October 11, 2005 |
From the moment the first neoprene suit was poured, cooled, cut and stitched, its manufacturers have tried -- with mixed results -- to blur the distinction between fashion and utility. After all, who wants to shiver like a wet puppy or look like something out of "Creature From the Black Lagoon"? Early '50s: In the beginning, the dive suit was the surf suit, and the surf suit was the dive suit. Fortunately this didn't last long, but the concept was clear.
HOME & GARDEN
July 8, 2004 |
"MOM? Mom? Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom ... " It sounds like the call of a sea bird. In fact, it is the call of the American child, identifiable by its relentless pursuit of sugared food and an inability to do anything for itself. They cannot be domesticated. Believe me, we've tried. "Mom? Mom? Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom ... " We are at the beach with four other families. One of the American children wants something done. Fast. But first, the mother must: -- Stir it. -- Pour it. -- Patch it. -- Tweezer it.
April 27, 2004 |
In the early 1950s, San Francisco surfers would wait until water temperatures dipped below 50 degrees before bothering to wrestle into a proto-wet suit. "It was a straitjacket," said Jack O'Neill, 81, of his early innovation, which was nothing more than unicellular foam plastic glued onto thin plastic in the shape of a vest. "In those days, you would last about an hour before the ice cream headaches set in."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 1995 |
For $42,000 a year, Graham Wright does a job that few other people would want to do--at any price. * Several times a year, Wright, 44, dons a disposable body suit, hip boots and a paper surgical mask and descends into Laguna Beach's sewers, wading through the effluent of the affluent, in what his bosses describe as a heroic effort to keep the sewage from backing up and spilling into the ocean.
March 14, 1995 |
If the painter Paul Gauguin played the mandolin, and the pugilist actor Sylvester Stallone wields a brush, why shouldn't the ruler of the Grateful Deadheads, Jerry Garcia, have a second coming as a visual artist? Some high-profile creative souls know no bounds when it comes to crossover--they've found that commercial isn't such a dirty word if it means translating celebrity je ne sais quoi into product punch.
January 25, 1995 |
They headed in after a day of storm surfing. Two got smashed against the rocks. Another was toppled, cut and bleeding. Yet another was trapped in La Jolla Cove and heading for the flesh-cutting rocks and caves nearby. With the right timing and serious paddle power, they all finally made it across the cove to "Tiger's Paw" bluff. Barely. All this for what? A couple of six-second rides straight down 15 feet of icy water?