Posted by scubabum on August 17, 2000 at 09:18:49:
Yesterday I visited a long time friend and diving buddy of more than 20 years - Fred Macarow (The Czar). Some of you may know or else have surely heard of him, "Seahunt" (www.access1.net/seahunt) has written a few stories of the old days diving with the "Animals" (Whiskey Man, Fingers, Frog, Drummer Boy, Reseda Rat, Catfish, Doc) and others. Although he was always loud, obnoxious and there were times when I could have killed him (Czar) with his "horse" laugh echoing through the bunkroom at o-dark hundred rousting everyone for the first dive of the day, or getting my butt kicked in the late night poker games. Over the years I learned a lot about hunting from Fred, he was one of the best and there was nothing that he wouldn't do for a friend.
In early June after returning from a fishing trip to Alaska he was diagnosed with advanced Melanoma which now has consumed most of his body to where he looks like one of the famine stricken from East Africa, unable to do anything for himself he requires constant care. It is difficult to believe that a person can degenerate that rapidly. The prognosis does not look good. As divers we spend a lot of time in the SUN and like me don't think about the damage could be caused, I've made an appointment with a dermatologist for a skin exam.
Unable to speak in more than a whisper, his wish is to "Feel the water on his skin again".
The next time you are out diving, thinking about how deep or how far you penetrated that wreck or that photo opportunity, take a moment to savor the feeling, and make the most of it.
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