After an electrical fire tore through Holmes Beach, Florida’s West Coast Surf Shop, the Gulf Coast surf community on Anna Maria Island is reeling.
Jim Brady opened WCSS in Holmes Beach in 1964 and over the course of more than a half-century has played a major role in cultivating the Gulf Coast enclave’s surf culture. The fire, however, has imperiled the Sunshine State surf institution’s future–the Brady family’s livelihood–and left the shop’s employees out of work.
“My Grandpa opened his shop at the age of 16, established in 1964. He and my grandma were still holding it down at the age of 70, most of the time working 7 days a week for my sister and I to pursue our dreams of surfing,” says Brady’s grandson, Giorgio Gomez. “This wasn’t just a store to them, it was their whole world. Walking into their shop was like turning back time. There was so much history there. All the memorabilia’s been burned to ashes–from visits with Shaun Tomson, Rory Russell, Herbie and Christian Fletcher, Matt Archbold, and Jonathan Paskowitz to name a few.
“I am just so thankful everyone is O.K., as materialistic things can be replaced, the one’s we love can’t.”
A GofundMe page has been created to help rebuild the WCSS. If you are willing and able, you can donate, here.