Sometimes you have to travel far away to find out what's happening right at home. Thanks to Brian McDowell for putting this up on The Beach Telegraph. Brian writes "...I got this amazing message yesterday from Steve and Terri Parker who run Windsurf Ohio. This really puts things in perspective and should serve to make us appreciate our lives and our amazing sport even more than ever..."
My wife Terri & I own a shop on Lake Erie called Windsurf Ohio and we've been in business for 25 years. In 1983 my wife’s brother Bruce Maldovan started a windsurfing school on Mentor Headlands State Park, he started the school with the help from Ute Bloom' who was from Germany, where windsurfing was already growing very fast; he bought four Mistral Competitions for teaching and rental' in 1984 he decided to move to Corpus Christy Texas and start a much bigger school but he passed away one week before he was ready to move Texas and left his little boy Chucky behind.
A few months went by and we were at the beach and we saw two windsurfers sailing by and we knew we were going to see a lot more of them as time goes on, so I looked my wife in the eyes and asked her’ So are we going to finish what your brother started or let everything he loved go down the toilet and her answer was no. The next day we called Ute Bloom and asked if she would teach us how to windsurf so we could take over the windsurfing school and she did after that we had to get certified as instructors so we went to Mistrals sailing academy and got our certification so we could open his school once again; after one year in business Mistral had a fiber glass repair clinic which I took so I could fix broken boards and I've fixed quite a few over the last twenty five years.
The following year I decided to quit my job and open Windsurf Ohio in Cleveland Ohio, as the years went by Chucky, Bruce’s son would come to stay with us for the summer and we taught him how to windsurf and he learned very fast because he lived in Florida and knew how to surf. In 1992 Chucky decided to leave Florida and move in with us and help with the shop and school but that all came to a tragic end a few months later Chucky was hit by a car on his motorcycle and eventually died from his injuries.
On December 26th 2007 my wife’s cousin Toni lost her battle with cancer but before she passed away she asked us to raise her ten year old boy Richie as our own and we agreed.
Richie is now thirteen and he’s doing great and loves to windsurf and our lives are complete.
Steve & Terri Parker