I met Johnny and his family about 4 years ago at the Make A Wish Jam in Texas. It’s an old story but I’m an old guy and tell the same stories over and over again - sorry.
To see a child skating and going for it like he didn’t have a care in the world when in fact he had recently been diagnosed with a life threatening illness just touched me. Even now I can’t find words to describe how truly amazing it was. At the time my son was about 6 and Johnny just reminded me of my boy so much and I found myself selfishly thinking ‘what if that was my kid’ and I just couldn’t imagine ‘what if’. Speaking with his parents that day at the park - they were incredible. Strong, supportive, funny and caring people. The Romanos became part of our family. Not only of REAL’s family but of skateboarding’s collective family. Johnny came out and stayed with us. My son Jack stayed with them ( for his first real sleep over faraway from his home - but I knew it would be ok because the Romanos are that good). Skateboarding and skateboarders world wide were affected by Johnny’s story but also for his love and passion for skateboarding.
In a testament to how positive skateboarding truly is, skateboarders worldwide came together and showed Johnny and his family love and how much we all care for one of our own.
It makes me proud to say I am a skateboarder.
It makes me feel happy and lucky to have gotten to know Johnny and his family and it is with tears and a broken heart that I have to say good by to him.
He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.
Johnny Romano will truly Roll Forever - not only in my heart but in the heart of skateboarders and skateboarding.
Roll Forever Johnny.