I have always heard a lot of griping about locals only and “townies go home” epithets and while I understand the thought process to a degree it still disturbs me. To a degree, whether we like it or not, we are all at one point or another both (that is unless we never go anywhere). We all travel and when we do we are the townies or outsiders. Sure it’s a pain when we live in paradise and love our little piece of heaven or beach break becomes inundated with tourists but that’s the price we pay for living there. Why do so many surfers want to surf the North Shore or other cool spots or visit other famous landmarks, because the places rock. I remember once while going to college in Nebraska, (yah not the coolest place for a surfer) my wife and I had some really good friends. One evening after watching a report on TV about some disturbance in New York City, they said “it serves them right because all easterners are a bunch of animals anyway”. After saying it they remembered where we were from and said “but we didn’t mean you, you guys are OK”. Even though we knew their remarks came from a bit of ignorance and stereotyping it still hurt. The truth is I am townie at my local beach in Jacksonville. I love the spot I surf at 30th avenue south because I was accepted there right away and the group of surfers there area great. In a way I’m probably considered local. When talking local vs townie the conversation shouldn’t be so much about where someone is from but rather the respect they show to the locals and the way they treat their local environment. I love the beach and try to do my best to keep it healthy and to respect it and the locals. I do beach cleanups of the area on my own and through the local Surfrider Chapter do much more. I also donate my time at Florida Surfing Association events. I am fortunate to be supported in those activities by many locals and townies alike. As such, I hate it when people come in and trash the place or disrespect it or the locals. Unfortunately, not all locals respect their turf or treat it well. So bottom line, it’s not a good practice to stereotype people and create a negative environment as it only fuels hatred and disrespect. Instead let’s deal with things on an individual basis.
On another note, I have been working hard on my new novel (title is still a secret) that is a bit of a follow up to the nonconformist. I will also soon be posting weekly portions of some of my short stories so stay posted and also I welcome any comments or suggestions on topics. Thanks for tuning in. Aloha, Paul