by Corky Carroll
Each year for as far back as I can remember I have done my annual giving thanks column in the week that comes closest to Thanksgiving, except last year. I can’t remember why but I think something came up that required that time frame. Anyway, I got lots of mail asking me why and saying that I should always do that one. So, without further ado, here is my list of things that I am thankful for this year.
Before I get to me, though, I am thinking that this would be a good time to suggest a couple of things that, as surfers living in Southern California, we all should be grateful for. At the top is that fact that we surf and live in one of the coolest and most desirable places on the planet. It’s too easy to get angry with the crowds in the water and on the highways and forget that even with that this is still a total mecca. Surfing is fun. I don’t think there is ever a moment in my life that I am not grateful that I am a surfer and my life revolves around such a great thing to do. And to be able to live here is a total gift. Yeah, it’s not perfect. But it comes about as close as I can think of for a great place to live. Just about anything you can ever want is right here and close by.
O.K, now on to my personal thankings. At the moment I owe a huge thanks to my team of doctors for keeping me around longer. Having a recent run of physical issues, that were a not so fun of a surprise, I gotta thank Dr. Cathy Gentemann for catching a heart defect during my annual checkup at Memorial Care in Huntington Beach. A few hospital stays and a pacemaker later I am still vertical and walking around, which might not have been the case if Dr. Gentemann had not been on her game that day. And also Dr. Yang at American Heart in Fountain Valley for keeping me that way. And the dude who has been my skin doctor for as long as I remember, Sidney Newman at Los Alamitos Dermatology. Keep cutting and I will keep breathing. Thanks Sid. Naturally I am as thankful as it gets to my team of “Ear Babes.” This is Dr. Carol Jackson and her crew, the very best when it comes to your ears, and specifically “Surfers Ear.” Dr. J rocks and the hearing aids she fit me for are more important to my day to day happiness than words could ever express. Last, but not least, thanks to the most awesome surfing dentist known to man or beast, Dr. Eric Vanek. So a huge Thanksgiving shout out to these wonderful care givers.
On a more personal basis I am so grateful and thankful to have the most wonderful, sweet, beautiful and fun wife imaginable. Raquel Sauza Carroll. Nobody can understand how I got so lucky and landed this one, even me. My great kids too. Clint, Kasey and Tanner Carroll, love you guys. Grandson Cannon Carroll too. Family is so important and in the struggle for survival and the legal tender it can easily be forgotten just how important this is. The older you get the more you wish you had spent more time, done more things with, and for, and had let them know how important they are in your life and how much you love them. So to each of you just know that you are everything to me and I am so thankful to have you.
This goes for friends too. What blows my mind is that I actually have a long list of them and it would be impossible to narrow down a list short enough to fit here. Super thanks to Joel Saltzman, who is my partner in our new BLUE MANGO SURF adventure (www.bluemangosurf.com). Joel is one of those super fun and up-tempo people that is just always fun to be around. Everybody at HOBIE. My partners in the Mexico surf adventure that keeps me eating, Ron “Sharkenburger” Chrislip and John Ford. Best duo I can think of to help me keep this killer lifestyle I am lucky enough to live going. And, there it is too…. The killer lifestyle that I am lucky enough to live. I can go surfing every day. Think about that. I am 72 freaking years old and I can go surfing every day. Most of my pals my age are either in the ground or close to it. But I am still walkin’ the nose and crankin turns. If THAT isn’t something to be thankful for, what is?
I am going to wind this up with a huge thanks to all of you who read me each week and to the Orange County Register for letting me continue to do this for all these years. Stay tuned kids, there is a lot more to come.