Calvin 'Ridley' Smith :: Gratitude for a Lifeline

Calvin 'Ridley' Smith talks about his earlier days as lifeguard at Boston beach.
There are angels everywhere....and I don't mean the winged and haloed kind. I'm talking about the people we encounter from time to time who throw us a lifeline just as we're about to go under.

Calvin 'Ridley' Smith has been one such person. As the official lifeguard at Boston beach from 1971 until June of this year, Ridley has been that lifeline for thousands of us. I for one am forever grateful he was at the beach the summer of my 12th year when a cousin and I had ventured out too deep.

Ridley, who prides himself on being Jamaica's first black surfer, is also known for his calm demeanor and infectious personality. As Lorraine Washington of Panama puts it, "My husband and I have been coming here for the past 32 years and the reason we keep coming back, apart from the natural beauty, is Ridley."

So, as he's come to the end of this phase of this life, I've just got to say thanks again Ridley and, to use his own words, "International Respect!"

(l) Sonya of Argentina visits Ridley at Boston beach along with long-time friend (r) Lorraine Washington.
Boston beach, Portland.


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