Razz McNeil

Follow Razz on his Journey to Redemption

Book characters include protagonist Razz McNeil and victim Wally Bumpers. Read Chapter One to learn more.

Razz McNeil is the lead book character in No One Laughs at a Dead Clown

Razz McNeil

Age: 45
Occupation: Restaurant manager
Status: Married, tenuously
Children: Caitlin, 6, and Ronnie, 3
Residence: Fairside, CA
Avocation: Surfing

Book characters include victim Wally Bumpers, a pier clown

Wally Bumpers

Occupation: Pier clown
Status: Dead

More book characters:

“Sharky” Sampson
Sarah McNeil
“Lotta” Gugliotta
Richard Gold
Louis Marcayda

Chapter 1

        Call it courage or the carefree ignorance of youth, but in early November, 1977, Razz McNeil emblazoned his name into the annals of surfing folklore by being the first and only surfer to surf under the entire length of the San Margarita Pier. And he would remain the only surfer to do so, because with successively longer, more sturdily-built piers, it had become impossible. But that was what they had thought back then, too, before Razz proved them wrong.

December 11, 2004

        It was a blustery, cold December day, two weeks before Christmas, but in San Margarita that meant the thermostat inched all the way down to fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Short-sleeved shirt weather for people in the Northeast and Midwest, but this was Southern California, so leather jackets were the norm today. Named after Saint Marge, patron saint of tequila drinks, an ugly saint who magically got better looking around two a.m., San Margarita is a coastal town renowned for its warm weather, beautiful beaches and even more beautiful women, the province of real estate speculators, lawyers, the homeless, and enough psychiatrists and shamans to take care of them all.

        You had to be very rich or very poor to live in San Margarita and people of each ilk were moving in daily, bursting the town‟s social services and social fabric. Only twenty years earlier, it was a sleepy beach community of twenty-five thousand mostly white, middle-class working people. Now at eighty thousand residents, San Margarita had become a suburb of Los Angeles that just happened to have expensive ocean frontage. It was no longer a close-knit community at all, something its long-time residents bemoaned daily…