Saturday, November 22, 2008


Arrived in Charleston(CHS) late on the 20th.This place is as deep as my roots get in my life.I arrived in CHS August 1966 to attend The Citadel,the Military College of South Carolina.I met my wife,Maree Bilton,here.This is where my surfing roots are the deepest;my love affair with Folly Beach started during my Knob(freshman) year at The Citadel.We were called Knobs due to the buzz-cut haircut we were required to sport the entire year.We stood out like sore thunbs because all our contemporaries were joining the maximum folical follage dictated by the hippie era.Surfers,in particular,were required to be the harriest of the harriest;or at the least the most tanned and bleached.Being a skinned,hairless surfer was not cool from 66 to 70.The waves at Folly were pretty darn good during my college years.Anything would be pretty darn good compared to the rediculous rhythm of a Citadel cadets day to day life.I am staying with Hoot and Becky Gibson on Folly.Hoot and I are C Company classmates.I've known Becky since '68.I have also caught up with Foster and Lilla Folsom of Nova Scotia adventures earlier in this trip.They are doing well.Foster helped me reset the timing on the woodie;multi-talented man.Had a drink with Tommie and RB Bolus at Toco Boy on the beach.Tommie and I go back to 1968.We have taken numerous memorable surf trips together over the past 30 years;alone and with a cast of various characters. He is a great friend,and a fun travel partner.We always have a "big-ass" time! I could ramble on about Folly and surf adventures;but I won't bore you anymore.Folly is flat-the curse continues.Yours with the Waves,Ralph

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am aboard the Pamlico.A sturdy ferry that is part of the NC Ferry system. I left the Vaughns at 7:00AM to make the 10:30AM ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island,NC. I forgot my backpack,and had to add 45 minutes to my trip to retrieve same.I missed the 9:00AM Hatteras to Ocracoke ferry by 2 or 3 minutes which caused me to miss the 10:30AM Ocracoke to Cedar Island ferry.That explains why I am typing this on the 2:00PM ferry.The ride is 2.25 hours.My travel day would appear to have been shot.Since I do not have to be anywhere at any time,my ferry miss allowed me the joy of running into John Goodman again on Ocracoke.We had had an enjoyable conversation on my earlier visit a week ago.We picked up where our earlier car conversation left off,and I mentioned I needed my timing advance reduced from 10 degrees to 4 degrees.In my travels from Rhode Island to Hatteras,I had been unable to find someone with a timing light. John said Jimmy Jackson,the local car guru/collector could help me out.We drove to Jimmy's garage,and he dropped what he was doing;ran home for his timing light,and fixed me right up.INCREDIBLE!! I caught the 2:00PM ferry,and the drive off of Cedar Island was incredibly beautiful.The sun setting in the west cast a glow over the various marsh bridges I crossed.The oil slick glass of the eddies and creeks reflected the rays of the sun in a spectrum of hues.The crisp air made everything seem clearer. All this was mixed with the remnants of a Carolina blue sky complimented by pink and light golden wisps of scattered clouds. You could not script a more perfect mix of God's work.It continued for miles.I have witnessed some profound moments of Nature between here and Nova Scotia-KARMA TRAVEL!! Yours with an expectation of Waves,Ralph

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My postings are getting farther apart.It is because I have been in a heavenly routine here on The Outer Banks(OBX)of NC.Staying with Jim(Biggy)and April Vaughn is like going to a Ralph Williams support home.They are such good friends and so positive about my presence that I am considering staying here until I am Medicare eligible(age 65). They have "said" stay as long as you want;so that means some time between now and my demise. I think Medicare eligible has a nice ring to it.The Wave Curse has continued.A guy in front of K-Mart yelled at me, while I was in the car, that I was a "poser";that is surf speak for a guy who drives up and down the highway with surfboards on his car but never takes them off the car to go surfing.Based on that definition,I would indeed qualify as a "poser". The boards have certainly been on the car for no apparent reason.I knew that the East Coast has a reputation for no waves;but this has gotten to the point of rediculous.My 61st birthday was NOV. 14TH;so be sure to jam THE SHEPHERD CENTER FOUNDATION computer with donations in memory of such an unlikely event.Click on buttons to the right.I remember when our generation was told to trust no one over 30. Well I am over 30, and you can trust me that this is a good cause.My birthday was spent in a sea of laughter awash with nectar of the grape.Stories of our misspent college youth and surf travel tales sounded like ranting lies of lunatic,indulgent,lubricated and deranged inmates incarcerated in a home for the socially inept.Some of my stories of this trip were met with incredulous stares.The stories are not lies;the rest of the prior two sentence are true. I have found out during my travels that my friends'children and wives were a little skeptical of the tales of mutual dastardly deeds until I arrive on the scene confirming(almost) word for word the tale(s) in question. I don't know if this helps their marriages or not? It for sure sheds a different light on their future together. Only surfers know the feeling;to steal a bumper sticker phrase! More later.Yours with the Waves,Ralph