ESM co-founder and art director / business manager Lally Collins.

It is with deep sadness and regret that the East Coast surfing world has, arguably, lost one of it’s most influential people with the passing of Eastern Surfing Magazine ( ESM ) co-owner Sara “Lally” Collins at age 56.

She may have just been only a name on the magazine masthead to the surf world at large and to the publications fiercely loyal readers but they were fiercely loyal because of the editorial content she was dished every six weeks and in charge of bringing it all to life onto a printed page with her unique artistic vision before computers, the internet and digital publishing.

Lally’s cover designs were always eye catching and worked in harmony with the coveted, most important page of the mag – the cover photo.

Perhaps more importantly than her artful creativity and never ending ideas, she was chiefly responsible for the Hurculean task of organizing and running the business side of the beloved entity that including dealing with the printing process, getting the mag out on time to the surf shops and subscribers that contributed mightily to the success story that lasted almost 28 years and continues to this day with

Collecting beach treasures in Puerto Rico to bring home and no doubt become one of her art projects.

When the digital revolution came around year five of the pub she led us into the computerized way of doing things and God only knows where we would have been without her on point for that huge, confusing  and super important transition.

As ESM’s resident art director,she spent many a late night and into the wee hours of the morning during deadline craziness sitting cross legged on the floor drinking coffee ( or beer a beer depending on the hour of the day )  cutting and pasting half tones with spray glue down into place onto the lovingly hand drawn layout pages she created.

Lally at work doing “cut and paste’s” during ESM’s early, pre-digital days. Note the pub’s very first computer in the upper left hand corner of the frame and the re-cliamed, hand painted chair by guess who.

You can have shit hot photos and kick-ass writing out the ying-yang but you need someone who can take that content every six weeks and frame it to a visual feast for the eyes which she did each and every issue that had her fingerprints on it.

Another Eastern Surf Magazine cover by Lally.

She was a true artist at heart and besides the page layouts she designed, all the magazines logos, stickers, t-shirt designs, promo materials, advertising rate sheets for sales and on and on, never running out of clever, funny, quirky or downright brilliant ideas and artwork that gave us the ‘zine look our readers and advertisers absolutely loved in the early 1990’s.

A uniquely Lally designed Spectrum Surfboards ad, one of the East Coasts vaunted labels at the time, and reflecting the pub’s all black and white, punk ‘zine look when it first launched.

In that regard she hit more home runs than Babe Ruth and helped grow the mag from it’s first 36 page edition to those into the 100 plus page plus range during her tenure.

Sara Lally Collins has left us all way to soon but her indelible mark on East Coast surfing will remain forever.

S’lainte, Lally. May the road rise up to meet you.