I was born Howard McGhee Jr. January 1948 in New York City to famous Bebop jazz trumpeter Howard "Magee" McGhee. He gave me the ability to "orchestrate" many endeavors. I grew up in Berkeley with my mom. She, Dorothy, was an activist. She instilled the passion for doing community work, being politically aware and still, having a good time with it.

I started surfing at Berkeley High school in 1963 and have surfed with a passion ever since. I became a general contractor in 1982 and never took on a job that would get in the way of a good swell or travel. I chose to ride a single fin 9 foot longboard but I also ride an 8' mini longboard when the waves get juicy or big.

I blew out my knee in 1965 skateboarding at the Sports and Boat Show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. It allowed me to pass on Vietnam but caused much pain from the bone on bone irritation and, gradually, it became a real quality of life issue. Through all the surfing and carpentry I've done it finally caught up to me in 2001 when I decided to replace my knee.

Since then, I've concentrated on lighter construction work, higher performance and pain free surfing, more travel, and a stepped up effort in photography. In fact, I built a small studio in my garage, bought a professional wall mounted mat cutter for matting and framing of my prints and other people's work, both photos and art. Its quite rewarding to provide a finished product at home.

In 1986, I helped establish the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum located at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. In 1990, I was part of the group who created the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. I was chairperson and fundraiser for this worthy environmental group for many years. We created many policy changes in local government to clean up our near shore waters.

As of 2006, I’ve been married to a wonderful, pretty and extremely patient woman (Carm) for 32 years. We've lived in the same house in Seacliff CA since 1978.

My eye for photography has always been keen. The secret to shooting people and impromptu events is to anticipate something happening before it actually does. A moment happens so quickly, especially when shooting nature, or events like Ride A Wave where a facial expression or a bird's flight is all too quick to pass. That's what makes a photographer fulfilled. Capturing those poignant moments that tell a story.

I occasionally do local art shows but when asked by organizations like the Santa Cruz Boys and Girls Club or the Spring Forward Against Cancer benefit, I'm eager and honored to provide a donation or two. There are also members of the community that have fallen on hard times due to illness and benefits abound for our local folks.

My photographic passions include of course, surfing. But there are so many things that happen near the shore that catch my eye. Travel to Baja and the dynamic desert/ocean habitat there. Shooting my ocean loving friends and the giving of their skills to less fortunate kids for example is, I feel, almost a duty. It showcases their open heart and also benefits the various groups that become involved in Ride A Wave (R.A.W).

The groups include Jacob's Heart, Alyssa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, Balance For Kids, California School For The Blind, Mercy Services of Santa Cruz and Shared Adventures. Besides, the kids love to see pictures of themselves enjoying the things most surfers take advantage of.





Pops and Miles Davis
Carm and Boots

Ride A Wave images@flickr.com