Rusty Haggard Blog

Let’s Go Back: Mazatlan, Surfing and 1969

He has been a friend of mine since I was 19. An important friend, there at key moments in my life. I was a groomsman in his wedding.

The other day he called, but the news he had wasn’t good. He had lung cancer. Five rounds of chemo treatments, completed. “It’s under control, but I’ll never get rid of it,” he said.

We traveled together with three other guys on the craziest Spring Break trip ever: 1969 to Mazatlan, Mexico, in an old 1955 Ford sedan with four surfboards strapped across the top. He was a great football player on the intramural fields at the university, playing for our “A” team.

He went on to have a great career in engineering. Traveled the world: China, Venezuela, Iraq. Infrequent phone calls kept us sort-of up to date on where we were in our lives. I flew out to San Diego to visit him and his family back in the late 1980s. They later moved to Houston, their home town.

Life goes by too fast. All too fast. One day you’re 19, 20, 21. Then you’re 35, then 45. And you just hope that it doesn’t end with what my friend told me he has.

All the laughs and the good times dissolve as he gives me the news over the phone the other day. I appreciated him telling me. I just wish we could push “rewind” and go back – way back. To Mexico, the beach, the surf. It’s still there. Thanks, friend, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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