Suffering

The man woke in the dark like he always did. He had been dreaming. This time he had been a bird. Freedom.  Corrections officers were loud out on the pod. He turned on his side and listened for a moment. He knew that it was probably close to morning but it was hard to tell in here. There was a small gash of plexiglass close to the ceiling which let in light. The walls outside were massive and blocked virtually all sunlight from reaching them anyway. He didn’t know. He didn’t care. His cell mate snored away above him. Reaching over beside the thin mattress, he pulled out his penlight and the skateboard magazine that he had traded contraband for. He glanced at the glossy cover.  He thumbed through it and was pretty stoked.  “Whoa!” He had turned the page to a pool article. “This Jimmy Wilkins is ripping!” He paged through and saw other photographs that made him feel like he was back in a better time.

Jimmy Wilkins

He had finally got his hands on a different skateboard magazine about five years earlier. Thrasher. TransWorld. He didn’t recall the name. It was lame. All he saw were a bunch of kooks falling down stairs. The magazines seemed to be bending over for the advertisers. Whatever. It wasn’t skating to him. He had rode almost every day before he was placed in here. He remembered the golden times. The money. Endless boxes of product. Autographs. Women… He remembered a girl pulling him by his hand underneath a contest ramp to an isolated spot. She just smiled and knelt down. She said his name as she unzipped his shorts. “Gator” He recalled those times in his life often and let his mind soar outside of the confining walls he lived in. He heard his cell mate still snoring and jerked off into his pillow. He was a freak then and he was a freak now. Back then, no one knew. He wore his mask well.  Leaning on one arm,  he paged through the magazine again. It was full of awesome stories and great pool and pipe photographs. It was soulful and real. He chuckled as he came upon a photograph of someone he recognized. Owen Neider. They had rode at Del Mar together all those long years ago. It briefly made him happy that some of the old crew were still ripping.

Owen Neider
Paul Wisniewski

He soon heard the Corrections staff opening the pod and getting the inmates ready for breakfast. The prison was dangerous. It was full of every race and culture. It was no melting pot though. He smirked to himself. It was more of a garden salad. The cucumbers stayed with the cucumbers. The black olives stayed with the black olives. The iceberg lettuce remained with its own kind and although they may lay on top each other from time to time exchanging juices, their flavors never mingled. It was an odd and joyless world. Persistent pain.

Al Brunelle
Kevin Caan

He looked away from the magazine. Jessica. He thought of her from time to time. She was the one white-hot incandescent spot that burned in his brain and made his nights sweat-soaked and sleepless. Jessica. His association with her had put him in here. This was what he told himself when he thought of the horror of a human being that he became. The moment he choked her, the line blurred. He wiped a small tear that threatened to spill from the corner of his eye. It wasn’t for her. He didn’t operate like that. He was wallowing. He only thought of himself. People were objects and she was the one smudge of his pathetic past that he couldn’t wipe away. It reappeared every day. Cursed. Failure. If he could be honest for one second in his life, he would know how he deserved his suffering. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate  – Ozzie

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Bobby Piercy / Mystery

Bobby Piercy (RIP) at Carlsbad skatepark. October 1977
Quimby Street. San Diego. He snorted a line and handed the rolled up bill to the thin leggy girl beside him. She looked delicious with her peanut butter brown skin and long fine hair. They had been up all night and a pall of cigarette smoke hung near the ceiling. Empty Heineken bottles stood on virtually every available flat surface. Dawn burned orange through the blinds. Bobby rubbed his eyes. They were red-rimmed and sore… as was his nose. He and the girl were wrung out like water from a twisted rag. Marathon sex was hours behind them and still the mirror whispered its mantra ….  
Bobby Piercy.  Rumors abound. Grist for the mill. Playboy bunnies, cocaine, BMW’s…. the high life. Bobby was a superstar. Reportedly, he was the kind of guy that loved life and lived that life to its fullest. He was a World Class skateboarder. He won slalom & downhill races, rode pools, parks and pipes. He had fine ladies around him at all times. He was a ripper.
Bobby and a friend

One day, Bobby simply disappeared. He wasn’t there anymore. It was as if a giant hole opened up in Point Loma and swallowed him up. The grapevine. Innuendo. Subtle hushed conversations. “Bobby was arrested for dealing blow.” Furtive looks and worried expressions… “He’s now in the Witness Protection Program.” Yet who really knows the truth? Can anyone ever truly know? Is he dead? Some stories describe Bobby as being executed in a drug deal gone wrong. Has he actually just moved on and is living his life as a balding, big-bellied hardware store clerk in Utah somewhere?  Bobby Piercy knows but he’s not talking. At least not to anyone who knew him back in sunny San Diego in the 1970’s.

Bobby Piercy – Rector advertisement

I prefer to think of Bobby as he lived. Wide open. Possibilities. Unlimited and  lawless…. that is the Bobby Piercy that I admired. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the images. Skate- Ozzie

Bobby- La Costa 1977

Bobby- La Costa 1977

 

Addendum- People have commented on Bobby Piercy and his mysterious disappearance. I include them here. – Ozzie

 

    • Met Tommy a few times when I was a Kid, 1965 0r ’66 through mutual friends, he was already a Team Hobie “Star”……ran into him over the years, Surfing & Hanging out ….as I got older, I don’t think he remembered me as “that kid” ….But as an up & Coming “GROM” ……haven’t seen him in ages ……Bobby was SOUL ……if you did not know him, chances are…..you wouldn’t. Not a “DICK”, just liked having “Friends” ….Bobby, arrived at P L High 1972, from P B …..Nobody knew much , other than He was a P B Pt. Local, and he dressed, all Rock ‘n Roll —-Like Jagger or S.Tyler. …Knew some mutual friends …B. Kreft, D. Andrews, T. & C . Kessler, S. Frye, L. Emmet, R.T…etc., …We’d see each other surfing at S. O B Pier, couple other spots., Just saying, “What’s Up” …”Hey, Pretty Deep” or acknowledging each other…He Called me “Kid Kool”, he did not know my name yet ..Saw him at “Acidopholis Acres” (Heavy Local Cliffs Break)_He was Hangin’ w/ Joe Lynch & Steve Lis (FISH INVENTOR) Burned one, after surfing …invited me to a party at his pad…come alone … (Friends Only)……Knew Many of the People there, his Roomy, was B K (B.Kreft) friends for yrs. ….Leaving the party, B P says, ” Dude, that ‘s Wild, You Know Half my old friends & the other half are Yours—-I don’t know why we’re not already Hangin’ Out” ……..FRIENDS were his FAMILY, and Bobby treated you that way..ALWAYS a Hug & A Handshake ….He was the Only Person, that called me “SILVS” ….Or “COOL” …he couldn’t call me “KID”….That was Jon “KID” Riddle (Jon Riddle Surfboards) He was a Bad-Ass fighter, but only treated people, with Love and Respect, unless you were a KOOK and Deserved a Beating….One of the Greatest Friends, I have Known…Greatly Missed …He Backed his Friends …even took the fall, on some Police action, for me. He was an Awesome Surfer…Then I Saw Him Skate !!! ……… IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE …They’d Shoot HILL ST (Name Says All) …no pads, Helmet …..JoneZy ….Steven Jones, wore zero protection …..so there was NO BAILING ….Another great guy…Just Nuts…But a GOOD Nuts, Almost as Fast as B P …………Bobby May be Missing…But NOT GONE …as long as we remember Him, His ways & Lessons he taught US …Friends are like Family, if not, they are Merely People you Know ….Bobby is Still a Part of us, Like We ARE ALL Part of His FAMILY …..What Happened ??? We’ve ALL WONDERED …Does Tommy Know ??? Well, IF He Does, and he is Keeping quiet FOR BOBBY ……Well then, Good Deal …I don’t need to Know, That’s B P ‘s Call . He Was a Great Friend …..A Legend ……He IS FAMILY ….BY THE WAY >>>>>>>GREAT PHOTOS >>>THANK YOU

    • Bobby went “Missing” in the Early 1980′s ………81, or 82 …..I don’t think he ever saw my 5’9″ Quad, Rick Holt shaped in “83 …WOW 31 0r 32 years …met him at 17… gone at 27 ………3 times the years we hung out ….remember him like it’s been 5 yrs.

      • Ozzie hell of a tribute to our friend. Thanks so much. I must of read this 10 times over the weekend.

        I was telling a story to a friend the other day about how I told Tony Hawk in 82 when he was opening his first shop and going pro that there wasn’t really a lot of money in the industry. He was dating one of my cousins at he time. Richest skater of all time now. Shows how smart I am. Anyway I told him this because I knew a lot of the skaters from the 70′s. He asked if I knew BP and I said sure he was the first skater I met and lived just up the street. That got me thinking of BP and I found this page. Hell of a tribute and dead on.

        I met BP in the mid 70s at a skate show. Went there to meet him because a mutual friend said he would be a good addition to my business. Gave him a big old rail just before he went out for his part in the show. Broke his arm. Blamed myself so I took him to the hospital and stayed all night making sure he was being taken care of. From then on he was always there for me. I was at Avalon in 77 when he won the slalom. Shortly after that I had to take a trip compliments of the state.

        I came home in the winter of 82 and one of the first people I asked bout was BP. He was up in Mammoth skiing but as soon as he got back to Dago we got together. Went skiing in Colorado a few times and just plain partied. BP was as wild as they come and I always loved him for that and his extreme sense of loyalty.

        In the late 80s I got another trip this time compliments of the feds. Ronnie’s timeline is a little off above. I know this for a fact. Ronnie is Jimmy Ray (another of BPs good friends) one of your cousins. Seems like I met you once when I lived in Pont Loma next to old Manuel Silva. Been trying to find JR for some time. Miss all the old bros. Anyway one of the first things I did when I got home was ask how BP was. This was 91. I was told that he was presumed dead. In fact I was given the keys to BPs Porch and told there was a dispute on who was support to get it and not let anyone have the car before the dispute was resolved. Back in those days if something happened to a good friend I always wanted the answer and help if needed..

        The story I got was he was out at the river where he loved to go and was a little bit impaired and dove in and never came up. No body as we know. This came from one of the witnesses that gave the report to the police on the matter. I’ve seen BP surf while very impaired more than once in good size waves so this did not make sense to me. Then I found out there were indictments coming down and he was on the list.

        I find it very hard to believe that he would ever hurt any of his friends or associates by talking and I would have most likely have heard if so. That being said it does happen. Both my trips were from friends that talked.

        I prefer to think he is still out there being BP. If not shaking up heaven a little or a lot as the case may be.

        Where ever you are bro as you can see from Ozzie’s tribute your are loved and missed. When I looked into your disappearance I spoke to about 15 people. The women cried and the men got teary eyed.

        Thanks Again Ozzie

 

  1. Bobby lived around the corner from me in Kearny Mesa back in the 60′s. I have pictures of us from elementary through high school. We were the two kids without moms, so our two houses were the hangouts after school and during the summer. Bobby started surfing at 6! Our group spent summer days at my house, Bobby’s (and his little brother Donny), and at the beach. Before the water shortage in the early 70′s that started us all skateboarding, Bobby was a world class surfer! Yeah, he was wild, but one of the truest friends you could have. I was sad, but not surprised when I heard of his death. He was an amazing guy who lived life like there was no tomorrow, no regrets, never looking back. His ashes were scattered off the OB pier, so he’s back where we all started. I’ll miss him always, but I have only great memories of those long San Diego summers!

  2. Ahhhh the sweet smell of the seventies! When coke was still coke and a camel toe was a fashion statement. I miss my stupid youth sometimes

  3. Just an outstanding posting, Ozzie! It captured the mystique and legend of the comet that was Bobby Piercy perfectly, and left us wanting more…just like the real life subject.

  4. In 1977 after work every day in the skate shop I would roll down the hill from home in Kettering (UK) to Skateside where I was the resident Pro. Imagine my surprise as I turned in to the car park, a black BMW pulled in next to me with Bobby Peircy driving and Jerry Valdez in the passenger seat with three others in the back seat. Jay Adams, Kent Senatorie and Steve Cathey (if my memory serves me) The most memorable session of my life and still can’t belive how lucky I was to get to ride with those guys. Bobby was a super nice guy. I think of him regularly.

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Bill Danforth / Alva / Reissue

Bill Danforth

Bill Danforth

 Bill Danforth

I started riding for Madrid back in 1981 or so. I was traveling everywhere, doing demonstrations and skating hard. In 1986, Alva Skates made me an offer to skate for them. If I recall correctly, the team on Madrid had dwindled away. I had always looked up to Tony Alva since I was a kid, so when he made me an offer to ride for them…  how could I say ‘No’ to that? The Alva team consisted of Cooksie, John Thomas, Jef Hartsel, TA and Fred Smith. As soon as I got on Alva, I continued doing demo’s as I had been scheduled while still on Madrid. I scheduled most of these myself. I was on the road all of the time, hence the name ‘Nomad’. I had friends in Mississippi and they traveled and skated everywhere. The called themselves ‘Nomads’. I became one of them and as I started signing boards or wherever I was, I’d write Bill Danforth Nomad. I was throwing it back to my roots.

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My board came out on Alva rather quickly, as I already had a template that I liked. I sold a ton of boards on Alva. Several thousand a month. I never have stopped skating unless I was injured. How can one stop skating? Although I don’t skate as much as I once did, as long as I have a skateboard under my feet and I’m having fun, it is all that matters. I would like to thank Alva Skates for believing in me and doing this board release. Come join us in San Diego on Saturday afternoon. I dedicate this release to Bryan Hankus, a fallen brother who rode an original Alva Danforth model. – Bill Danforth

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Fiftieth At Ridiculous

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On my fiftieth birthday in October of last year, my best bro Jim Howell flew out, a huge gang of friends descended on Ridiculous and we had a full weekend of skateboarding, food and fun. My friend Anna (AVB) and her dude Greg, came down from Canada to share in the fun. She filmed a really rad video and just sent it over to me. It has a bunch of skateboarding in it… I will never forget the people that were there and the stoke they brought. Jim Howell, the Coopers, Torchia, Tony Gates, Lorrie Palmos, Griffin, Long Hair Mike, Crazy Kyle, Lance Mountain, Dave Reul and family, Brandon Wong, Salba, Shane Cole, Ripperside Shawn, AVB and Greg, Scott Foss, Upland Dan, Henry, Walt, Eric Nash, Samwise, Michelle, Michael Serna and Mel and Christian Hosoi. A few others were in and out during the long hot day. Thank you to everyone for everything. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Grateful.  Love- Ozzie

Eric Nash

Eric Nash

Dave Reul

Dave Reul

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Ripperside Shawn

Ripperside Shawn

Shae and Scott Cooper

Shae and Scott Cooper

Kayla Cooper

Kailey Cooper

Christian Hosoi

Christian Hosoi

Crazy Kyle

Crazy Kyle

Greg Johnson, Scott Ward and AVB

Greg Johnson, Scott Ward and AVB

Christian Hosoi

Christian Hosoi

Scott Foss

Scott Foss

Birthday Bandito

Birthday Bandito

Thank you to Brandon Wong and Lorrie Palmos for the images. Thank you to AVB for the video. Radness. Thank you to my friends and those that actually read my stories. I appreciate it – Ozzie

For more of Brandon Wong’s portraits, click here- http://ozzieausband.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/portraits/

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Hagbowl

Stevie Cab- Ansels ramp with- a very young -Colin McKay watching.

Cab- blunt at Ansels

Steve Caballero at ‘Hagbowl’ in Pennsylvania. Colin McKay in foreground.

Pennsylvania. In the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s, Jim Howell and I rode -more than- a few ramps. There was an occasional time each year, when we tried to get a few sessions in at the Hagbowl. The Hagbowl was a roman- end backyard pool that overlooked a huge golf course and country club near our homes. Rumor had it found by Doug Mayer and Booger Brown in the mid 1980s. An old deaf lady owned the house & lived there alone. You need to understand that concrete backyard pools hardly exist in Pennsylvania because of the winter freezing temperatures and all. They are very scarce.

The only time it could be ridden, was late at night after she went to sleep. We would stealth across the golf course, dodge trees and street lights to climb higher up into the neighborhood. We would reach the top cul-de-sac, and pull ourselves over the fence and green hedges. It lay there, in the moonlight. A real backyard concrete pool! The pool hadn’t been filled or used in –what appeared like –decades. The coping was all loose and missing in spots. The tiles clattered into the pool as you rode over them. Vines of ivy, festooned the edges and draped into the deep end. It was heaven.

The pool was tight and gnarly. Jim and I would ride it as best we could. We would quietly take turns carving across the deep cup, grinding and breathless in the moonlit shadows. We were busted by the police there on March  24, 1988. The police came and we hid under a big fir tree. His spotlight caught us and we came out rather sheepishly. The cop actually seemed amused by our antics. He couldn’t quite understand what we were doing. He asked if I had any knives, guns or weapons. I responded, “Why, do I need any?” He finally let us leave with a terse warning, “Go! Don’t let me see you guys again.” I smirked and thought, “Don’t bet on that, buddy.”

Steve Caballero, Colin McKay and Tommy Guerrero came to do a strip mall demo in the summer of 1990 or 1991. Afterwards, we took them to our spots. Ansels ramp, the Hagbowl and Busters barn ramp. When we saw Stevie Cab skate the Hagbowl, we were speechless! He pulled slider to fakies in the roman corner and grinded everywhere. It was a lesson in poolriding by a master. Somehow, we took them there that afternoon and it is the only time that I recall being there during the day.

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We had fun and I wish that I had better images to share with everyone, but these are it. It was a great day. The Hagbowl has since become history. The old lady died, the house sold and refurbished. Its a swimmer now, but its past emptiness lives on in our minds. It was one of our only backyard pools in central Pennsylvania. Jim and I still have a blue tile from the pool. Both have black magic marker writing on them.  ‘Jim and Ozzie mania. March 24, 1988′. Skate-Ozzie

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I’ll never forget you now.

Terry Keller Skateboards Kenter Elementary School, Brentwood, Ca

Linoleum kitchen floor. He scrambled under a table, as sharp fisted blows rained down across his head. Screaming. Her words were acid. Monstrous weight upon him. His teenaged egg-shell body…  Sanctuary is never within reach. A shoe descends… there is no other view. It always ended this way. Her shoes turned away from him and he always kept his eyes on those. They hurt the most. He pushed hard off the floor and ran for the front of the house. The screen door slammed outward. She was close behind. Fury was in his mother’s every step. Her feet gobbled up space in huge un-chewed bites. Sunlight splashed across the yard. Freedom. “Oh sweet Jesus. Let me go…” He ran. Never looking back. Never looking up. Never giving in. Cinder block walls weren’t half as strong as the one’s he had been building. Defense. Later, a school friend saw him laying in the grass by the playground. He asked him if he was okay. His eyes were red-rimmed and he just mumbled and looked away. The school friend sat next to him and put his skateboard between them on the ground. Seeing his friends sadness, he pushed the board toward him…

Thank you to Tim Keller for the use of the Terry Keller photograph at Kenter. Skate- Ozzie

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The Fall of Magoo

 

magoo

They’d been at each other for hours. Meth. Sweat. Matted hair across her forehead. Magoo stopped pumping and raised himself up on his elbows. “Shhhh….” The skinny girl under him started to reply as Magoo placed a hand over her mouth. He craned his head and listened. They both heard it then. Footsteps on the porch out front. Boots. Furtively… He pulled himself out of her and slid into greasy jeans. She pulled a sheet over her thin legs. He turned toward her to urge her to silence as the front door burst inward in splinters. The girl screamed then…  slow motion. Time stalled. Shouts. Gruff voices. “Los Angeles SWAT.”

magootwo

 

There were commands. “Get on the floor motherfucker!”  “Don’t move.”   The world was spinning. His face struck the floor as a really big bastard took him off of his feet. He was smelling the carpet. Knee in the back. Handcuffs wrapped his wrists behind him. Magoo lay there panting. Black boots were everywhere. He heard the girl cursing in another part of the house. Looking under the sofa beside him, Magoo saw his Heckler & Koch MP5. Black. Ominous. If only he had thought of it…  he seethed in restrained frustration. His wrists hurt. Magoo knew that it wouldn’t be long before they found the drugs and weapons. He was doomed. Laying there, he heard the police tearing the place apart. Pulled to his feet, he found himself looking into a stern face. “Hey fuckhead. Surprise. I guess you weren’t expecting us.” He said nothing as other officers exited another room, grinning in satisfaction. Magoo wasn’t surprised. He had already gotten over that part. He smiled back thinly as the officers soon walked by, carrying his weapons, drugs and cash. “Fuck!” he mumbled grimly.

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They administered him his rights and soon led Magoo outside. He was slightly amused by the number of police vehicles and officers. They were treating him like he was Al Capone. He saw the thin leggy girl that he had met at the bike club last weekend. He shot her full of dope and used her for a few days. She was sitting in a cruiser nearby. “Just as well….” He  mused. He was getting sick of her anyway. They led him to another cruiser and stood him there. Looking toward the house, he watched in shock as an officer came walking around the side of the house with a person he recognized. “Picc?!” Magoo couldn’t believe it…  “What the fuck?” His friend, Steve Picciolo was with an officer. Picc carried a skateboard under his arm. He heard the police talking to him. Questions. Picc looked worried. Magoo smiled in spite of himself as he heard Picc tell the officers that he’d come by to ride his skateboard in the pool. When Magoo didn’t answer, Picc had gone into the backyard and was cleaning the rainwater out of the deep end. He heard the police raiding the house minutes later. Officers had found him sitting in the deep end of the pool. Picc absently pointed at the bustle of law enforcement around them, “I thought I’d just sit there and wait it out… “

Steve Picciolo

Steve Picciolo

Thanks to William Sharp for the Steve Picciolo image.  Thank you Steve Picciolo for being such an awesome skateboarding inspiration. Rest In Peace. Skate- Ozzie

Magoo’s Part One

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