Commentary: When Friends Have Your Back


That last thing I need—and I mean the last—is another T-shirt hawking the goods and services of a high-performance marine industry company. As you can imagine, after 20 years of covering the go-fast powerboat world I’ve picked up a few T-shirts. Most often, I give them to friends who thank me for the “cool shirt” and in that way—putting a logo on someone’s back—the manufacturer’s objective is served. Whose back the shirt ends up on doesn’t matter.

But when I finish writing this piece, I’m going to order a Smith Power Memorial T-shirt through the Smith Power Memorial Facebook page. And I won’t be giving this one away—I’ll wear it until it falls apart and I have to order another one. For $25 per shirt, I think I can afford a few, especially since 100 percent of the proceeds are going to a trust fund for the children of Brad Smith, who as most people in the performance-boat community know died, along with Jeffery Asbell, in a high-speed boating accident late last summer. The trust fund will be earmarked for the college educations of Smith’s children, Brandon, 17, Kaylee, 10, and Blayden who is just two years old.

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(Above photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.)