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From the Parking Lot

The parking lot has a whole vibe of it's own.  From surfers making surf-checks to pulling on wetsuits to trying to figure out the new parking ticket machines; lots goes on up in the lot.  We'll share some of those adventures here...


No one showed more patriotic spirit for July 4th, 2016 than Alan; right-on Alan...

Mayor John wants an old VW van but they are hard to find, at least for a price where you don't have to mortgage the house.  So, for the mean time, friend Carlos fixed John up with a new VW lunch box to tide him over...

In a hammock with a ukulele by the beach post surf, life is good...

It's fun to imagine how many surf checks have been made in this old Pontiac wagon...

Carlos demonstrating how to properly wash-down and keep yourself and your things sand free after a fun surf session...

Photo 1 of 2 ~ "Hallo, my name is Trudy, I am from Sveden and I am looking for da surf instructor named John, do you know ver I can find heem"?

Photo 2 of 2 ~ Suddenly everyone's name was "John" and they were all surf instructors...

Ed and his iconic wagon with a load of hot surfers and cool lumber on board...

When there is no surf there is nothing like an impromptu ukelele jam in the lot, just ask Wey and George...  (ps: these guys are GOOD!)

Mike, always classic in everything he does including riding to the beach with his board under his arm...

Candace demonstrating some fine juggling skills post surf in the parking lot...

Gidget taking a moment to gather her "om" and give thanks for another fun morning session.  Thanks to Surf Brother Eric for the cool photo...

Mayor John arriving in style for morning surf...  Thanks for the photo Brendan

Practicing hanging-five?  No, at 4'11" tall, Amy simply climbs on top of her surf ride to get her surfboard down and then slides back down the front windshield.  Her routine is part of the morning entertainment in the lot...

Surf friend Mary taking a spin on her new skateboard with "land paddle" after surf, right-on Mary...

Mayor John putting on a "Gun Boat Show" in the parking lot after surf; you are truly awesome John!  Thank-you to beach friend Vicki for the photo...

If you have walked "The Ramp" from the Lot to the sand you know how steep it is.  Running, bicycles, skateboards and skates are forbidden.  But last time we checked, the signs say nothing about unicycles and beach friend Greg sometimes enjoys being the exception...

On big surf days it's always good to be on friendly terms with the ambulance crew...

"The most interesting man at the beach" after morning workout.  By the way, Happy Birthday John, you make 69 years old look great...

"So this teacher and this preacher were at the beach and..."  Retired teacher John and active Deacon Jim talking about their great rides after session...

This 1930 Ford Model A belonged to a friend's dad, then our friend, then Pat here when our friend passed away.  Our friend and his dad may be gone, but the family Model A lives on and still cruises the beach parking lot on Sundays just like it has since 1940...

Using some wheels and his boat as a trailer, this little guy's dad has it all figured out as to how to get his kayak and his son both to the beach at the same time...

Here is our photographer flanked by two of the newest Riviera Wave Riders, Kevin & Mike. These two are the nicest guys you will ever meet and boy are they a blast to surf with...


There is nothing like a game of horseshoes after a big morning surf session...

One of our surf friends came straight to the beach from work and left his trunk open for a minute.  John found his way into the trunk and well, this photo says the rest.  We think John would make an awesome "Mr. October" in a future fireman calendar...

If you look up "stoked" in the dictionary we're pretty sure you will find this photo of John, Tiffany and George.  Happy surfers, part of our happy water family, 'ohana...

We wondered where the surfboards were until the movie cameras showed-up and we learned it was a film shoot...

Some beaches have shark warnings, on this morning our beach had a "snake" warning.  If you can't read the sign from this photo, talk to Mayor John about it...

What a pretty scene and check out that new "Torrance Beach" sign on top of the sign pole.  Mayor John says if you touch it on the way out it will bring you waves...

Snow ball fight at the beach?  Yup, and Chris was the instigator bringing fresh snow from his last ski trip of the seaon the previous day...

When we break a board, the bad news is we have to replace it.  The good news is, we get to get a new board...

The 1969 American road movie "Easy Rider" with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper may have been even better with John as a third sidekick.  Thanks to Big Mike for the photo...

This is an Arctic Gyrfalcon and as Rocky puts it, the Gyrfalcon is the "Ferrari" of the falcon family.  Bigger, faster, stronger than most any other falcon, they are impressive in all respects.  Thanks to Rocky for bringing his Gyrfalcon to the beach for a visit; thanks to Carlos for getting a photo for us...

John here on the left is all smiles after taking delivery of his brand new board shaped by Bruce Grant...  Thanks to Chad for the photo.

No, this isn't 1965, this is 2012, January 2012.  This fellow looked so cool with his vintage trunks and old school long board we just had to snap a photo.  On top of the retro look, this young man was getting ready to paddle-out into overhead surf and 60 degree water.  Maybe it was 1965 again...

If this photo was taken anywhere but at the beach; the cops would  already be here with a negotiations team trying to get this guy off of the roof.  But at the beach, making a morning surf check in your bath robe while standing on the roof is a perfectly normal thing to do...

So what do surfers do the next morning after a big swell?  Look in the paper of course to see if their photo is in there...

Christmas morning, 2011; part of the steady stream of surfers making surf checks throughout the morning.  Thank-you to our friend Way for the great photo...

"Look mom, no hands"!  Is your board too wide to carry under your arm?  Our good friend Barry has the cure, just use your head.  Barry actually walks long distances like this...

Mayor John still impresses the crowds with his ability to balance a stick on his nose...

We are grateful for and respect all life, big and small.  While taking this image; Amy swears she heard the little lizard say: "He's right behind me, isn't he?"  Is this the coolest little lizard or what...

Adele front and center with a small portion of the many surfers who came to the aid and comfort of one of our youngest surfers who is in his third round battling cancer.  Thanks to Adele; a ton of aloha flowed through her to our afflicted surfing friend and his family making their load just a little lighter....

'Nothing like a few hundred bees to get your attention while your pulling-on your wetsuit for morning session...

Memorial Day 2011.  The surf wasn't so good but the vibe in the parking lot was great.  There are three Army men in this photo, one active and two veterans.  Thank-you for your service, men...  Thanks to Eric for the photo.

If you look up "satisfied" in the dictionary you will find this picture.  'Nothing satisfies more than a fun morning surf session with friends...

Mayor John with his new CON surfboard shaped by Bruce Grant; sweet...

"Lot Rot" is a condition caused by hanging in The Lot too long in the morning during early surf check.  This early Christmas morning 2010 crew looks pretty handsome though...  Thank-you to our friend Way for submitting this great photo.

When anyone comes to the beach with a new or different board; it puts a smile on everybody's face...

If it floats it has probably been launched from the beach.  Here a nice pair of outriggers are heading for some ocean adventure...

The only thing better than getting a nice picture of yourself from your friends is giving a nice picture of your friend to your friend...

Surfers are known for being creative, even when it comes to how they get to the beach.  Christian here showed-up for a recent morning session  with his board on a new "Mule Transport System Board Carrier" brand board trailer.  The trailer folds up in a bag when not in use, pretty cool...

Somebody took two boards from the roof of Ron's truck in front of his house.  One of those boards was his brand new Donald Takayama.  Ron put the word out to everyone but none of us were too optimistic.  Then, 3 weeks later, a couple of hodads were spotted at the beach with Ron's boards. Ron, the Police and the Lifeguards sorted things out and in the end, Ron had his boards back including his prized Donald Takayama.  Good things happen for good people, we call that good Karma...

Summer time, no school and mom just paid for your first surf lesson; it doesn't get any better...

Who says summer surf isn't "snappy"?  Dan-O here is passing review in the parking lot after getting his board "snapped" while riding some summer juice.  Bad news is, broken board; good news is, Dan-O gets to buy a new one...

Some might say the parking lot has really "gone to the birds".  The truth here is that Mayor John has just scored some sweet decorations for his surf pad.  John is always so generous with the little things he brings and shares with the morning lot crew that one of the gang just could not resist giving back.  Sweet birds, John...

John, the Mayor of the Lot, points from his bench where the best waves are to be had this morning...

Remember the surfboard bench that Carlos built?  Well, John is the proud new owner and here he is taking it for a "toes over" spin in the parking lot.  You rip, John...

"Girls just wanna have fun" and a little birthday cake before their surf session. On her birthday, McBraveheart announced that she is "30-18"; right on McB; we don't think you look a day over "20-9"...

Who has the coolest surfer dude belt buckle in the Parking Lot?  On this particular morning during surf check we all voted that Chad did.   "So, yeez be seeking adventure with a salty old pirate, ehh"?  Right-on Chad...

John has been known to bring some interesting things to the Parking Lot in the morning from fencing swords to 'Coon-skin caps. On this day the theme was "the way we were" and John was sharing one darn handsome picture of himself along with a gold medal he won in a running race...

John, we think you look just the same; you 'rip...

So there we were at the top of the ramp when this wild "Smart" car pulls up with two lovely ladies offering free cold drinks.  We think the drinks were supposed to make us smart but we still went out and surfed in 58 degree water...

"Hey look you guys, I learned this when I traveled with the Circus"!  We love John.  Surf or no surf, John is always entertaining...  Photo by Amy.

"That's not big a skateboard, THIS is a big skateboard"!  At 14 feet long, those words are true.  Here a Hollywood production crew is making there custom skateboard ready for another filming session.  All we wanted to see was someone ride it down the ramp...

We usually can be found surfing by 9:00 but there is a o'dark thirty contingent that checks the surf, walks the dogs, drinks the coffee and says:  "Ya, but you shoulda' been here yestereday..."

John doesn't miss surfing except when he takes New Year's day off to make the Polar Bear swim at Cabrillo Beach each year.  This is John in the parking lot on January 2nd showing-off his hard earned "I made the swim" sweatshirt.  Right-on, John...

Sunset at the beach, every one different, every one beautiful.  Thanks to Marcella for the photo...

Morning surf check; what a crew...  Thanks to McBraveheart for the photo...

Like a dream; this Caddy and it's driver floated into the parking lot and out one sunny and hot July afternoon...

Members of the South High school surf team practice below under the watchful eyes of coaches and parents from above...

Not many of us can say that we made our own surfboard; Kevin is an exception.  Still smelling of fresh resin; Kevin brought his new creation down to the lot for the gang to check-out.  The board is made of wood, it is hollow and it looks beautiful.  Way to go, Kevin...

Early morning surf check.  Surf clothing manufacturers clamor to get a glimpse of what we "fashionistas" wear; cutting-edge trend-setters for sure...

Last month it was a helicopter, this month it's a snow mobile.  'Just another random visitor to the beach parking lot...

While surfing; we often watch the copters from Robinson's Aircraft in Torrance taking their test flights over the beach.  Last week; this copter landed in the parking lot after it's engine quit in mid-air.  The pilot "auto rotated" the copter down with no power making an expert landing in the parking lot with no damage and no injuries.  We just never know who is going to drop in...

Emergency service is great at Torrance Beach.  After the copter landed; Police and Fire responded in a heart-beat and made sure everything and everyone was O.K. ...

We love the Torrance Fire Department.  It is a "Class 1" department and they provide exceptional service to the community and Torrance Beach.  Here they took a moment for a photo with some Riviera surfers...

Ahh, dude, it does not get any better than this.  And just think; when we were kids mom said she didn't think we should go surfing when it was raining...

Wave Rider Nancy takes advantage of her free weekend cell phone minutes and calls family and friends back home in the midwest.  "Hi mom, it's how cold back there today?"

John making a surf check from the parking lot meanwhile telling us:  "...you should have been here yesterday..."  Geez John; we think today looks pretty good...

Passing inspection.  The top of the ramp.  This is the area where most wave riders make their first stop of the day to check the surf.  It is also frequently a spot where surfers gather and "talk story".  To walk through this area  is sometimes like "passing inspection". Here John has intercepted Gidget on her way to the beach and is inspecting her newly redone board.  John digs the new pink Hawaiian cloth inlay; we do too; it is "totally Gidget"....