Friday, April 22, 2005
for Stephen Douglas Davies, a.k.a. "Surfdawg",
who passed away Tuesday evening, surrounded
by family and friends. He was 48 years of age.
Born on June 14, 1956 in Roanoke, Virginia, the
family moved to Huntington Beach, California
where Stephen attended public school and the
beach. When he wasn't surfing The Wedge and
shooting the pier, young Surfdawg competed
in state chess tournaments at the expert level,
was state champion his sophomore year, played
on the varsity water polo team for four years, and
graduated from Marina High in 1974. During
his teenage years, Stephen achieved his Star
rank in the Boy Scouts, and because of his out-
standing character, was elected by his fellow
scouts into the Order of the Arrow.
Stephen enlisted in the Navy in 1974, became a
meteorologist, and was stationed at Lakehurst
Naval Air Station, N.J., then in Bangor, Maine, and
finally at Fleet Weather Central in Guam. He was
married to Karen Moorefield while in the service.
Upon leaving the Navy with an honorable discharge
in 1978, Stephen worked on tuna boats in the South
Pacific. He eventually started a small import/export
business dealing in oriental art while living in Guam.
Returning to Monterey in 1981, Stephen continued
to develop his career in computer science. He
moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a position with
Amarada Hess, but because of the lack of surf,
he returned here to Redwood Estates.
The County of Santa Cruz hired Stephen in 1989,
where he demonstrated his selfless dedication as a
systems analyst on the county's computer network for over
fifteen years . He was a devoted member to his union,
SEIU Local 415, with whom he worked hard to improve
employment conditions of his fellow workers.
Stephen's community benefited greatly from his incognito
commitment to the Santa Cruz Police department,
the Surfrider Foundation, and the Pleasure Point Night
Fighters. An avid listener and supporter of KPIG radio,
Stephen began his career as the "Surfdawg" and religiously
gave the local surf report almost every weekday morning.
Always witty and charming, and ever the gentleman,
Stephen thoroughly enjoyed his life and home on
his sailboat "Phoenix" in the Santa Cruz Harbor. He
played his mandolin and sang many songs that he
loved, alongside his company of good friends. His
career as a musician was highlighted with the band
Wite Surfer Trash, who played many area festivals and
even a gig at the Catalyst nightclub.
Stephen is survived by his mother and father,
Florine and Howard Davies of Coeur d'Alene,
Idaho; his four brothers Robert, Morris ("Chip"),
Raymond, and James; and his three sisters Carolyn,
Jennifer, and Deborah.
During his fight with cancer, Stephen made it known
that his remains would be donated to Stanford for
medical research. Contributions may be made to
the Stanford University Medical Center, and/or to
the Hospice Caring Project of Santa Cruz.
The memorial "Dawg-Paddle Out" will begin at 10:00 a.m.
at the Santa Cruz Harbor Beach, near the volleyball
courts and catamarans, and will continue through the
day. You won't want to miss it. Just a tip . ..
I hear the Yankees are having a tough year.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Melanie Shows Up
I came to see Stephen yesterday afternoon, Wed., only to find a huge truck escorting out remaining contents of hospice; most noticeably, a bed. It was obvious as to which house I was destined without benefit of address, so I just squeezed between the ungainly truck and a more delicate white picket fence flowing with branches from an unnamed, scarlet flowered resident. Cousin Jim (a.k.a. “Cuz”) appeared instantly, there to greet me outside with a big smile and long, welcome hug. “Hi, Melly”. It was a beautiful day, really it was. The sun was out and I was happy to be warmed by its presence. Inside, the house was quiet, but for a few people. I timidly placed down my heavy and fully loaded, Guatemalan basket of picture book albums from 1983 through 1986, along with what was now a futilely written Leprechaun story for Stephen. Amazed by the composure, and diligence of the small, hosting group of family and friends (cleaning up the living room as I stood by in useless stupor), I was offered a much needed beer. It was a lovely little Doris Day cottage (as Dave so amply dubbed) nestled by the East Harbor, perfect for one’s last days with its cheerful, and bright yellow, blue, white, and dappled green patterns, bowls, wainscoting, and broad pillowed cushions. Calming laughter on the backside deck broke my confusion, and the stories of his last hours began.
I wanted to know it all, down to the detail; such as was gracefully and lovingly provided. The care and dedication provided to Stephen in his last weeks by his immediate family, and Camp Howdy was no less than spiritually inspiring, and fundamentally uplifting; a testimonial to life, love, and dying as it we should all be so blessed to know and experience. “The Men’s’ Crisis Center” read the poker card studded sign, and everywhere pictures. A black and white of the “White Surfer Trash” bluegrass gang was first to greet me, followed by a picture of Stephen in a dancing, turquoise Hawaiian shirt, with his broad smiled profile against a vivid blue and puffy clouded sky, sitting calmly on his appropriately harbor-docked lawn chair, beer in hand, of course, and hair freely reigning in a slight breeze. Another picture, much older, but of prideful beauty in its simplicity and formality was the one of his dear mother, Flo, surrounded by all her boys and an equally proud father. Then, on the wall, beside which sat a hence absent, “captains” bed for Stephen, was a crude, but tantalizing and two-frame computer graphic of a surfing dog, followed by a human, metamorphed surf dawg (“dawg” being defined as ½ human, ½ dog, with an oakey drawl). There were plenty of empty cardboard boxes of Sierra Nevada and Red Ale to satisfy my concerns for less desired sterility. I spent some time looking through my picture albums, as Lynn and Wendy helped me extract those perfect, youthful “Stephen shots”. Ah, those faces. My mind wandered with consoled abandon into the scenes, smells, conversations, and environmental senses brought upon me by each picture. I felt the heat, the cold, nighttime warmth, soft kisses, and streaming waters, and heard the wild music, hushed breezes, human clattering, drunken laughter, and awed cries of the life we’d spent together. More still waited, un-posted albums, memories on hold.
The screen covered door clapped announcement of brother Raymond’s arrival. He had come back from a long day of post-passing duties. Another welcoming hug. Speaking to Ray reminded me again of the same calm, certain, sincere, and light-hearted presence that I had always experienced with Stephen’s family. We shared pictures of our off-spring, and of course, outcome dialog between us all spoke well to our middle years as parents, patient and tried, but clearly fixed with well countered joys. This was life still evolving and ultimately infusing us with purpose and great satisfaction, beckoning to be shared and experienced. Yes, Stephen’s was a very special family who loved life, and showed it with a proud population of sons and daughters. But, we were here today as individuals, and Ed wrestled our attention to discuss practical logistics to a broad spectrum of memorial planning now well underway for Saturday.
I stepped outside. Reality dawned that night was dropping in, and I didn’t want to leave. My car was much too far away. Lynn could see I was standing there with little purpose and clearly needed the company. We started talking about Stephen. It wasn’t but seconds that my composure was lost. Something was due to give, and it was the upwelling of tears, packed by regrets on missing my final goodbye. Last I’d seen Stephen was at the Brookdale Benefit. It had been easily a year since we had partied together, and I wasn’t going to miss this one! No matter what his condition, I knew he would rally, and rally he did. Lynn told me that Stephen had noted that one minute I was there, and the next gone, and that we had been having a really good conversation and time together, albeit short. And in all truefulness, it was wonderful. However, I had made the mistake of requesting the presence of a designated driver from San Francisco to join me, a “friend” of Stephens by virtue of less exciting historicals. She wanted to come, and it seemed the right thing to do as I knew my unsurely habits well. At my age (ha!), I could no longer survive the consequences to my infamous indulgences and she was commanding enough to crack a whip if so needed. Needless to say, it was a mistake and a whip I didn’t need at such early an hour. Still, I was dragged out with a goodbye to Stephen that he never heard against the echoing commotion of rapid firing bluegrass and a haggling “friend”. So how could I have missed it again! Why? Why now? Why had I gone to Death Valley? Why had I had to watch the same cancerous death of my brother-in-law the week before, harbored the tears of a dear aunt the week before that, and the passing of an even closer uncle within a former month? Man, way too much. But then, Lynn was there, now, at that important moment and reality. She embraced me in solid friendship as I started to cry. Then she stood back, holding both my hands, and looked at me with these incredibly deep, glistening, sympathetic, yet still mourning brown eyes to say, “This was probably how Stephen would have wanted it…. to remember the magical times and feelings of your youth together.. not as he looked today, or yesterday.” And so we spoke of our lives, our children, our blessings, and we laughed at the antics of the Stephen we remembered. She walked with me to my car, and spoke gently, “Stephen would not approve of you being so upset, you know. He just wouldn’t have it, now would he?” “No, no he certainly would not”, I said with final release. “So, Melly,” laughed Wendy, “do you remember? It was Stephen’s thirtieth birthday! And my last snuff of Southern Comfort, that’s for sure!”
Five beers later, and now, well un-phased by either brew or emotion, the timing to write an obituary bio was ripe. I knew what Stephen wanted. He had spoken on many occasions in those early years of his premonition that his life on earth would be short. I had laughed with less credulous caution, as he continued on with how he envisioned an epitaph (or rather “sung to me”). “God’s own drunk, and a fearless man!” he would yell to heaven with boisterous declaration and a strong, wily laugh. Yes, ‘twas true, fearless to the end. But what would the Sentinel say (I mean, the first part)? Ok. So I tamed it a wee bit.
It was perfect, and I was “o. k.”, though my reply to work this morning was, “I’ve been better.”
Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill Sunday, April 24 at 7:30pm PRESENTED BY
Celtic Society of Monterey Bay
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
7:30PM / Doors at 7:00PM
$18 / $17 for Celtic Society Members
Tickets at: More Music, 121 Maple St, Santa Cruz & The Pearl Alley Box Office, 120 Pearl Alley, Santa Cruz or by phone: Sheila at 831-464-2128 or Bob at 408-847-6982 or by emailing: Celtsoc@aol.com
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Rest in Peace Our Beloved Surfdawg
Love you all & see ya soon.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Da Bills: Don Quixote's Tuesday April 26th - $12
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Larue Sez Check It Out, Less N You Already Got It . . . .
Ya know Martin, that streetlight and that gal reminds me of:
"I've Got The Yo Yo."
"I've Got The String."
Sorta, that is . . . .
Dial M for Mmmmmmmaybe
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