I lost another friend yesterday. This one didn’t have two wheels, he had two legs and two hands. Two very talented hands. Most importantly, a BIG, BIG heart.
I have been riding motorcycles since I was fourteen, but I have been surfing since I was ten. My friend Dave had bought a $10 homemade surfboard and we went to Santa Monica and learned to surf. Later down the road, I bought a P.O.S surfboard and continued surfing. Back then I could go from my house to Malibu on a dollars worth of gas…gas was 25 cents a gallon at most!! We even rode the bus to go surfing.
I started in the surf business doing ding repair for a local surf shop in 1968, I ended up working for them for a lot of years until I started my own surf shop in Ventura in 1990. My son and I opened up a second shop a few years later. During that time we competed around the world..well, not we..he. We made a lot of good friends.
Yesterday, one of those good friends passed away of cancer. Midget Smith. Surfboard builder, contest organizer, professional surfing judge, great coach and terrific father. Midget did more for more kids surfing in the San Clemente area than just about anyone. No, he did do more for these kids than anyone. Midget, along with wife Mary Lou, ran the Western Surfing Association, the most competitive series of surfing contests in the country. He taught kids competitiveness, sportsmanship and a few of them the craft of building surfboards. Midget will be missed by a world wide community.
What has this got to with motorcycles, motorcycle racing or motorcycle traveling? Nothing. Nothing at all. Except the things that my friend Midget taught in the surfing world are good in any world. Motorcycle racing too.
Midget is no small man in any way. His influence was and will continue to be HUGE. Good bye my friend…god speed.
Ride safe, ride fast and ride with your heart in the right place