Monday, September 6, 2010

Love's Labour's Gained

National holidays always give me pause. First of all, it's unsettling to have garbage pickup on Tuesday instead of Monday.
Second, holidays have a tendency to nag us with the message to think of others instead of ourselves. Who needs it?
Finally, a day off pretty much guarantees horrendous surf conditions.
But each of these dark clouds have their silver linings and Labor Day, unlike other holidays that wrack me with guilt as I pour lukewarm Tecates down my gizzard like they were the elixir of life itself, is designed for selfishness. What's not to love? Labor Day celebrates us, the American worker, just as we are.
It's an interesting choice to give us the day off to celebrate work, but whatever--we're supposed to drink cheap beer and let the littler ones run around with the bigger ones until their shapes are hard to distinguish in the waning light of evening. We're supposed to slap at mosquitoes or marvel at fireflies or vaguely wonder where our sweatshirts or spouses or dogs are as we stand around a bbq grill or sit around a fire pit or, if we're really lucky, stare into the gently pulsing embers as a beach bonfire fades into the fog.
All this because of American labor and all it stands for.
And up here North of the Bridge, it still stands for something. This 6'4 Lil' Pill, e-winged, cedar stringered, built for speed, inspired by the Campbell Brothers, and finned with bamboo was designed, shaped, glassed, finned, sanded, and polished by two people.
Four hands.
A singular desire to build something good.
It is also colored with resin in Laphroaig-bottle green.
My neighborhood sports a genuine old school steakhouse with a mind-boggling, wallet-draining single malt scotch menu. Surfboard building business has been conducted there through the years, and single malts have been sampled, extoled, heralded, cursed the next morning. The language of Scotland's chief export occasionally makes its way onto order cards: highland butterscotch opaque; Speyside honey tint; Lagavulin 16yr old yellow.
After a recent evening lush with liquid peat, smoke, and brine, the words Laphroaig-bottle green were jotted down. Leslie called soon thereafter.
"What the hell does that mean?" She demanded by way of introduction.
I directed her toward the Google.
"Got it," she said. "You could have just written pine, but--"and this was one of those moments that made the weekly hours-long drive to her glassing studio all the more worth it, "I'm glad you didn't."
Hope you had a great day.


Anonymous said...

You could have also said "Clearlake Green". I was just there and that is the color of the "clear" water. I hope that board is for Mr. HHG to keep in his personal library to celebrate his ancestry! ...Plus I really want to try that thing out... to help me on my next order, of course.

pranaglider said...

Bitchen board, great post!
the whole trash a day later thing bothers me too but I thought I was the only one

e. said...

The board is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Fast riding and slow sippin'. Nice work!

goofykook said...

I do love a wee dram of "the frog." I can't understand rye drinkers.

And it's a beautiful board.