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Photos by Art Brewer

SHACC to Celebrate “Doc” Paskowitz and the “First Family of Surfing”

San Clemente CA— Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) invites the surfing community to celebrate the opening of its new exhibit: “The Paskowitz Family, A Surfing Legacy,” Saturday, February 20th from 6-9pm.

Curated by SHACC with help from the Paskowitz children, the exhibit is an eclectic collection of surfboards, photographs, and treasured memorabilia, including Doc’s medical bag. The exhibit chronicles the remarkable life and times of one of California’s first professional surfers, and the counterculture lifestyle he and his family pursued for decades, earning the title of “Surfing’s First Family.”

In the words of Doc’s son Joshua, “The Paskowitz family lost its patriarch in November of 2014, but the dream lives on. We are so grateful to SHACC and the dedicated friends who are graciously honoring our family. We loved our father and are stoked to share his legacy, along with his favorite mandate: Keep surfing with Aloha. Our dad was the most stoked surfer ever.”

Surfer’s Journal publisher, Steve Pezman, described Doc as “The Patriarch of one of our more eccentric, unconventional, broadly known, and surf-oriented families.” Pezman went on to write: “Doc was one of our tribe’s greatest storytellers, one of the last first-person, open-links to the formative, 30’s and 40’s California and Waikiki surf scenarios. Doc’s own adventures included graduating Stanford med school, serving as a naval doctor aboard ship at the post-war atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll, then as a civilian public health official in post-war Honolulu.”

Back on the mainland, Doc took on various short-term jobs to support the surfing lifestyle, such as doctor at an Indian reservation clinic, and working the night shift in the Emergency Room on Catalina Island. Along the way, he and his enduring wife Juliette raised nine kids in the family’s succession of camper vans and motor homes, spending their days surfing and operating the family’s surf camp at San Onofre, and their nights camping at San Clemente State Park. The Paskowitzs were also featured in “Surf for Life,” a documentary produced by an editor at Vanity Fair, in which Doc revealed the self-perceived Zen of how he saw his life and rationalized his family’s nomadic existence.

Come out to SHACC and discover behind the scenes stories of the First Family of Surfing. The opening reception includes appetizers provided by L&L Hawaiian Barbeque and a no-host bar serving Longboard Vineyards wines, Left Coast Brewing Co. beer, natural energy drinks from Kona Red, and Hawaiian Springs Water. Admission is free to SHACC members and $5 for non-members. The exhibit will be on display until April 23, 2016.