Past and Present

Kent Senatore - Skyline

Kent Senatore – Skyline

Some say we are actually three different people. We are who we are, we are what we want others to think we are and we are who people think we are. Convoluted? Not really. We all wear a mask from time to time. I think it is defensive… We are the sum of all our experiences. I also think we are a bit of everyone that came before us. From our childhood, we are brought up to present ourselves in a certain way. “Boys don’t cry and show their emotions.” “A girl must always be a lady.” But what if you are a dude and want to cry? Life hurts. What if a girl wants to be a filthy bitch? Just saying… There is nothing wrong with being human. There is nothing wrong with being yourself. I’d rather be ‘me’ than some cookie-cutter Cool Guy cut from the regulation template and served up in whatever is deemed the current uniform. We are all products of the past. To know where we are going, we must sometimes look back. Someone once wrote, “I only look back in order to see how far I’ve come.” Makes sense. I like when the past and the present meet. Recognition. Nostalgia. A glimpse into the future.

Kent rolling over The Gorilla

Kent rolling over The Gorilla

Kent Senatore is one of skateboarding’s original pool pioneers. He is a lifelong surfer and skater. Kent rode it all in the Golden Days of the 1970’s. In his magazine interview from back then, I think he listed over twenty pools that they’d skate on a regular basis. He rode the earliest parks, the desert pipes in Arizona and everything in between. Kent recently came into town and we wanted to spend a day riding backyard pools. Ray Zimmerman thought it would be cool to bring young Patrick Ryan along. Patrick is a wonderful skateboarder. He has great style and extraordinary board control. He is the future. I left Hollywood early and drove up the Laurel Canyon road that twists over into Studio City. Kent was staying there with his father. We quietly talked and discussed Jay Adams recent passing. The sun glimmered off of nearby cars. Traffic crawled. We soon found ourselves at a coffee spot where we met Ray and Patrick. We climbed into one car.  Soon, we were at our first pool. It was 9:30 am, the sun was bright and spirits were high. Kent swept the pool and immediately wasted no time. It was his first backyard pool of the trip and the sounds of wheels on tiles and coping, soon filled the air. Patrick is no slouch and Kent and I were joking about how Patrick was going to “…sit the old men down.” with his speedy lines and perfect style. He didn’t disappoint. Crails and shallow end rocks were offered up to the skate Gods.

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

Kent Senatore

Kent Senatore

We drove into the late morning and visited a few old favorites. Pools. Blue tiles. Death boxes. Hips and curves.  All the things that make skateboarding so special… There is something amazing about pool searching. I looked over at Kent and his eyes missed nothing. Years of driving through Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley had instilled in him the exact same obsession that all pool skaters share. His need was our need. Symbiotic. It didn’t matter our age differences. Ray, Kent, Patrick and I were hunting.

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Driving to one of our permission pools, I looked over and saw a boarded up house. It was a particularly nice part of town. Golf courses. Huge trees. The houses sat back from the street. It looked promising…  We pulled over and approached the yard. We saw a square pool and went inside. There was a small amount of water and debris but we decided to give it a turn or two. I slipped out in the muck and put my board into the water. Once I pulled it out, I knew I had to grind the damn thing. Next turn. Done.

 

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Me

Me

Patrick Ryan took a shallow end plaster blast and then sat the old guys down with a frontside ollie to truck… How?! We were so stoked. Kent Senatore gave him a high five and smiled. He shook his head. Youth. The past meets the present.

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

We decided to try and stop at an old favorite. I had painted it with the help of a few friends at the beginning of the summer. The owner was going to have it filled and use it for its intended purpose. I phoned him and asked if we could stop by and swim. He said that we couldn’t swim because it wasn’t filled yet. I don’t have to tell you what my next question was…  Ray, Kent and Patrick were stoked and as I stood on the love seat emptying buckets of putrid water, I was laughing. I was watching a fifty-something, legendary pool master- Kent Senatore bucketing a backyard pool with a teenage, style-wire – Patrick Ryan. The past and present meet. The circle complete. Thank you to the crew. Good times. Thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie

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Kent Senatore

Kent Senatore

 

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Tim Brauch Memorial Contest 2014

Austin Poynter fell out of the sky...

Austin Poynter fell out of the sky…

If skating is an analogy for life then contests would be the equivalent of going to work. While most of us do not live to work it’s something we still do as a necessary evil that is part of life just not necessarily an enjoyable part. Fortunately, once a year the Tim Brauch Memorial Contest comes along to show what a contest could really be . . a celebration.
This year the 16th annual Tim Brauch Memorial “Celebration” saw a couple of changes but still produced what it’s known for, great energy and incredible skating. The most notable change was that the event was split into two days to accommodate the number of riders and divisions without turning it into a one day test of endurance for the riders as well as the spectators, a great call by the organizers. Secondly a deep pocket sponsor was lined up to avoid the possibility of a cancelation which the event nearly suffered from last year.
Saturday hosted qualifying and finals for all the amateurs.
Demarcus James

Demarcus James

Steve Revord

Steve Revord

Jean Rusen

Jean Rusen

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

While some come only to see the best of the best (i.e. the masters and pros), if you want to see some real and inspiring skating in a contest format then watch the kids, they have the passion and drive that makes skating what it is. Their significance to skating’s future can’t be overestimated, it’s always good to keep an eye on what’s coming.
Jack Winburn

Jack Winburn

Jed Fuller

Jed Fuller

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Poppy Starr Olsen

Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson

Arianna Carmona

Arianna Carmona

Josh Rodriguez

Josh Rodriguez

Sunday was marquee day with the men’s and women’s pro divisions lined up for battle. It was a day I’m sure Tim was smiling over as every skater threw everything he/she had at the skull bowl. While the level of skating was intense as always the really special thing about this event is that the “competition” aspect takes a back seat to the real reason for all of this, to celebrate Tim’s spirit and the joy we all share in being a part of the skating family. You can see it when the riders on deck congratulate and hug each other after every run . . they are not competing as much as sharing. The sincere joy and gratitude is palpable and it’s awesome to see these skaters that dedicate so much to their profession still be able to feel and appreciate what it’s really all about. The crowd as well is not only treated to some of the best skating in the world but they also get the rare treat of being able to glimpse the soul of this art, definitely a special time for all.
Mark Partain

Mark Partain

Max Jensen

Max Jensen

Steve Caballero

Steve Caballero

Every skater that entered the event should be proud of their effort and honored to be a part of this legacy. There is one award that merits mention as it’s central to what the TBMC is all about. This years “Spirit of Tim” award went to Jed Fuller and it appeared to be unanimous throughout the competitors who give an informal vote to pick the recipient. Jed travels a long way to compete here every year and if you’ve ever seen him skate you know he charges every second. More importantly he is always smiling and stoked just to be skating with friends and living life legitimately. It was a great celebration to remember Tim and the true reason we all skate . . to feel the joy of being with friends and to live life on our terms. Thank you to all the organizers, sponsors and to Tim’s spirit for giving us this opportunity. Peace- Scott Foss
PRO- 1-Alex Sorgente, 2- Josh Rodriguez, 3- Daniel Cuervo
MASTERS- 1- Steve Caballero, 2- Steve Revord, 3- Josh Nelson
WOMENS- 1- Kisa Nakamura, 2-Arianna Carmona, 3- Sarah Thompson
Am Ladies- <14 1- Poppy Starr Olsen, 2- Brighton Zeuner, 3- Spencer Breaux
Am Ladies->15 1- Jordyn Barratt, 2- Pauline Branom, 3- Erin Wolfkiel
Am Men- <14 1- Jack Winburn, 2- Evan Doherty, 3- Kiko Francisco
Am Men- >15 1-  Nick Wallace, 2- Charlie Martin, 3- Bobo
Addendum- I could not be present at this years event and I asked Lorrie Palmos to send me some photographs. Scott Foss joined in and wrote a great piece. I  randomly placed the photographs that I found interesting into the article. I thank both Lorrie and Scott for their contributions. Skate- Ozzie
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Kent Senatore / Guest Post

Jay Adams at Cholo's

Jay Adams at Cholo’s

Kent Senatore

One afternoon, while I was surfing Rocky Point, Jay Adams gave skateboarding back to me… he, along with Tony and Stacy had already given it to me once before, many years earlier, but this second time was much more special. Jay reconnected me to something very, very, important that I had been neglecting for several years.

I was out at Rocky rights on a typical North Shore day. The waves were nothing out of the ordinary, but it had that sparkle. You know it if you surf… Then, I see a familiar face, and that big grin of his that at times was so elusive. It’s Jay Adams and he’s talking to me but I can’t quite hear him. He’s too far away and there’s still water in my ears from falling on my last wave. We were both living on the North Shore at the same time, and although we didn’t hang out day and night, we saw each other often, and would always stop to speak to each other. The last few times, he’d been telling me about a book he had with some pictures of me in it, and how he wanted me to come see it. I’m such a hermit that he’d been asking for a few years, and I still hadn’t made it over there… just a block or so from my house. The book turned out to be – Fuck You Heroes.

Jay paddles closer, and I clear my ears… then he says, “What are you doing after you surf? Let’s go skate Cholo’s ramp.” Cholo was a guy named Steve Ellis, you may have heard of him. Steve had been trying to get me to come over and skate for a while too, but for whatever reason, I just hadn’t made it up there, and I have to say, if anyone else had asked me to go skate that afternoon, I would have said no… but because it was Jay asking me this time, I said yes… so, after we surfed, Jay and I went to Steve’s. Steve had a six foot mini ramp with metal coping in his yard. They were doing grinds and 50-50’s and I was tripping. I’d never seen a 50-50 done before. It looked fun, and they kept offering me their skates to take a run, but I kept refusing. I just sat there, head bobbing back and forth in a mock pump watching them trade runs.

That night as a slept, something funny happened. I had a dream I was skating. Back in the day, I had skateboarding dreams all of the time, but it had been years since I remembered having a full blown skate dream. Apparently, there was one tiny ember buried underneath all those burnt out coals in my belly, and seeing those dudes doing this thing called skateboarding that we all love so much must have reignited that ember. The very next afternoon, I went straight up to Steve’s, bought a set-up from him, and never looked back. For several years I spent almost every afternoon at his house riding his wooden half pipe. Steve and Nancy must have been sick of my face at times.

In reflection, I love how it was Jay, and it was something that happened while surfing, which returned me to skating, because surfing and guys like Jay are what brought me to skating in the first place… it all makes a nice little circle. I’ve always had such love for Jay, but after what he did for me that day, I also have gratitude, I always will… and now when I look back on that one afternoon out at Rocky Point when Jay came paddling towards me, smiling a big smile… It takes on an even greater significance. Thank you Jay Adams for asking me to come skate again. You gave me back something I cherish. It was the best gift a friend could ever give another. – Kent Senatore

Thank you to Kent Senatore for the memories and thank you to Peter King for the image. Skate- Ozzie

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Jay Adams / In Memoriam 1961-2014

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Jay Adams / In Memoriam   1961-2014

Jay Adams had every aspect of what makes a skateboarder great; he was aggressive, he had amazing form and technique, he was fantastically inventive, he was spontaneous and unpredictable to the highest degree, he was incredibly stylish and really knew how to position his body beautifully, and he skated with intense emotion and fury.  But the greatest thing about Jay as a skater is that he wasn’t great.  He wasn’t great at anything in particular; he wasn’t the greatest pool rider or bank rider or freestyler and that is what was so great about him.  Had he been the greatest at any one of these aspects of skating it would have diminished his true gift, which was his purity.  Jay was so pure, he might very well be the purest skater we’ve seen to date.  I know he was for me and I’ve witnessed so many of the very best.  He was absolutely a pure skateboarder.  He was skateboarding incarnate.  He wasn’t trying to be a skateboarder, he was a skateboarder – 100% inside and out.  He was the spiritual and physical embodiment of what a skateboarder is.
He will be terribly missed by all but his spirit and what he was and what he helped create will continue to play out in every kid that ever picks up a skateboard. – Stacy Peralta

 

Thank you to William Sharp for the images. Thank you to Stacy Peralta for his thoughts. Skate and remember where we come from – Ozzie

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My Rules / Glen E. Friedman

MYRULESactualcover

Glen E. Friedman has a new book coming out in September- ‘My Rules’  The word icon and iconic are used far too frequently these days. I’ve heard Glen E. Friedman and his work described in this manner. In his case, it is completely apropos. He was in so many right places at so many right times with so many right people… you’d think he had a Magic Genie lamp or something. I can assure you that no such lamp was ever in his possession, but he did see the future somehow. That much is clear as glass. Glen observed the banality in the world around him and wanted no part of it. He saw what his friends in skateboarding and music were inventing and he stood with them. There could be no other way. The photographs that he took burned their way into the brain cells of skateboarders and music lovers all over the planet. I am one of these. I had his photographs on my walls. I bought his books. I still buy his books. I always will… Glen and I have become friends over the years. After 9/11, I flew to NYC and walked around the city with him for a few days. I like how he thinks.

MyRulescollage©GEF

I wanted to help promote the book and hence the cultures we all grew up with and love. Glen likes and reads the Blue Tile Obsession as you do, so we decided to bring the BTO readers an in-depth exclusive look at a small part of his new book – My Rules  – in a unique way. Toward the end of the book, there is a skate collage, a punk collage and a hip hop collage of photographs, and each weekday (until the week before the book’s official release), I will be posting one photograph from the skate collage for you to see close-up. The images will appear larger on the BTO FB site exclusively, thanks to Glen’s generosity. In the book, they are smaller as they are part of the collage and they are not captioned. Here we will share with you the full information on these cool shots that he has put together. Most of these skate photographs from around the world, have not seen the light of day. Not until now. Amazon is having a pre-order special on the book – My Rules. Click here to get the deal (which we can’t promise will be there too long), and get yourself this massive seven pound skate and music filled monster. My Rules. Thank you for supporting my friend’s book and thank you for reading. – Ozzie. Please check the BTO FB page every morning. FB BLUE TILE OBSESSION

 

 

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Vans US Open

If you dress up like a horses ass, nobody will notice

If you dress up like a horses ass, nobody will notice

Vans US Open. Huntington Beach. Ripping skateboarding…

Raven Tershy - 1st Place

Raven Tershy – 1st Place

Charlie Blair - 2nd Place

Charlie Blair – 2nd Place

Murillo Peres - 3rd Place

Murillo Peres – 3rd Place

Thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

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Skate Park of Baltimore

Jim Howell

Jim Howell

JIM HOWELL

I’d been hearing rumors for several years now about a skatepark being built in Baltimore, Maryland. I had heard about fundraising concerts and I’d seen the stickers and t-shirts being sold for fundraising for as long as I can remember, but here in the northeast most skateboard rumors remain just that… a rumor. So as the years went by my enthusiasm wasn’t quite peaked for this rumored park. I chalked it up to “it was never getting built!” It got to the point where I didn’t even think about it anymore, but thanks to a few die hard Baltimore rippers the park came to fruition.

Clayton Howell

Clayton Howell

About 6 months or so ago my friend Andy Neal, from the Balto, DC area, texted me and sent me a picture of the pool being completed. His connection to the park builders, Artisan Skateparks, got him the inside track on the construction, and as good pool pals go, he sent me inside info on the construction and completion of this park/pool/bowl thing! As soon as he gave me the info I needed to seek, find and ride this park I’d been hearing about, I called my son Clayton, who was away at college, to get his ass home for the weekend so we could go on yet another skateboard adventure together. Like all good sons and pool rippers, he arrived back home on Friday evening and our Saturday skateboard adventure would begin bright and early the next morning.
George Draguns

George Draguns

The thing I didn’t take into account was that this was late winter, early spring. The next morning we woke to a very cold and wintery deal. But my stoke to ride new concrete wasn’t going to hampered by a little cold air. The sun was shining and my son was by my side, as always, and the adventure was on! The skateboard gear was loaded into the car, the address info was entered into the GPS,  the car was filled with gas and the cooler was filled with drinks and off we went to ride what I thought at one time was all a pipe dream.
Doctor Menditto

Doctor Menditto

Bud

Bud

We drove for about an hour and half from home, when the GPS told us that we were only about a mile from the place. We took a few wrong turns and we started getting annoyed. I wanted to ride this place real bad and as any skater knows, there’s not much patience when you need to rip!  Finally we got turned around and we saw a few guys skating towards a brick building. Clay and I quickly parked the car, grabbed our gear and headed in the direction that the other skaters went.
Dan Tag

Dan Tag

Scott Tupper

Scott Tupper

As we approached the park, we weren’t that impressed. The street park was kind of run down with old weathered ramps and rails and really crappy attempts at building concrete bumps or jump ramps of some sort, but above the street park, I saw a bunch of skaters standing around the pool. Clayton and I quickly ran up to the top and were blown away at what we saw. It was a big, beautiful, concrete pool with all the trimmings, i.e. pool coping and tiles! It is sort of an ameba shape with some round and square walls all blended together. It would make for a fast -as- hell bowl. The pool is smooth and the coping is set well. It is a little too far out for my liking, but its a small thing to get used to. As I said, it was late winter, early spring, so there was snow on the decks surrounding the pool, that the locals shoveled out of the pool. It didn’t stop us. We quickly padded up and got busy trying to figure out where the speed lines were.
Dave Birtch

Dave Birtch

Joey

Joey

About two hours or so went by before we knew it and fatigue and hunger soon started creeping in. We decided it was time to take our last runs and grab some food and get back on the road home. Once on the road, Clayton and I stared reminiscing about the session and the fun we just had. We quickly both agreed that we’d be back real soon. This was another successful pool adventure and we were stoked –yet again– to have completed another skate trip. We drove most of the rest of the way home listening to good music and laughing, having realized how lucky we are to be skateboarders.
Get your daily grind,
Jimbo
Special thanks to Geoff Graham for the images. Skate. Ozzie
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