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Jay Adams' Venice
By Matt Warshaw

Matt Warshaw on growing up with Jay Adams, from TSJ issue 22.4:

"Jay Adams was my first surfing partner. We both lived in Venice, and starting in the summer of 1969, until around 1972, we were pretty much inseparable. My family, by the depressed 1960s standards of this warm, grungy little beachfront surf-hippy-barrio, was well off. Jay’s family was poor. Every morning that first summer, in 1969, Jay’s mom, Philaine, drove us two miles north to Santa Monica Pier, dropped us off, then came back for pick-up around 4 in the afternoon. Jay was eight. I was nine.

The two of us were ridiculously mismatched. I was a bookworm—the son and grandson of bookworms—not withdrawn, but happy to sit alone for hours, reading or building a model. Jay was 75 pounds of ADHD energy and charisma and misdemeanor destruction. He never slowed down. He rarely backed down. He mouthed off to teachers, and spent lots of time sitting outside the Nightingale Elementary principal’s office. Totally without warning, he’d pick up a rock and throw it at something, and all of a sudden I’d be running after him, away from the sound of breaking glass or screeching car brakes, pissed off and scared and excited."

Read Matt Warshaw's conversation with Jay Adams on coming up in Venice in the current issue.