SOUTHEND: New film sheds light on shadowy zone

Director Pat Noye's synopsis: The crew of surfers, who have discovered and created all of the existing surf culture that most young Chicagoans only daydream about, have a story that's been brought to light in Southend: The Place Where I Go Surfing. When Mary Anne Turnipseed was growing up in northern Indiana she somehow got it into her head to marry a surfer, so she moved to California and met Mike Turnipseed, who grew up surfing in San Diego, and convinced him to move to Indiana. They settled in Hammond, IN - a prosperous town at the height of the American Steel Industry, and Mike took a job as a machinist. One day Mike went to the beach and to find nicely groomed waves wrapping into a little bay in Whiting, a neighboring beach town, perfect for his longboard. So he called back to San Diego to have his board sent to Hammond. A decade later, while at work, Terry Richardson, a young Machinist from Lowell, IN, heard Mike talking about surfing and grew very curious. 19 years of dedicated surfing later, Terry, schoolteacher Pete Lambert, cement worker Bryan McDonald, and artist Jack Flynn, have discovered other spots and other surfers, (including Jim Hoop and Bill Lemmons) who have collectively founded the Southend Surf Club.

Watch it here:

Surfrider Chicago has been actively involved in looking at water conditions at several surf spots in the NW Indiana industrial corridor, identifying who the corporations are that regularly discharge into the Lake, the levels of those discharges, and the legalities involved as it pertains to regulations handed down by the EPA and the State of Indiana. This film ties in with all of those issues, as surfers are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine by virtue of their year round exposure. "What's in the water?" we ask. This film does not answer that, but certainly chronicles the characters who make the Lake's southend their surfing home, despite whatever perceived risks. Their stoke is real. As for Pat's film, we'll let you know the next time there's a public showing in the area. He's been making the film festival circuit with it lately.