ICON | Kathy Kohner

Photos by Allan Grant, 1957

"Some people have Alcoholics Anonymous, Starbucks, church...I had Malibu."—Kathy Kohner (the real-life inspiration for Gidget who started surfing at the age of 15, sometimes trading her peanut butter and radish sandwiches for chances to ride)


lizzy said...

When Kathryn rolled up to trim the surf at Malibu she was 15, teeny teeny tiny, and had the largest long board anyone had glimpsed to date.

Surfing legends/ne'erdowell's Mickey "Mongoose" Munoz, Mickey "Da Cat" Dora and Teri Tubesteak Tracy were there, watching the petite half-pipe. "Go back to the valley you kook," said one of the Mickey's.

But Tubesteak took a shine to teenager, trading a peanut butter sandwich for a better sized board. They nicknamed her Gidget because GIrl + miDGET = GIDGET.

Her father wrote a best seller of this girl who never really fit in, especially at high school.

But then of course, Hollywood had their way with the movie and the last vestiges of urban outlaws were quickly turned into ukelele-playing beach blanket bingo.

And there pretty much ended the golden age of CA in the 50s and early 60s.

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