Hermosa Beach Surf Legends Memorial Fountain
Help us erect a fountain commemorating Hermosa's great surfing heritage. The City is raising funds to construct a surf motif fountain on the lawn in front of the historic Hermosa Beach Auditorium at PCH and Pier. The fountain will be a full-size bronze replica of the famous photo of Dewey Weber surfing 22nd Street in Hermosa Beach taken by legendary surf photographer and local Hermosan, Leroy Grannis, in 1966. Water jets will simulate the spray from Dewey's trademark "Wheelhouse" cutback. Around the base of the fountain will be photo-etched granite tiles depicting the legendary surfers/watermen who emerged from the Hermosa area, including such greats as Doc Ball, Hoppy Swarts, Leroy Grannis, Jim Bailey, the Kerwins, Bev Morgan, Paul Matthies, Bing Copeland, Hap Jacobs, Dale Velzy, Greg Noll, Mike Purpus, Rick Stoner, Dewey Weber, Eddie Talbot, Phil Becker, the Meistrell Brothers, Dru Harrison, Sonny Vardeman, Donald Takayama, Linda Benson, John Baker, Mike Stevenson, Alf Laws and others. Along with the photos, we hope to preserve for posterity some of the old stories from this classic time period in Hermosan history.
The fountain will provide a lasting remembrance of a time when Hermosa Beach was at the epicenter of the burgeoning new sport of surfing. The ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing was introduced to the "Mainland" when George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku came to the South Bay in the early 1900's. During the 60's & 70's, the surf shops were lined up along PCH and these legendary forerunners of modern day surfing were developing their skills in the local surf and creating new board designs in their shaping rooms. Hermosa Beach was where it was all happening!
The fountain design incorporates the underwater kelp and sea-life that thrived before the harbors were dredged and jetties constructed, forever altering the south bay shoreline. This was a hard-learned lesson about how delicate our natural environment is, and must not be forgotten!
The walk area around the fountain will be paved with personally engraved bricks placed in a woven mat pattern representing the interconnectedness of the beach community. This project will be funded through donations for the bricks (at $200 each) plus grant funds, as a grassroots effort to help keep alive the surfing soul of the great City of Hermosa Beach. You will also receive a black and white photograph of Dewey personally signed by Leroy Grannis with each brick purchase. Make your tax-deductible donation check out to the City of Hermosa Beach (Surf Memorial Fund). Any donation amount is appreciated. Special recognition will be given to large donors.
DEWEY WEBER BIO by Steve Pezman (Publisher of The Surfer's Journal — http://www.SurfersJournal.com/)
Nick-named the "Little man on Wheels", Dewey Weber stood only 5'-6" tall, but was a giant of a surf figure. The original prototype beach gremmie (period surf vernacular contracted from the term gremlin), Dewey was topped by a shaggy, sun bleached, white-blond mop, characteristically wore way too big, low slung, fire engine red baggies to go with his dark tan, and pulled off impossibly quick, acute slices and carves followed by rapid stepping nose rides, performed on ultra wide, thin slabs of balsa and later foam, featuring huge "hatchet" fins in the extreme aft to keep the board stuck to the wave while Dewey was perched on the tip. Reynolds Yater explains that Dewey's unique surfing was the product of the waves he grew up riding: short, round, open and close beach breaks. In-and-out waves. Crank-a-turn and run-to-the-tip waves. If Mickey Dora was the swank and cynical prince of Malibu's long point surf, and Phil Edwards was the smooth, powerful Numero Uno in the waters down south, then Dewey was King of Radical in the South Bay. He'd always been something. As a kid growing up, Dewey was a Duncan yo-yo champion, "lived in a shoe with his dog Tige" in TV commercials for Buster Brown Shoe's, and was an all CIF wrestler in high school (once reportedly keeping 6', 250 pound Greg Noll in a headlock from Dana Point to Newport Beach because he was afraid to let him go.) Renown as one of the best surfers in the world from the late 50s through early-60s, star of Bruce Brown's first cult-film epic, "Barefoot Adventure" in 1961, Dewey built a surfboard empire in the 60s, headquartered on surfboard row, (read PCH/Hermosa Beach), based on producing outlandishly designed and decorated boards that were as radical as his surf style. During a period of fierce competition between surfboard manufacturers, he aced his rivals by introducing the sport's first Competition Team in a famous ad in Surfer magazine that showed his team riders arranged in a V for victory on the side of a sand dune. They quickly followed suit. Perhaps more than any other single surfer, the flamboyant Weber became an icon for the surfing explosion that saw the sport grow from a few eccentric thousands in the 50s to millions of hyper-stoked teenaged grems in the 60s. As that moment faded and the times blew by, Dewey fished commercially and struggled to keep his famous name relevant to a fast evolving surf scene. Although known for being an absolute scoundrel at times, when the tide was up, Dewey was a generous and giving friend and loving family man. Dewey drank hard and lived harder. In the end, his radical nature took him down early. At his funeral overlooking the South Bay beaches, as his ashes were put into the sea in front of a gathering of surf scene notables from all over the world, a flock of dolphins came frolicking into the surf line. Everyone there figured they were sent as an honor guard for one of surfing's most beloved and colorful characters.
Thank you Hermosa Beach City Council for your ongoing encouragement and support!
When it all began...
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL
of the City of Hermosa Beach, California, held on Tuesday, October 28, 2003, at the hour of 7: 13 p.m. (Click Here)
Present: Dunbabin, Edgerton, Reviczky, Yoon, Mayor Keegan
i. Recommendation to authorize staff to develop plans and cost estimates and initiate a fundraising program for the City's Gateway Signage and Dewey Weber Memorial Statue. Memorandum from Public Works Director Richard Morgan dated October 21, 2003 (PDF File).
Action: To authorize staff to develop plans and cost estimates and initiate a fundraising program for the City's gateway signage and the Dewey Weber memorial statue, as recommended by staff.
Motion Yoon, second Edgerton. The motion carried by a unanimous vote.