One In A Million

I’m reminded of a time when another diver, who also loved the ocean and worked hard to protect, promote and enjoy it, once said, “The problem with divers is, they are too busy diving.” I think this is true of all of us to a greater or lesser degree at different times in our lives.

So it was with Randy Fry for many of his diving years. That is until he heard about the future possible restrictions on divers and anyone wishing to enjoy the ocean. That news made him sit up and take notice. He decided he didn’t like all the things he saw and heard and so he became involved. Instead of being a diver who was “too busy diving” he became a diver who didn’t have time for diving. He was too busy fighting for his rights to dive and fish… and our rights as well.

The first time I met Randall (he never seemed like a Randall to me) “Randy” Fry was at the first of a series of meetings about reserves proposals. He offered keen insight and a great deal of enthusiasm there, but that was only a start. We next met in Fort Bragg where he involved recreational fishers in discussions with divers and helped formulate a “game plan” to better use the meetings to our best advantage.

From that time forward Randy took the “bull by the horns” and started to be, not only actively involved, but a leader in our cause. He worked with a number of other, already well organized, groups and eventually brought about the founding of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Northern California Chapter. He inspired and enlisted the mixed bag of recreational allies he met along the way into a strong support group.

Randy was “One in a million.” He did not rest, in fact if anything, the more he became involved, the more he worked with the many issues relating to the concerns of recreational fishers and divers. More importantly, he made progress where others of us had not.

And now he is gone. Killed by a shark, of all things, while diving in the ocean he loved. Those who only know his name, should be grateful for all he did. Those of us who knew him were grateful we had the opportunity to know and work with him. He gave us new hope for a brighter future with improved recreational opportunities and he opened new avenues for those of us who will follow in his wake.

We will miss Randy. But he and what he did for us will not forgotten. His work will go on. The odds of his death by shark attack were “one in a million” as was he. Randy Fry was indeed, “One In A Million.”

djwhittington 8/24/04

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