Chicken Skin Served Up At The 2021 CSM Gala
Well, everyone was wondering how it would go down. Our first Gala coming out of the two-wave hold down provided by the turbulence of covid. Somehow this event had to be special. Secure the funds to continue our mission. Restore the energy of our annual fundraising gathering. Capture the spirit of ocean-fueled happiness and cultural renewal.
Naming the legends and icons of surf culture that were present would exceed the word count I was asked to target for writing this piece. So many. So rad.
However, focusing on the honorees and the Silver Surfer recipients is plenty. Weaving a thread through pioneering women surf stars Kim Mearig, Debbie Beacham, and Lynne Boyer, with the utter legend that is Donald Takayama, the legend-in-the-making that is Joel Tudor, to the untouchable impact of Tom Morey, was a cosmic mixture of surf performance and spiritual power.
Almost all the honorees humbly noted their shy avoidance of public speaking… and then went on, in their own ways, to absolutely drop the mic through the stage platform.
The women noted the challenge of capturing a photographer’s lens back in the day, transitioning to the high-performance and high-profile surfing of today’s women’s surfing that empowers any gender, age, or surf ability to aim high into the lip. Chicken skin served with a side of prophetic actualization for wave riders around the world.
Donald’s impact on so many lives was evident in his tribute by shaper Charles Kirkley. A legend that graced local waters and shaped the surfing experiences of many worldwide. Then Joel, in part a product of DT’s oversight, spoke and provided a delivery of words that reflected content respect and appreciation. Chicken skin served with a side of three world championships.
Then the Tom Morey moment. A man standing with CSM leadership mere weeks prior at an Oceanside city council proclamation presentation, and then passing into the realm of the eternal wave prior to the Gala. No words can summarize the impact of his life that provided the joy of the ocean to countless humans globally. His wife Marchia spoke with a peaceful eloquence that touched all present. Chicken skin served with a side of profound insight and tranquility.
The evening ended with a video of Tom Morey speaking in a timeless tongue to all of us, strumming his uke with blue tropical waters as his backdrop. Tom Morey’s soothing video message was as calming as it was relevant: enjoy each other, enjoy the ocean, enjoy life.
The California Surf Museum can help with all three, chicken skin included with the price of membership.
– ERIC MUNOZ / CSM Vice-President