About 7 years ago I met a young kid named Dickie Sanders. He somehow found my phone number and called me one day. The very first words out his mouth was he wanted to learn how to ride flatland. Shortly after that I set up a date to meet him at his local riding spot. When I rolled up he had a smile on his face that I will never forget. I soon realized after talking with Dickie that he was a special kid. He continued to ask me the same questions over & over . ” Terry how do you this trick?” After he asked me around 15 times I started to get frustrated.. I would say “DICKIE you just gotta keep practicing and then the tricks will come”!!
As crazy as I thought he was for asking me so many times. I was glad I keep screaming the answers back at him because I soon found out that he was starting to listen. My next trip to see Dickie he really took what I said to heart. He must of practiced more in that week of me not seeing him than most people ride in month. Because he was progressing at a level that I had never witnessed. I soon realized he was a “real” rider and was going to be around for quite sometime. I spent many days of summer driving to his local spot and riding with him until the sun went down. I can remember so many things from the sessions. Evey time I tried to leave, he would beg.. ” stay a little longer terry” “please” He never really understood the word “no” or “I can’t Dickie” He would just keep asking until he was blue in the face. I excepted the way he was and continued to ride with him. Brought him on trips to Texas and even all the way to California. The trip to California I remember so well . I showed him the time of his life!!! Riding at the beach and meeting the pro riders that he admired was an amazing experience for him. He was so stoked that he wanted to keep riding in the streets of Hollywood Blvd. after the sessions were over. I had to repeat over 10 times that it was not safe to ride on those streets before he finally sat back down with that big smile and said ” ok terry I understand your right”.. I realized on that trip that Dickie just wanted to be accepted. He knew he was different and flatland made him feel normal so that why he loved it. Riding BMX gave him an opportunity to meet so many different types of people with different types of personalities and that made Dickie realize he did not need to be anyone else but himself.
Dickie had a heart of Gold. Every holiday he would call with wishes. Every time he got off the phone he told me he loved me. Sometimes he called just to say he was lucky to have me as a friend. He was truly appreciative that I accepted the way he was. He cherished our friendship & he let me know that EVERYTIME we spoke. One time I was mad at him for about 3 days and I cant even remember why. But I do remember him driving to my house with roses and a box of chocolates to say he was sorry. It took him for 4 hours to find a house that was 40 minutes away. When I answered the door and seen him standing there I was in shock!! I smiled and said “Dickie are you CRAZY!!”? “you dont bring a man candy and flowers when he is mad at you” he said ” I do terry cause I love you”. In Dickies mind that was the right way of saying sorry and I will never forget that apology for the rest of my life.
Yesterday Dickie took his own life for reasons I never may know. I will never forget this very talented, very special, Big hearted, friend that I had. I loved him and will miss him very much. You are in our hearts Dickie. So happy to have known you. Rest in peace.