Suncoast Chapter Celebrates Surf Shop's 41st Anniversary
By Julie Pappas (Suncoast member)
As afternoon thunderstorms built in the east, and the Gulf lapped sadly lake like against the balmy white beaches to the west, members of the newly formed Surfrider Foundation Suncoast Chapter, came to chill with Joe Nuzzo and family, on Saturday, July 30th, in the cool atmosphere of DK’s Bouy on Blind Pass, St. Pete Beach, Florida to help them celebrate Suncoast Surf Shop’s 41st Anniversary.
In 1966, Suncoast Surfshop opened with not much more than a few hundred bucks , some beach sundries , and a few boards. It’s reported, on the net, that at the time it was illegal to surf in the Gulf. The original shop burned to the ground in 1995 and was thereafter replaced by the 2 story board-house of bright blue that stands today on Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island, Florida.
Joe, 64, a lifetime surfer of these waters, and a long time Surfrider member, is a fixture to the beach community in and out of the water. Those who know Joe can spot his hair as white as his smile from shore and find him as warm as his deep tan.
In birthday tradition we ate cake! Thanks to Greg and Robyn of Surf Shack on St Petersburg Beach, they gave a giant sheet cake decorated as a surfy kind of day on the Gulf beaches. In laid back western Florida style we sipped icy drinks and mellowed to the sounds of Gail Tripsmith and Friends, while meshing with friends old and new over tasty eats. The pool table jammed on occasion, but Rachael and crew at DK’s did an A+ job catering to our insatiable thirst and kept us nibbling into the evening. All the while our lovelies moved the sand bucket around, first at the door, defying the heat outside to collect donations for our chapters needs, then bringing it indoors to make the rounds. At last count they collected $136.67.
At the height of the celebration Joe accepted leis from two of our loveliest members as his young son rode atop his shoulders and led the crowd in a round of “Happy Birthday” . Mike Meehan, the Suncoast Chapter Chairman presented a singing greeting card signed by all the chapter members present, wishing congratulations, many thanks for service and leadership over the years, and cheers for many more years to come. The tune? “Shining Star” by Earth Wind and Fire. Fitting.