There is nothing better than salt in the air and sand in my hair (what's left of it).

Friday, June 9, 2017

RIP - Matt "Slim" Doherty

I first met Matt when I was moving into my house in San Juan Capistrano some 30 years ago. He was about 18 years old at the time. He came over bare footed, shirtless and with a cigarette in hand on a cool day in January. He introduced himself and asked if I need any help. I had several brothers helping so I declined the offer, he looked a little shady anyway. He said if I ever needed anything to let him know, he lived up the street a few houses with his mom and sister. About 10 years later he moved in across the street.
To say he was a wild man would be an understatement. I have stories, everyone that knew him has some too. He was always up to something. He was a fisherman, a hunter, a flier of a homemade helicopters (LOL) and a self-taught mechanic. He shared his catch with us on many an occasion.
He had a shop in the surf ghetto: A&M Power Tool Repair. If you own a surfboard that was manufactured in the ghetto then I can guarantee he maintained all the equipment used to make that surfboard from shaping machines, routers, planers and filters systems. Matt didn't surf but he knew everyone in the industry there on Los Obreros Lane and most of the pros that wandered through. He had nicknames for everyone, none that will be repeated here (LOL).
Matt had his faults, just like all us humans. But he had a heart of gold and would give a stranger the shirt off his back (if he was wearing one). When my in-laws lived with us he became fast friends with my Father-in-law and they would talk right wing politics on the sidewalk in front of my house; my Father-in-law in a wheel-chair and Matt leaning against the light pole without a shirt on. He also took an interest in my Grandson and used to let him play with his RC car.
Sadly, a few days after his birthday (we shared the same birthday) he took his own life. I won't go into the details but I think this could have been avoided.
I'm going to miss hearing his loud voice carry into our bedroom widows into the wee hours of the night while he holds court with his buddies in the front patio of his home.
Slim is on the right

Inside Slim's shop

Timmy Patterson, Scott Metzner, Slim and Gary Stark

I drove by the shop last night

My favorite T shirt

Link to OC Weekly article featuring Slim

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