in a trailer on that same street.

We were great friends at the time. He showed me and my friends around the town of Santa Barbara and invited us to many parties and encounters with many young surfer girls. He also was a surfer and he reigned supreme at Carpinteria Beach. He was our idol, friend and confidant. We spent many a morning at his breakfast table, gobbling down goodies that his mother had made before we headed out to that beach break. I think we may have also slept there occasionally as we were true vagabonds at the time.

I remember that his mother was very friendly and accepting of Joe’s friends from the San Fernando Valley. I believe she was divorced; at least I don’t every remember meeting Joe’s father. A few years ago I thought that just maybe I had located Joe through the Classmates website for Carpinteria High School. I wrote to him but not receiving a response to my queries, I gave up. I want so much to thank Joe for all of those good times so many years ago. I love hellos from the past!

If you are reading this and know a guy named Joe who lived in a trailer park on a street perpendicular to Carpinteria Beach during the mid-1960’s, please get in touch. It would mean the world to me to honor his memory fully and maybe even get re-introduced.

Here’s my book about surfing in the 1960’s: Fifty Years Ago – A Surfing Trilogy: And Other Surfing Stories from the 1960s.

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