A little over a week to go before my surgery – a perfect time to attempt the second leg on our “treasure hunt” for the ultimate in autographs for my “Endless Summer” movie poster. For those of you late to the game, a brief summary:
A couple of months ago, I was talking to my friend John at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum in – you guessed it! – Huntington Beach, California, who had a movie poster for Bruce Brown’s iconic 1966 surf film, “The Endless Summer”, signed by Bruce Brown himself and one of the two primary surfers featured in the film, Robert August. I asked John about the other surfer featured in the film, Mike Hynson, and John told me that Hynson didn’t sign posters for free, but he knew of people who would track him down at his surf shop in La Jolla where they’d pay him to autograph their posters – something he highly recommended, as he had a unique signature that would make any trip there worth it.
Which got me to thinking: if I could ever get Hynson’s autograph, why stop there? Why not really make the poster unique and get the three active members of The Sandals, the band that provided much of the film’s music, including the film’s memorable, wistful theme song – guitarists John Blakeley, and Walter Georis, and keyboardist Gaston Georis – to sign it as well? That would make a great poster and collector’s item even more unique and special. But how to do it? This would require no small amount of audacity, creativity, and, yes, dinero, but I figured, why not?
Next was to track down the whereabouts of the members of The Sandals, and I discovered that the two Georis brothers live up in Carmel Valley, California, where Walter runs Georis Winery and both he and Gaston own a restaurant called Casanova. John Blakeley seems a little more difficult to track down, but I’m hoping that if we can ever connect with the Georises, perhaps they’ll provide us with a means to contact Blakeley.
So, this weekend we’re off to Carmel Valley. A late Friday afternoon flight into San Jose and three nights at the Country Garden Inn in Carmel Valley. Saturday will be our official “Treasure Hunt Day”, with plans to take in a wine tasting at the Georis Winery on Saturday and dinner reservations at Casanova on Saturday night. Sunday we’ll play the tourist thing and do the 18-mile drive around the beautiful Monterey Peninsula with a stop at Pebble Beach (hey Goodboys, guess where next year’s prizes will come from!) and a redwoods forest, then Monday make the trip back in time for my medical reality show starting next Tuesday.
I’ve written introductory letters to both Georis brothers letting them know we’re coming and our hope that we can meet them personally during our visit. I haven’t heard back from them as of yet, but we’re going nevertheless. Our “Hynson experience” turned out far better than we ever could have imagined, we’re hoping our “Georis experience” turns out the same. But it’s a crapshoot, that’s for sure (which is why, I guess, they call treasure hunts “hunts” to begin with!).
BTW, here are The Sandals performing “The Endless Summer” theme, with Bruce Brown dropping in for a visit towards the end. From the looks of it, the video appears to have been filmed at none other than the Georis winery. Was it? I’ll let you know and hope to tell y’all about it after this coming weekend. Updates as they come in.
BTW, I’m told The Sandals will also have some new music featured in the upcoming documentary film “Shaped”, celebrating the movers and shapers behind the early ’60s California surf culture. Something to keep on the lookout for….
Pool temp: 89 degrees