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Eric Askew

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Eric Askew

Early member of Piha Surf Club. Blond, good-looking, grew up in Morningside across the road from my Dad. Had a place in Rayner Road, an army hut with a circus tent for door and at another time a hut up by the big pine trees just past the Karekare turn-off. Later, I played in the abandoned Rayner Road hut with Toni.  Eric used to babysit me and Helen, and the woman he married, Fay Dromgoole, used to stay in our bach. 

He was mad about healthy eating, well ahead of his time and introduced my parents to the lessons of celebrity health food guru, Gaylord Hauser, and my mother swore by Hauser’s Look Younger, Live Longer with its call to avoid flour and white sugar and regularly ingest black strap molasses, wheatgerm and the like.

Eric was also a weightlifter and aspired to get to the Olympics. By profession he was an artist and during the Depression of the 30s, when he found it hard to make a living, he trained as a signwriter but still couldn’t get work. He’d read about black velvet painter, Edgar Leeteg in Tahiti, so off he went  to Tahiti with a mate, Alex Dick. Leeteg liked Askew and Dick so shared the secrets of his rich, vivid velvet paintings.  (Charles McPhee was another NZer who trained with Leeteg). While there Eric also started board riding which he kept up into his old age.

Eric served during WW2 in the Pacific and eventually ended up at Newport, CA.

 Eric is still there, now in his 90s, still windsurfs half an hour a day. He loves getting books and calendars about Piha from me. Has never forgot it.

Here’s a link to an article about Eric in Barracuda magazine.


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