Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist."

—Jack London

In 1907, writer Jack London visited Hawaii and was introduced to the joy of surfing. That same year, he wrote A Royal Sport: Surfing in Waikiki. Instrumental in his surf eduction was one Hawaiian young man, George Freeth, who impressed London and other visitors with his dazzling skill and poise on his customized surfboard. London's glowing promotion of Freeth inspired California real estate baron Henry Huntington, who was looking for a way to draw visitors to the Redondo Beach area he was developing. Huntington hired Freeth to demonstrate the sport in front of his Hotel Redondo, sparking a surfing revolution. Freeth developed his surfing prowess while in California, and also his skills in water rescue. He became Redondo's first lifeguard and is credited with designing the torpedo-shaped buoys still used in water rescue today. In 1919, at the young age of 35, he died from the flu, during one of the worst global pandemics in history.

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