This is the story of Johnny Romano, a Galveston surfing prodigy who succumbed to leukemia September 23, days after his family lost its home to Hurricane Ike. He was ten years old. Romano was a regular in the island's "grom" — surf-speak for tykes — competitions, where his board skills caught the eye of Stefanie Friedman, former drummer for beloved Houston garage-rockers Sugar Shack. "My five-year-old surfed with him and we couldn't believe how great he was," she says. "No one would have guessed [he had cancer], because his smile and his style were the model of health." The Romano family's massive medical expenses inspired Friedman to organize Sunday's surf-tastic benefit, capped by Sugar Shack's first show in four years. Also on hand will be Austin waverider Teisco Del Rey, Houston's Neptones — pipelining on their new CD Planet of Surf — and Luxurious Panthers, and primo poster artist Uncle Charlie stepping out from behind the easel to pick a few tunes. Simultaneously, Sig's Lagoon will host an art show and silent auction, and beach outfitter Ten Over will have several vintage surfboards, VW buses and wood-paneled surf wagons on display out front. Run, don't walk.
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