I'd like to take a moment to say that the boating community has lost a major assest. Dick Vale passed away last evening from his long battle with cancer. Dick was not only a very talented painter he was more importantly a very close friend to many. I mean't Dick some 30yrs ago via phone and it stayed that way until my brother & I drove down to his shop to have lunch a couple of years ago. I was greeted with a hug and a bunch of ??????. I truely respected Dick and his work. We stayed in close contact for 30 plus years with not so much as any jealousy or cross words which can happen when you do the same line of work. I talked to Dick right before I left for Needles and Dick couldn't stress enough to be carefull and to have a great time with my wife Janice and all my close friends. I'd like to think we lived up to his request. Not once did Dick complain during his battle. He was always up beat and seemed more concerened with how I was doing. Whenever I would switch the topic back to him he'd try and change it. I will truley miss my ol' buddy. His practical jokes, his phone calls and our BS conversations about anything and everything. Dick placed his family & friends above himself to the end and I will always remember that. Dick you were a true talent and I love the friendship we had & I along with all your many friends will miss you....God Speed my friend.....