Thursday, September 4, 2008


I was born in the "BITCHENIST" month of the year - September. This is when all the news is about hurricanes, hurricanes and more hurricanes.... now I have a choice to either live in fear of storms or get into glorious SURFIN!! when the waves here in Florida are almost as BITCHEN!! as the waves in Malibu or Hawaii ..... surfing is not only a fantastic sport, it is also a metaphor for living in courage and the light. Riding the waves and shooting the curl. Being so totally immersed in the art form of strength and balance, at one with the elements ..... Ole'! Ole'!

I quote below from the book "Gidget" written by Gidget's father Frederick Kohner about the real "Gidget" now Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, who was listed in a special commemorative issue of SURFER MAGAZINE as number seven of twenty-five most important surfers of the century, and one of two women to make the cut:

"No, I wouldn't go back. Not for the life of me. The scenery had been all set up for me like an opening performance. This was the final testing ground I had picked for myself..... I whirled around and brought the board in position. There was no waiting. I shot toward the first set of forming waves and rose. I stood it. I have to come in standing, I told myself. I gritted my teeth.
"Shoot it" I yelled. I was lifted up, sky high... and went down. But I stood it. One wave, another one. "OLE'!" I yelled. "OLE'!"
Up I was - and down I went. And still standing. I stood, high like on a mountain peak and dove down, but I stood it. The only sound in the vast moving green was the hissing of the board over the water. A couple of times it almost dropped away under my feet, but I found it again and stood my ground. "Shoot it, Gidget. Shoot the curl!!" My own voice had broken away from me and I could only hear the echo coming from a great distance.
"Shoot it.... shoot it.... shoot it, Gidget!" ..There was the shore. right there. I could almost reach out and touch it" ......

That was a simpler time in surfing history: the 50's and 60's when Kathy "Gidget" surfed in Malibu with Nicki "Da Cat" Dora a/k/a The Black Night; Mysto who had been surfing in Malibu since 1954, never missing a good day; Bill "Moondoggie" Jensen and of course, Terry "Tubesteak" Tracy, the Great Kahuna! who in the book and in actual fact lived in a hut on the beach.

That was the past. Let's go to the present. Gidget, now Kathy Kohner Zuckerman -- is marking her 36th wedding anniversary with husband Marvin Zuckerman -- turned 60 this weekend. But what else can we call her, other than Gidget? The term "Gidget" is not only part of the English language, it is is a vital link to one of the major American cultural shifts of the 20th century, the celebration of the beach and of youth culture. Gidget is an icon to teen-age girls everywhere, and a kind of team mascot in surfing history. "Today" Honolulu Star Bulletin 2001
Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman now prefers her sunsets from the sand-floored outdoor bar at Duke's, where she works as a hostess....
"Malibu is eternal," she said. "It's the endless summer along the Pacific Coast Highway. It's where the sun, surf and California lifestyle are at their sparkliest."

Now, one doesn't have to actually surf to enjoy the sport!! My 60" x 48" oil painting featured above is of one of my heroes, Laird Hamilton, the BITCHENIST big wave surfer ever!! I enjoyed the vicarious thrill of painting this painting and I share with you the eternal thrill of this moment, captured and frozen in time.....

I DEDICATE this blog entry , with beautiful memories, to my beloved mother MOLLY BENDER who recently gave me the book "Gidget" before she passed away this Sunday, September 7th, 2008. May she rest in GLORIOUS PEACE with My Father MICHAEL BENDER, GOD, and the ANGELIC HOST.

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