Editor’s note: “A Pebble in a Pond: CJ Buckley and the ripples he created,” written by Contributing Editor Joe Cooper is one of the finest stories we’ve ever published.

Hi Joe,

As CJ would say, “Awesome!” What an incredible article in the September issue of WindCheck Magazine!! You were somehow able to sum up all the info about the regatta (past and present), and weave the story around the perfect metaphor – the ripple effects of a pebble on a pond. You captured CJ’s spirit, courage and determination and, more importantly, his joy and passion for sailing. You made clear that he lived his life apart from the dreadful scourge of cancer.

You managed to convey that the success and the feeling of the regatta have been entirely dependent on the extraordinary commitment of scores of volunteers – on water and on land – and the generosity of all our donors and sponsors. You were able to specifically mention the Assad brothers, the five core families and three newer families, the outstanding coaches and other race committee individuals, and the crew from Providence Pictures.

We thank you very much for having the interest to write about the regatta. We are sure that the Club 420 Association is also very appreciative. We marvel at your literary skills and style, and we are grateful that you were able to create such a sensitive and thorough synopsis of the event that honors our CJ’s life and memory.

With warm regards,

Lucy and Carter Buckley

Joe Cooper replies: Dear Lucy and Carter,

Thank you for your kinds words. I am gratified that you feel I was able to do some amount of justice to the wonderful tale that CJ left us with. You and I have spoken about the real story and it is not a sailing one, rather one of a very strong and gracious young man, tragically taken well before his time. I can only hope that those reading this piece can get some insight into what makes a human, a teenager, into such a strong and fearless person.

I have previously written in WindCheck on the healing powers that sailing brings to all manner of stress and damage humans suffer. The joy that CJ obviously enjoyed through his sailing reminds us all, yet again, how powerful this fascinating thing we do, called sailing, can be.

Thank you for sharing CJ’s story. I saw it was difficult for you, but I thought it a story that needs to be told and perhaps it will inspire others.

With my very great appreciation and affection,