US Open: The Coolest Thing I Saw

Kelly Slater and Lyndie Irons. Photo: Jimmicane
Kelly Slater and Lyndie Irons. Photo: Jimmicane



On Tuesday, July 24, 2013, Andy Irons would have been 35. Remembering Andy on that morning, his widow, Lyndie, posted a photo of him holding an armful of roses. She wrote, “…this was taken on one of his birthdays at the US Open and he bought me all these roses. I’m actually going to this bar tonight to celebrate…”

That bar was the Pope’s Living Room, an establishment where Andy spent many birthdays that coincided with the US Open. On Tuesday night the place was filled to the brim with surfers from around the world, but mostly Hawaii. The entire Ho family was there. Keala Kennelly, Dylan Goodale, Kala Alexander, Kelly Slater, Cory Lopez, Brian Toth, the Hobgoods and so many more came to remember Andy. Drinks were drunk and laughs were had, but very little eye contact was made. Everyone spoke while craning their necks upwards, eyes glazed over in a trance, “Yeah…I’m staying at…the Shorebreak…” That’s because the TVs that lined the bar had a Youtube playlist streaming hours of Andy highlights. You couldn’t look away and everyone was reminded that, to this day, Andy’s surfing was the most raw and entertaining in the world. A rare surfer that conveyed emotion in his movements. It was a beautiful thing to celebrate with his family, friends and fans.

Later in the evening, after Billabong’s Mike Wallace and Lyndie stood atop the bar and led the crowd in a blaring Happy Birthday song, the same woman that had sold roses to Andy so many years ago, entered the bar. And once again, Lyndie was left holding an armful of roses from Andy.

—Taylor Paul