“Most of the kids didn’t know the surfer’s first name, which was Darby. But his last name really was Pope. They all simply called him by his nickname. The Pope of Palm Beach.”
The Pope of Palm Beach is the 21st in the Serge Storms novels. I’ve not read any of the other books, but the theme seems to be Serge and his sidekick, Coleman, searching for Floridian lore. This trip takes them back to Riviera Beach where they spent some of their youth. The Pope is a legendary surfer who is beloved. He takes a troubled kid under his wing until a tragic accident changes everything. The Serge/Coleman portion is them taking a literary tour of that part of Florida.
“Aging athletes handle retirement two different ways. Some passively wait for the missing piece to just go away, but it never does. The successful ones replace the piece. That’s what Darby did, and those early waking moments of regret became fond memories. He even relented and allowed Kenny to hang a large black-and-white photo of Darby riding a wave in his prime.”
I found this an interesting read. I really enjoyed the Serge “narration”, though I did not enjoy that Coleman’s entire existence consisted of trying to get high. I thought that it took away from the story.