Mysterious surf Sphinx found


When Blackie August’s beachfront house on Seal Beach  was remodeled, the man/woman sphinx that had sat on its roof for many years was thrown into a dumpster. As rumors had it, a passerby picked it up and supposedly brought it back to Long Beach where it was said to sit in a garage somewhere but no one knew where.

Through the efforts of Chi Kredell, the missing Surf Sphinx has been found.   After 30 years of asking questions and following leads he finally found the woman who has the Sphinx sitting in her beautiful garden illuminated with a spotlight.

Lisa Inman Gager was that passerby who moved to Seal Beach in 1964 when she was four years old.  She lived on 14th Street.  When she was about ten she could roam all over Seal Beach in those days and could go as far as the pier but had to come home when the streetlights came on. While she was walking down the boardwalk, she would always walk by Blackie August’s house with the man/woman Surf Sphinx on the roof.  The surfers were out front having a great time surfing.

Years later, while visiting her sister and her mom, still living on Seal Way, she was jogging down the boardwalk when she passed the house. She saw the construction workers there and asked, “What are you going to do with that Sphinx?”  They said they were going to toss it into the dumpster. So she went back and got her sister and they put it on her sister’s balcony.  When Lisa bought a house she went back and picked it up never knowing that anyone was looking for it.

Legend has it there once was a sphinx who cast a spell over the sea, bringing in the surf with force and perfection. For nearly 50 years, the plaster icon sat on to of the roof of the August family home in Seal Beach, where it pulled breaking monsters from the ocean and made men fall in love with that rolling abyss of power and beauty.

In the 1950’s Seal Beach surfers came to pay homage to a plaster man/woman sphinx that was “borrowed”, they liked to say, from the roof top of the Villa Riviera in Long Beach. Tim McElrath has told the story many times before of how he and Dick Thomas crawled up and dragged it down.

Surfers everywhere were drawn by its power. They wanted to feel the surge of magic, lining up with the sphinx to get the perfect, peaky waves that broke there.

When Blackie August sold the house, the house could be purchased on the condition the sphinx had to remain and not be taken down. Even though it was crumbling and weathered, the sphinx had to stay.  Lisa became a surfer herself and still pays homage to the Sphinx every day because it sits in her yard with many memories behind it.  It still has the power to bring her good surf.

Thanks to Chi Kredell the missing Surf Sphinx was found.

Mysterious surf Sphinx found