July 27, 2003

3 Waves a Day for 10,179 Days Straight

The Ironman and the Sea
by Bill Plaschke in today's Los Angeles Times.

Every day for 27 years Dale Webster has gone surfing. It might have been crazy for the first 20 years, but now it has gone on to be a crazy kind of deep wisdom.

Everybody knows where Dale Webster has been, and where he's going, this man who has defined himself by his refusal to be defined.

"Surfing has been so commercialized, so sold out, surfboards on runway models, surfing as a reality show," Barilotti said. "To many people, Dale has become one of the last real surfers."

As of now, there is no party planned for February. Dale Webster says he doesn't need a party. He says a life of dedication has led to a life of understanding, and that's celebration enough.

"Seeing the wave is the future," he said. "Its curl is the present. Its break is the past."You ride a great wave, you turn around, and all you see is foam, nothing to show for it, a memory."

Always the setting forth was the same,
Same sea, same dangers waiting for him
As though he had got nowhere but older.
Behind him on the receding shore
The identical reproaches, and somewhere
Out before him, the unravelling patience
He was wedded to

-- W.S. Merwin

Posted by Vanderleun at July 27, 2003 9:56 AM
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