On Saturday, Aug. 1 — a classic summer day under a powder blue sky — about 100 friends of the late George Colburn Benson participated in Benson’s memorial event at the San Simeon Cove.
Some drove their woodies and others brought surfboards, reflecting the creative, adventurous outdoor life Benson lived for 69 years.
Benson, a surfer, diver, surfboard shaper, woodie builder, firefighter, fisherman, father, husband and grandfather, was remembered as man who dearly loved his family, friends, and the Pacific Ocean. He was renowned locally as an artist with wood. He founded Moonlight Woodies, a restoration business in Tin City, and was the western rep for the National Woodie Club. Benson also created woodie pedal cars for his grandchildren.
Following the eulogy, testimonials and a prayer, about 40 attendees with surfboards and kayaks participated in a “paddle out” into San Simeon Cove. Once out in the Cove about 100 yards, the paddlers formed a circle and ceremonially sprinkled sand (from Maui) and flower petals into the water.
At a pivotal point in the event, a Cambria Fire crew blasted a siren pulse from the pier in honor of the firefighting part of Benson’s extraordinary life.