Mermaid Shack

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Project Description

Mermaid Shack

Giclee Print on Mounted Canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 12″ x 9″

Back in the mid 60’s when I was at FSU I did a lot of surfing. I had a couple of friends on the FSU swim team, Jim Thompson and Dennis Bunn, who were also surfers, so nearly every weekend that they didn’t have a swim meet we went to Panama City, Jacksonville Beach or Cocoa. We took my old VW bus or Jim’s old jeep. One day we parked the jeep on the beach at Daytona and paddled out for some waves. We noticed that the waves were better just a couple of hundred yards down the beach, so we paddled down there and had some great waves. We never thought about the incoming tide. When we got back to the jeep it was pretty much under water and we had to have it towed out of the surf. Being with Jim and Dennis was never dull.

One winter evening in 1968 they came to my apartment and told me they were both flunking out, so they quit school, sold anything they had with any value except their surfboards and were flying to San Diego and then to Hawaii. They wanted me to come with them, but I had Uncle Sam and the draft hanging over my head and for whatever reason I was NOT flunking out of school; I would graduate in a few months and then deal with Uncle Sam just a few months after that. So they went to Hawaii.

I received a couple of cards and letters from them before we eventually lost touch, but they were living in a shack on the North Shore of Oahu, surfing every day, working for Dole Pineapple when they needed money and hiding out from the draft. The shack they were living in near the beach was the inspiration for “Mermaid Shack”. I would bet that shack is long gone and there are high-dollar condos there now. I don’t know what happened to Jim and Dennis. Maybe I’ll run into them sometime when I’m sitting outside on my board with the sun on my back and waiting for that perfect wave…

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