After moving to Florida, a few short months went by and there was a commercial on the radio. Come surf the Florida Pro being held at the Cocoa Beach Pier. I found out there was an amateur contest too and entered the Boys division. Well, at that contest my father met a few of the guys running things and they invited him to help them out. Looking back, the crazy thing is that from one single contest we met many people who would stay in our lives to this very day. Richard Salick was one of the people we met.
Sadly, today I just found out that Richard passed away. He was ill for many years and had been recently hospitalized. For the Florida surfing scene, it is a big loss to the community. Richard was a great surfer and was a pillar of the surfing scene. His involvement with the Florida Pro and later the NKF Pro is a big enough credit for him alone. The surfers that have surfed in these events are staggering and many are house hold names.
Adversity is a double-edged sword. Most, when given a terrible hand of cards will eventually fold. However, for some, it gives them the strength to do big things. Richard’s impact far dwarfs our fun sport of surfing. Instead of just accepting the role of the patient and concentrating on what he needed to do to heal himself, Richard and his family tirelessly devoted their energy towards raising a countless amount of money to help others in the same situation and to help science try to stop the problem of kidney disease.
As humans, we all fail from time to time. No one can match the glory of god because we are all far from perfect. Yet, men like Richard show us that as normal humans with all of our faults, that we all have the ability to impact many far beyond what we could ever know.
When you can do this, you are truly one of the greats.
Knowing Richard, he would say, “Steve, you did not put a link to the National Kidney Foundation!”