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Jencks is chatty today, discussing pantheism and marriage.About his first wife, whom he hasn’t seen in more than forty years, he jokes, “She’s gone but the Wedge is still here.A woman with red hair and tasteful tattoos is being tied up.She’s doubled over across a bench that looks like something you’d do curls on at a gym.She made a habit of Wedge life for several years, bartending at night and sleeping and swimming at the Wedge by day.
Preparing to go in, Jencks places plugs in his ears to prevent infection, and he now wears a cap to protect his scalp from the sun.
After his swim, he and a comrade engage in a discussion about what brings them back to the Wedge, with the friend saying, “It’s a unique wave, powerful, making you one with earth and nature… “When the wave hits, it’s a cathedral,” he says, his fingertips pressed together, pointing up.
“And what you have here,” he adds, looking around, “is a priesthood.” aturday has shimmered into Sunday at the Clubhouse.
Jencks bought his home a few miles away in Costa Mesa just so he could have access to the Wedge every summer.
Over the years he’s suffered numerous injuries, including a head-on collision while zipping along in fast-moving surf, but nothing has gotten in the way of his annual pilgrimage. Talk to anyone on the beach and you’ll hear similar stories: The teacher who chose his profession in order to have summers off for the Wedge.