George Feehley Has Surfed His Way Into The History Of Ocean City, Maryland


George Feehley, who passed away last weekend at the age of 87, is pictured tandem surfing. Photo by Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

‘George Feehley Has Surfed His Way Into The History Of Ocean City And Will Always Be Remembered’

The sun set on the “endless summer” for a local legend last weekend with the passage of a former Ocean City elected official, lifeguard and surfing icon.

By Shawn J. Soper (The Dispatch, 2/27/2014)

“For many years, while George served on the City Council, the beach patrol had a special friend in high places and his influence allowed our team members to compete in major competitive events with the financial support of the town,” he said. “George Feehley has surfed his way into the history of Ocean City and will always be remembered.”

While Feehley was already guarding the north end beach in the late 1940s, it wasn’t until the early 1960s when he took up the latest craze to hit the resort. Ocean City surfing legend Skill Johnson and his brothers Al and Carl are largely credited with introducing surfing to the resort in the 1960s. Johnson, who now resides in Hawaii, said this week Feehley quickly picked up the sport and became a surfing legend in his own right.
“In 1964, the first surf shop in town was at 18th Street, but we always went up to 43rd Street, which was at the end of town limits, to surf and George had a house up there and used to guard the beach,” he said. “He saw us surfing out there and took it up and became a natural from the start. He was an athlete beyond belief.”

Johnson said he and the others in the nascent resort surfing community always marveled at Feehley’s athletic prowess.

“George was a strong man,” he said. “He used to lift weights and he had these 100-pound dumbbells he used to throw up with ease. He was one of the fittest guys I ever met. I first met George at the local premiere of ‘Endless Summer’ at Stephen Decatur High School in 1964. I got a ticket and went in, then I went back out and gave the stub to George.”
Johnson said the Ocean City community won’t soon forget Feehley’s contributions to the resort.

“He’s an Ocean City legend,” he said. “He was one of the coolest guys in Ocean City. He was a true classic and won’t be forgotten.”

Continue reading at The Dispatch.

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