Johnny Read

Races, swaps, beer nights, clinics, etc.

Tom B
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Post by Tom B »

This is very sad news. I didn't know John well, but his enthusiasm was an inspiration to all. I remember him explaining his windsurf sails to me, cutting the grass (and checking the wind) on Dallas Rd., and of course going huge at Cook St with a big grin. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

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Starboard Steve
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Post by Starboard Steve »

Johnny has been a fixture and an inspiration in the Victoria windsurfing and kitting community since the beginning. His stoke for life, warm smile, and huge airs will truly be missed.

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Post by daledoebert »

If someone knows when or if there's a service please post details.Thanks
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Post by JL »

McCall Bros. chapel on Tuesday, April 8th at 2pm. Reception will follow. Address: 1400 Vancouver St. (Crosses with Johnson). Say goodbye to Johny ...All are invited to the Penny Farthing (2228 Oak Bay Ave.) after the reception of John's service. We have reserved the back room for the evening . ... =107108305
Thermals are good.
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Post by TomS »

For my part

I would like to say that I have known John Read for about 23 or 24 years.

John was “the very core of the hardcore windsurfers in Victoria”.

John was the guy who went out sailing when most huddled on the beach, John pushed himself to a level above most of us.

I remember John sailing Nitinat in a total moonless darkness windy night ”Just a little hard to see when to Jibe” he told me afterward.

I remember John cutting the cast off his broken foot so he could get back on the water. ... he couldn’t miss a summer of windsurfing. I suspect there will be a few stainless screws and bolts spread along with his ashes.

“What’s a little pain” when John biffed a monster jump from twenty plus feet straddling his crotch over the board......, he then drove himself to the hospital from Sooke. He was totally black and blue from his navel to his knees.

I helped John build and repair at least a few “Kevlar & Carbon Creation windsurfing boards. ............ and like him they had to be built for the toughest use.
When John had his gear in tune, He would say to me that the performance from his board or sail. “.......sailed like Magic”.

No John, You were magic! The effort and example you gave in life, the spark in your eye, the smile on your face, and that laugh. We shall remember you John.........

Tom Sullivan
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Post by gmac »

Well said Tom. Think of all those nuts and bolts and among other things bullets. Think of all those tales of injury narrowly avoided, or totally unavoided! (Always followed by recuperation and recovery about twice as fast as the doctor ordered. The undisputed master of self-cast-removal.) Who else could see your broken-whatever story and raise you a dislocated-whats-it-called? Johnny was familiar with all the basic trauma experiences, and had a back up arsenal of exotic and quirky stories that he'd pull out whenever somebody thought they might be due for some sympathy. They were all true, yet he wasn't just a tough-guy. Not too well hidden was a creative and artistic side that shone through at every chance. And of course his sense of humour that could find the funny part in a 40 knot hail squall. Keep laughing Johnny, I'll miss you.
Grant MacPherson
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Post by Ross »

The bullit story - it`s a good one. We were trying to think back to the first time that John showed up at the beach but we couldn`t get a clear time , 82 ish ? However it did bring back some great Johnny memories.
He showed up one day with pipe insulation on his boom to keep his hands warm - about 4" thick , near impossible to hang on to. This was the start of his hand warming ideas. Heated gloves and heated booms followed.
When he broke his pelvis he would try walking in the hospital everyday. At first he couldn`t go very far but when the day came that he could reach the elevator he just kept going, went home, cut off the cast and showed up at the beach.
He had 2 nice old vans, both of which caught on fire, both times at the donut store.
Catching air in his white Mustang going over the old JR bridge. It was always albout getting big air.
John was always there for me when I needed a friend, he was always at the beach and now he always be in our minds.
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Post by Gareth »

From Kite Lounge Robbie in the DR. I came across his email address in one of John's last posts and thought that his DR friends should know.

"Thank you for the email.

I am shocked to hear the news. He had a great time here and was on the verge of extending his trip another 2 weeks.

A true gentlemen and an all around nice guy. I was really looking forward to his return.

I will pass the sad news around. People will be upset.


Its all about the adventure and stoke!
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Post by AC »

How about the time when he broke his Jaw learning to kite board and after drinking through a straw for 2 weeks he decided to take the pliers and take the wire out of his jaw himself.

Or the bullet he had in his arm that the ex-rays found when they were checking if he had broken his arm.

I called him the Machine... And wow ..I know we all will miss him.
and He will always be sailing with me at Cook ST.
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Post by Spike »

Shit,Just found out about John.
From helping me as a beginner to the long talks when there was no wind at Dallas.
John was one of the very few that got up at daybreak on the weekend to kite with me and was always generous about sharing his experience and knowledge.
This is an incredible loss and I just want to wish his family the best. If there is anything I can do for his family please call me.
Larry D.
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Always Smiling....

Post by PhatBuddhA »

I will never forget your kind, honest smile and your contagious laugh. Your a good man Johnny. You will certainly be missed by anyone who was fortunate enough to have known you.
I will think of you every time I step into the ocean at Dallas Rd.

I love to windboard and think about the complexity of baby seagulls insatiable appetites to eat garbage on the beach, roads and sidewalks.
Bernie surfer dude
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One of the original Cook Street boys

Post by Bernie surfer dude »

There was John Lum, Grant McPherson,Andrew barr & don ....., Al Gilhooly, Rob Stickney, Grant Watson, Tom Sullivan, Glen McNabb , o & Al carlyle, and of course Johnny's Mentor , Ross Harington. It was 1989 and My Buddy Desi and I Had just finished Scuba Diving at Clover Point. When we Surfaced there was a wind storm going on, we watched in aww as were these guys flying across the top of the waves. And seeing that we just kinda got hooked on the idea of giving it a try. I can still remeber walking past all those guys on a 4.5 day. They were laughing at Desi and I walking with these 11 or 12 foot boards trying to launch at Cook St. We did succeed at getting LAUNCHED! But it was getting tossed back on the beach by a big wave and breaking our gear that was the end of that and the guys were just Busting a Gut! One of the last times I saw John I gave him some Special Brownies, and that was at Nihtnat. I asked him why he started kiting and he said, " It just kinda put the thrill back into the watersport I love." The very last time I saw him we had a beer,at a Pub on Cook St. Kinda fitting, and I know he will be in heaven a half an hour before the devil knows he's there. Sure gonna miss him. But I know Johnny will be there at Cook St. anytime we want to share the wind.
Surf's Up, Bernie Leippi
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Post by colin »

Having time to reflect on John's passing has made me realize the effects of his absence. We all suffer and miss our friend and will be moved everytime we head out to the water. However, John's absence has a greater effect than just the sum of all our remorse. We have lost a large influence and presence within our community. John was a hub, he seemed to be connected to each one of us in a special way on an individual basis, however his presence at the beach gave the sensation of a brotherhood. I will miss him dearly when I suit up and head out onto the water for many years to come.
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Post by Iggy »

Memories of Johnny Read,

I've know John longer than I can remember, we worked together at Coastline Tree Service, a job I got him that for better or worse shaped much of his career. Things often fell near John. One day he was roped into a big oak tree, there was a loud crack the trunk spilt and half the tree came down on a garage, Johnny nine lives swung to safety in the other half!
Typical John had me holding the base of a very tall ladder with John at the top chainsaw in hand cutting off the heavy end of a branch which promptly popped up a few inches leaving the ladder unsupported, time stopped briefly then ladder, saw & John came tumbling down, johns legs wind milling furiously in the air, he landed unscathed on his feet with a crazy big grin and a laugh!
The company owned an old electrically operated ladder truck for high tree work but had nowhere to park it.
John who was living with his girlfriend in an old 3 story walk up on View St. volunteered to take it home for the week end.
Not content to just park it John fired it up, hopped into the bucket and rode it up 3 floors to his kitchen window where he pressed his smiling face to the glass much to the shock of his sweetheart!
John became a fearless climber.
Years ago John had a pet sparrow a tiny bird he had rescued, it would fly to his shoulder when he came home from work.
One day that little bird flew away and never returned. John never forgot it.
John has flown away forever and like that little bird we will never forget him.
Last edited by Iggy on Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ty2 »

As I stood on the cliff over looking the beautiful day and white capped waters off dallas road after the funeral, I couldn't help but feel like johhny was somehow watching us. It was as though the westerly winds were him in spirit saying that he was in a good place and that even though he was gone in body, his presence and heart were still here with us. I have no doubt that every time I feel the wind pass my senses I will think of him. We are all better off from having him in our lives.
Thank you for being what you were and are to all of us Johnny!
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