• January 20, 2020

1967: Surfing movie features appearance by the director - Ocean City Sentinel: News

1967: Surfing movie features appearance by the director

‘The Californian’ wasn’t ‘Endless Summer,’ but local audience enjoys it

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Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2020 2:59 pm

OCEAN CITY – “The Californian,” a film about surfing in the United States, was shown in Ocean City featuring an appearance by director Jamie Budge, the Ocean City Sentinel-Ledger reported Aug. 18, 1967.

The paper noted the response to the film was overwhelmingly positive, as the Convention Hall audience consisted of “young and old, surfers and non-surfers alike.” 

“A refreshing switch from the Frankie Avalon surfing films, the picture hit as close to home as any surfing film in trying to describe, effectively and creatively, what surfing is all about. Using varying techniques, Budge described photographically what it feels like at the top of the wave, feeling salt water on your back and wind on your face … the ‘top of the world’ feeling, that is characteristically a part of surfing,” the paper reported.

The music provided in the film wasn’t surfing music but “popular songs which were fitted into several scenes in order to fit the mood which Budge wanted to express.”

“Probably the most poignant example of this was a scene showing a sunset in Colorado – a flashback to the West while the boys were on their trip along the Eastern Seaboard – with the song ‘California Dreamin’’ in the background,” according to the article. 

“The Californians” also portrayed what surfers do at night, including shots of a discotheque “with all the lights and sounds one is likely to experience there.”

The film covered surfing spots along the East Coast, including the Sharkpit in Florida, Nag’s Head near Virginia Beach, and spots in Maine.

“Although some were disappointed that the picture did not include Ocean City, they were amused at the little bit of slapstick which was pictured on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry,” the paper reported. “Budge, commenting on surfing in Ocean City, said that he had run into some difficulty everywhere along the East Coast as far as surfing ordinances were concerned. ‘It seems to me that there would be room enough for everybody … surfers and bathers alike,’ Budge said. ‘Probably the one thing that hurts more than anything else is that surfers are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to consideration. I think that we have as much right to the waves as anyone else does. Bathers think it natural to wade into the water. That’s fine. So do I. But I also think that using the waves in the ocean is just as natural.’”

Budge said California has beaches dedicated to surfing only.

“If you figure that 10 percent of the people who use the beaches during the week are surfers, then it seems reasonable that 10 percent of the beaches should be reserved for surfing. The same with bathers. This way, nobody loses out,” Budge said.

Budge said Ocean City’s Eighth Street beach is where he found “consistently good surf.”

“There’s a prime example of what I mean,” Budge said. “Eighth Street beach has the worst condition for bathers … It’s not very big, no beach at all (the water goes right under the boardwalk), there are rocks all over the place. No bather in his right mind would go down there. But the place is ideal for surfing. Nice, medium-sized curlers. You can get a good ride,” he said.

Budge said Ocean City’s Eighth Street beach had the best, most consistent surf, according to the paper. 

The Sentinel noted that Budge took his film on tour, with showings in Beach Haven, Virginia Beach, New York and Asbury Park.

“While he expects to meet and perhaps surpass filming expenses through these showings, Budge has made no plans or considerations about showing the film on the theatre screen, as Bruce Brown did with ‘Endless Summer,’” the paper reported. 

“Brown took a long shot … he risked his life in making ‘The Endless Summer,’” Budge said. “The film, like mine, was originally shot on 16-millimeter film. He converted the film to 35-millimeter (motion picture size for theatres) with no financial backing, which is something along the lines of commercial suicide. But he came out on top. I, myself, have made no plans for doing likewise. I would be kidding myself if I thought that my film compared to Brown’s. There will only be one ‘Endless Summer,’ just as there is only one Leonard Bernstein, one Beatles, one Picasso.”




































Prehistoric creature found


A fossilized cephaloid, as much as 500 million years old, was found by a skin-diver in Great Egg Harbor Inlet along with a British half-penny minted during the reign of King George III, the Ocean City Sentinel-Ledger reported Sept. 7, 1967. 

The skin-diver’s finds were entrusted to Col. Richard G. Snyder, who brought them to the Ocean City Sentinel-Ledger’s offices so they could be studied, the paper reported.

“Snyder said that research indicates that the underwater trophies are authentic. A local numismatist identified the coin, while the cephaloid looks exactly like its picture in a book on geology, the property of Melville Trempe, of 207 Ocean Rd.,” the paper reported.

According to the paper, Kenneth Halpern, 24, of Philadelphia, was working in a hotel in Ocean City for the summer and found the fossil in about 10 feet of water. 

“It has the general appearance of a snail, with a convoluted shell, but in the millenniums in which it was buried it has been transformed into solid sandstone,” according to the paper. “Halpern, who is a laboratory instructor at the Philadelphia Community College, said that the fossil is one of the extinct ‘head-footed’ animals which were among the first higher forms of life. They developed during the Cambrian period.”

The copper half-penny was also found in shallow water and was probably immersed for close to 150 years. 

According to the paper, local historians noted that in December 1815 the British brig “Perseverance,” out of Le-Havre, France, and bound for New York, capsized in an inlet near Beesleys Point during a severe winter gale. 

“Some 20 of the crew were drowned and the ship’s cargo of fine china valued at $400,000 became a marine treasure trove for boatmen in the area for years,” the paper reported. “The coin bears the profile of the monarch who reigned between 1760 and 1820, and on its reverse side the coat of arms of Great Britain, its heraldic details obliterated so that they are barely discernable.”

The paper noted that the hull of the “Perseverance” had rotted away and was covered with silt and sand, but the scouring of the bottom of the Great Egg Harbor River and its inlet might have uncovered it.

Halper’s other finds includes “a tiny clam shell embedded in a fragment of iron pyrite, other shells also in fossilized condition, and even a sharp-nosed bullet discharged, apparently from a modern weapon,” the paper reported. “The diver located most of his trophies in shallow water while using simple snorkel gear, but he also uses scuba diving equipment for excursions into deeper water.” 




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