Reminiscence: Old Man Talking

To continue from last post, my boat painting and fiber glassing business was doing well. I took on a partner.

I had been surfing since high school and had made a few surfboards. At that time surfboards were made from balsawood. In the late 1950’s surfing became very popular.

Surfboard builders like Hobie Alder and Dave Sweet could not get enough balsa to fill their orders. They developed a urethane foam surfboard blank, a molded oversized surfboard shape that could be reshaped to a builders design.

One day a foam chemical salesman came to my shop and suggested I start making surfboard blanks. So I made a mold and started making blanks.

I knew it was going to be a really big deal and I really liked surfing. I gave my share of the boat business to my partner, took my mold and left. At the time I was the only person supplying the industry with blanks. Business boomed. WalkerFoam_Original

To get started I needed a place to work. My parents had a big yard with a shed in the back that had been a chicken coop. I set up shop in it.

Well, when I mixed the foam to pour in the mold the cooling blades on the mixer made a breeze that stirred up the chicken feathers. Some of the feathers would float down on the mold and get into the foam.

My first customer was Gordon “Gordie” Duane. His shop was on the beach right next to the pier in Huntington Beach.  Gordie got really angry with me when he would shape one of his beautiful surfboards and chicken feathers would appear!

The point of this story is it really was not that long ago.  Fifty years.  Life was so much simpler than it is now.  Businesses were being pioneered; we did not have all the rules and laws we have now.

I wonder how we could get a little more back to those days.

A couple of ideas would be if the focus of the government was not to raise wages and give people more stuff but to LOWER PRICES.

And instead of making new laws to cover every contingency, have our lawmakers get rid of laws we do not need.

Image Credit: Sastha Prakash

Image Credit: Sastha Prakash

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