Healer's Tribute

To all of my beloved Dragon Healers:

I am here on a Sunday afternoon typing a letter I never expected to be typing.

I imagine some of you are aware that changes in my professional life have landed
me in Southern California. There are a number of reasons why I regret leaving
the Bay Area. None of them come close to the fact that I will not be paddling with
you as a Healer. There are very few things in my life that have made as much
difference as being associated with you all. Paddling is such a joy, but doing it
with the Healers just made it so much better.

My first practice at LM I waited 2 hours for another Healer to show up. Finally
someone arrived with a strange looking paddle. He was with Dieselfish. You all
were at boot camp that Saturday. Things improved from there. The races, my
first trip to Canada, ever, for the Vancouver festival, Long Beach, TI all helped
embed paddling into my soul. I am glad I did not give up that first day and also
glad I did not join Dieselfish.

There are so many to pay tribute to. Ross and Kathy, you have built a magnificent
team. You are true friends to me and I am sure to all the healers. Thank you so
much for everything. I have set foot in many lands that I never would have seen
otherwise and met many great people whom I would have never met thanks
to you. Lawrence, thanks for your pointers and your dedication both to the
healers and to our youth. Your frame may be 4’ 11 but your presence is 6’ 11
plus. Casey and Siu, thank you for befriending me and more importantly thank
you for befriending Mary. It was difficult for her coming out to practice when
she did because of her language issues. You really helped her. Lap, Brian, Cyn,
Rob, Michael, Cooper, Winston, Sandra, Shirley, Janet, Tracy, Viv, Tony and all the
Healers, you are part of that magic formula that makes this team so special.

I get some consolation knowing that our paths will cross again. I practiced
this morning with the Killer Guppies in Long Beach. They race in TI and may
go to Vancouver. Of course you all will be in Long Beach. It will be a little
awkward being in a different boat but I am sure I will have a chance to visit.
Until then paddle hard and pay attention to the coaches. The Guppies are a very

accomplished team and their coach commented on how well coached I was. Best
of luck to you all. I will miss our bi/tri weekly gatherings and trips to the buffet.

John