I woke up bright and early to get ready for the 51st Clinic. The presentations that I attended were outstanding. My only disappointment was that I could not be in two rooms at the same time. I took a quick break to go out to lunch with my friends from the Gillmen and Innerspace Explorers. I could not wait to get back to the Fairmont to attend the afternoon program. Before I knew what was happening I was back into my suit and heading to dinner with the Sea Rovers.
At dinner I sat with Ernie Brooks II on one side of me and Dave Morton on the other. The other people at my table were Kate Douglas, the 2004 Intern, Al Giddings, and Mike DeGruy. Looking around the table I could not believe the wealth of dive history and knowledge I was surrounded by. It seemed impossible but every event that I had attended seemed to out do the one before. I could not imagine how this evening could be any better. Little did I know what was in store for me that evening at the Film Festival.
Walking into the John Hancock Hall through the sea of people was incredible. I took my seat in the front row anticipating the events to come. Before I knew it Patrick Scalli was at the podium speaking about his father’s love of diving and desire to inspire young people to discover the underwater world. As I hung onto Pat’s every word I heard my cue and walked onto the stage. As I went to head back to my seat Dave Morton pulled me back stage and had me wait. Ernie Brooks II was next up to speak. I was so intent on listening to his message that I almost didn’t hear him call me onto the stage. He presented me with a copy of his book, inscribed with a personal message. His love of diving and compassion for people make him a truly remarkable person. He made an evening that was already special even more memorable.