This story was written by Gary Larson before our dear friend Terry Martin’s passing.
Charity means many things to many people, yet undiluted it is simply the act of giving assistance to those in need. These past few months much of the global surf community has displayed eminent goodwill towards Terry Martin and his family as they endure Terry’s battle against cancer. It is in these moments of altruism that human character is exceptionally vulnerable and our guarded emotions, that we protect in order to present ourselves in the social hierarchy, collapse and we can feel indifferent to the world to focus on those in need.
Over the Cinco de Mayo weekend, fellow surfboard shaper Ryan Engle, of Nation Surfboards, and his wife Lindsay hosted Ryan’s annual golf tournament out in Indian Wells where the engulfing heat of the desert conjures images of Fear and Loathing. The golf tournament, aptly named The Nation Scramble, is a grassroots assemblage of Ryan’s friends who gather for a single day18-hole round where the winners are hardly granted bragging rights as the day’s worst golfer is the only one guaranteed a spot in next year’s tournament for the inaugural tee-off. This year was the fifth annual Nation Scramble with a record 80-players not only to chase the white ball but to show their support for Terry Martin.
Although Terry is not an avid golfer he has a true appreciation for the game. I can recall numerous Mondays when I would show up to work and Terry and I spent the early hours of the morning verbally replaying key shots during the U.S. open, British Open and of course The Masters. Terry is a fan of the underdog, always pulling for the one who shows the most heart and determination when put in unfavorable situations.
During our day in the desert, Ryan and I had a some time to reflect on the game and relive the day when Terry caught wind of our clandestine effort to skip out of work the following day and rendezvous on the number-one tee-box at San Juan Hills. It was fairly early the next morning and our foursome was on deck ready to tee-off when Terry came strolling over wearing his flip-flops, shorts, tee-shirt, and a child-like grin. “Hi fellas!,” he exclaimed, “I just came down to watch you guys tee-off!”
Ultimately, Ryan’s benevolence, along with the efforts of Lindsay and long-time friend Marissa Barry organizing and selling raffle tickets, the tournament was hugely successful and Ryan ended up handing a check to Terry for close to $6,000. Although the money is very important for the cause, it is the act of giving that leaves the lasting impression, not only for the giver but for everyone who is able to be witness to a most selfless act. We are fortunate to have Ryan as part of our community. He is a mentor amongst his peers, the first to take the initiative and is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.