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An honorable walk

August 01, 2002

Mike Sciacca

Andy Verdone remembers a time when he and a core group of close

friends used to find a way, any way, to get from their homes in

Lakewood to surf the waters of Huntington Beach.

It was the early 1970s, and whether they reached Surf City via

car, bike, a ride from their parents or, yes, even hitchhiking, that

close-knit group managed to find its way to the shoreline.

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"We wanted to surf. That's what was important to us," Verdone

said. "It also was a big dream of mine to someday move down to

Huntington Beach. I was determined to make that happen."

He did. Not only has the 42-year-old called Huntington Beach home

for nearly 20 years, but now he will forever be etched into the

city's landscape.

Verdone is one of six surfers who will be inducted today into the

Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame. His reward for those years of

striving is a name plaque that bears him the honor of being a 2002

Honor Roll inductee.

Speeches, photos and the formal unveiling of the six Walk of Fame

plaques that will find permanent residency on the sidewalk that wraps

its way around Jack's Surfboards at the corner of Main Street and

Pacific Coast Highway will make up the 10 a.m. ceremony today.

Other 2002 inductees into the walk's five categories include the

late Miki Dora, surf pioneer; Kelly Slater, surf champion; Brad

Gerlach, local hero; Steve Pezman, surfing culture; and Kim Mearig,

woman of the year.

He's in quite heady company, Verdone says.

"I'm absolutely surprised and very honored," he said. "That's a

great group to be included among."

Across the street at Huntington Surf & Sport, one day after the

Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame event, four surfers will be

inducted into the Surfers Hall of Fame in a separate ceremony.

The four 2002 Hall of Fame inductees who will have their footprint

forever cemented in a square on the walk, include six-time world

champion Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Laird Hamilton and Joel Tudor.

The two ceremonies coincide with the 2002 Philips Fusion,

featuring the U.S. Open of Surfing.

The Surfing Walk of Fame is in its ninth year, with 44 name

plaques already in the sidewalk, as well as two larger plaques with

the nameplates of the first 12 inductees onto the walk's Honor Roll.

The Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame board of governors,

consisting of eight members, votes on the Honor Roll inductee each

year.

The inductees of the five surf categories are voted upon in a

different manner, as each year the board of governors mails out some

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