logo1Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Letter from California

Mike with Woodie

This was just a simple e-mail message sent to the editors at Boomer Cafe to say happy holidyas. They liked it and published it as a full-fledged article. Go figure ....


Feeling like the holiday season brings an end to another year that makes you another year older? For Michael Petrie, whose writing has appeared from time to time on BoomerCafé, not a problem. He just shared this letter with us, which we decided to share with you, because this guy is just who we exist for: an active baby boomer who really knows how to do the holidays!

Just thought I’d share this with you. For my buddies and me, this past Wednesday was Big Wednesday — like the old surf movie of the same name. Goes to show that we Baby Boomers can still keep up with the kids … no matter how old and gray we may be getting, ha ha! What a day!

Mike surfingTwo storms, one from Mexico and one from Washington state, converged here in Southern California on Wednesday to bring the most awesome waves to our beaches that I’ve ever seen! All sizes too, from monster 18 footers to nicely shaped 4 footers.

My buddies and I hit the sand, waxing our boards, as the sun rose to reveal a glorious, sunny, 75 degree morning. Doesn’t get much better than that for December. At sunrise the water was already crowded with fellow surfers, ranging in age from teenagers (lots) to twenty-somethings (mostly) to guys in their 50s (my camp). These waves offered the best surfing I’ve had in more than 20 years. I’m happy to report that us old dudes managed to hold our own pretty well against the younger crowd, giving credence to the popular T-shirts that read: OLD GUYS RULE!

After a morning of riding waves on my board, I decided to ride a few in my kayak. I think that was almost even more fun. Using the paddle for steerage, I could steer myself along the waves better to make the ride last longer. There wasn’t a breath of wind, or I would have concluded the day by sailing (my true passion). But the day was awesome! One of those days that make ya feel 25 again. However, now that it is a couple days later … trust me, I know I’m no longer 25. A few aches, pains, bruises, and sore muscles. But it was surely worth it. My kind of holiday season!!!

Happy Holidays,
Mike Petrie



  1. M. Prem says:

    I’m a fellow 50 something who would rather watch surfing on TV than actually go into the ocean and get wet. I think geography has a good deal to do with it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 3 cheers for California! A place where a person can stay young and in the surf forever! I find these sorts of stories quite inspiring.

  2. anonymous co-worker says:

    Any excuse to skip going into the office and play hookie at the beach. Like a teenager skipping school for the day because “surf’s up”. I think the fact that he takes such glee in shirking adulthood keeps him young more than the actual surfing itself! Of course, if I were to skip a day of work I think I’d prefer to go shopping!

  3. Rachel says:

    Mr. Petrie certainly has his priorities straight. I envy him from here in the chilly NE.

  4. Chris Nisan says:

    Very heartwarming for a fellow boomer from the frozen north to read of the wave-riding, passionate antics of an ocean-loving Californian! Loved the story – let’s hear more!

  5. Clark Brody says:

    Big Mike has the heart of a lion! It is good to see that another 50 something is actively moving forward and winning the battle against the cheek sagging forces of gravity! May there be infinitely more “Big Wednesdays” ahead!

  6. CJ says:

    wow! and wow again! way
    to hit the waves! keep these kind of boomer days comming! from one who is going to be a surfer in my next life!

  7. RMH says:

    Moby Mike will go down in history with the like of the Captain riding the whale. Stay young forever pal!

  8. deepsouth says:

    Right on, Dude. I am 60 and still surf, too. My surfing pal, with whom I usually surf, is 39. I have other surfing friends who are as young as 19. I repair my friends’ boards (never any charge) and we swap surf videos. I feel like a 17 year old when I surf…ok, a very old 17 year old, but it’s sure better than the rocking chair! Oh, and one other thing. Where else can you find a soaking wet, bikini-clad young woman in excellent physical condition who actually enjoys talking to a 60 year old guy?

  9. Dana Hall says:

    Awesome story, Michael!
    You GO, Dude!

    I have a So. California “wave action” story of my own. As a Northern Californian, I truly believe you guys have MOST of the fun. My husband and I have been vacationing in So. Cal for over 25 years. Before kids, we body surfed.

    Our sons, age 11 and 15 love to boogie board and skim board. This year, I decided I wanted to join them. So, on the last day of vacation, we stopped off at Big 5, and I bought a wet suit.

    I had a blast boogie boarding, whooping it up, and felt 18 again! When I decided I was finished for the day, I sat and watched the surfers and my kids. I noticed a boarder come out of the surf with his wet suit on backwards… I looked up and down the beach and realized that I was the one wearing my wet suit backwards! Oh well, if you can’t laugh at yourself… ;)

  10. Warren Hulbert says:

    If you are the Michael Petrie that just wrote an article for ‘Sail’ magazine,”Golden Gate”, I would greatly appreciate contact with you. I an a sixty seven year old that will be making my first trip around Point Conception enroute to Everett Washington from Ventura California. Any response will be valuable.

  11. Strider says:

    This writer knows his stuff. When it comes to adventures, he doesn’t just write about them – he lives them! Thank you for taking the rest of us along.

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