Cherry Hill Skatepark.



tuck knee handplant 3/4 pipe


Jay Smith

Steve Olson

SALBA  cherry hill

Steve Alba


Stacey Peralta


Steve Anderson

Cherry Hill Sticker

The mark of quality.

Jamie Godfrey of Bones Brigade & me.


Ozzie- FS in half pipe


view toward left & right kidney pools


Jamie Godfrey -BS layback rollout


Ozzie -kickturn Egg bowl


Jamie Godfrey- FS standup grind in right kidney


Ozzie slide in 3/4 to 1/2 pipe


Jamie Godfrey-FS grind right kidney

Cherry Hill. The name is legendary for skateboarders everywhere. It was perfection. Indoor perfection. Make no mistake & don’t twist it up in your head! Cherry Hill WAS the raddest skatepark in the 1970s. Fini. Shogo Kubo & TA came to visit yet ended up staying for a long while, living with the owner. These two vert pioneers loved Cherry Hill that much! It opened in Cherry Hill, NJ, just across the Ben Franklin bridge coming down from Philadelphia, Pa. It contained a halfpipe with an elbow which led into a 3/4 pipe capped with a bowl on its tail end.

Steve Anderson would do rock-n-rolls on the very top of the 3/4 pipe (see GEF sequence). I stood in awe…The park also hosted the famous ‘Egg bowl’, left & right kidneys, a keyhole which was pretty steep & didn’t see much use, and a reservoir bowl area. My friend Jim & I , coerced a ride from my dad one Saturday. He agreed to drive us down there. The journey was a bit over two hours. Jim & I spent the entire ride there, fully padded up in the back of the van, rolling around on the floor doing channel hops and riding the walls of the vehicle. We were acting like a couple of morons. I don’t think that I slept the entire night before…Once there, you pulled up to this non- descript industrial building near rail road tracks. Trash & graffiti was strewn about, but we paid that little attention. We went inside.

There was a long counter with skateboards everywhere. Caster IPS boards, G&S fiberflex decks, day-glo orange, Powell Peralta double beamers, Kryptonics Kbeams and foam core Krypto decks with green urethane edges, Alva & Dogtown boards; I saw these and more. My bulging eyes noticed Jay Adams ‘Flywaway’ helmets, neon green-fingered Sims gloves & Rector pads. I almost fainted. I had never seen so much amazing skateboard gear in my life. Being a poor kid from the farm country of PA, I saw magazine pictures of product and drooled. I would peer closely at the ads for Val Surf, checking out the completes. Powerflex wheels, Santa Cruz 5plys, Rad Pads, Lazer trucks…and on and on.

Being at Cherry Hill was intoxicating! As much as I wanted to skate the park, I also continued to linger over the glass case display of skateboard goodness….They even had skate stickers! Stacks of them. It reminded me of ‘Stuarts Stickers’ mail order ads in the magazine! I couldn’t believe it…just dumbfounded. The smell of grip tape & urethane permeated everything. The front sign- in area & skate shop was separated from the park by a huge wall. You could hear music & skating but could see nothing. The people checked you in & all that, then they scotch-taped a small blue slip of time tape on your helmet. It had the time you entered stamped on it. If you look in the photographs of me riding, you can see one taped on my helmet.

One of the searing memories of my childhood is a follows. Jim & I were signed in & told to “go skate”. We were directed to two  huge aluminum swinging doors. Pushing these open was like sliding inside of a woman for the first time. Honest! Devo ‘Gates of steel’ was hammering loudly from the PA system, skateboarders were flying around everywhere. There was the  smell of fresh concrete…Gods! I can still smell it in my  mind!…it smelled -perfect. I knew that I was exactly where I should be. We went immediately to our left and found ourselves looking into a bowled- in 3/4 pipe connected to a 1/2 pipe about 100 foot in length. We watched a skater thread his way down the half pipe, side-to-side and slide out as he approached the 3/4 pipe area. I looked at Jim and we grinned to each other. “Lets waste no time.”

We went over to the large reservoir and carved it up for a few runs then went to the smaller left kidney. The right kidney was a hot bed of heavy action. I saw someone do a huge rock-n-roll slide and felt my pulse quicken…this was it! I later learned that particular skaters name was Mike Jesiolowski. He was a local & killed the place. There was less activity in the left kidney & keyhole so  we kept to these for awhile. Jim & I rode ourselves breathless for a few hours…it was heaven. While taking a break, I peered around. Cherry Hill was like church to me! The owners allowed the visiting pros to spraypaint their names onto the walls throughout the park.

If you look through some of the photographs, you can see the following names. Mike Siegfried, Patti Hoffman, Freddie Desota, Dave Raver Andrecht, Duke Rennie, Shawn Peddie, Fred Blood, Allen Losi, Eric Grisham, Alan Ollie Gelfand & Mike McGill. There were many more names on the hallowed walls of Cherry Hill skatepark & I noticed them all. I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. At the time, I was riding a beat up, second hand Kona surf deck with coned Bones Cubics and Lazer trucks. I had cut the board down, repainted  & redrilled  it so many times, it had something close to a 13 inch wheelbase! It was just junk. While riding, I noticed a really smooth and stylish skater totally decked out in Powell Peralta gear. He was absolutely amazing to watch & he dominated the Egg bowl. I found out that his name was Jami Godfrey. He had a ten year old brother, Dean, who was a ripper as well. Both rode for the Bones Brigade.

The Egg bowl session was incredible. Big, smooth and fast, the pool was perfection. Inverts, airs and long rock-n-roll slides were done by the heavies riding at the time. I got tiles and edgers….but it was enough. After riding & hanging out at the Egg bowl, I went over to the 1/2 pipe and Jami Godfrey joined me there. He & I rode together and had a blast. Jamie gave me pointers on making rock-n-rolls in the half pipe that day…sick!  As usual, great things must end & my dad showed up  signaling the end of the session. As I left, Jamie Godfrey came up to me with a woman who turned out to be his mother. She was nice & spoke with my dad and I a bit. Then, she walked over behind the counter & came back with one of Godfreys slightly used, purple Ray Bones snub nose decks! She also handed me a brand new set of Cubics and a set of magnesium Tracker six tracks! I was speechless. I almost cried…Elated, I gushed & thanked them immensely. They probably thought I was a goon but I didn’t care. I NEVER had skate gear that nice. I didn’t even want to ride it. I remember not taking my eyes off that stuff for -at least-three days straight. I am a goon.

Anyway, Jamie, Jim & I became fast Cherry Hill pool pals. We rode together whenever Jim & I went to the park. We rode with Shawn Peddie & many others as well. We were ecstatic every single time we went there & neither of us can admit to sleeping a full night if we were bound for Cherry Hill the next day. It is gone now and a hole continues to fester in many a skaters heart. Its probably the same way for Salba when he thinks of Pipeline, or when Tony Hawk thinks of Del Mar skate ranch. I am glad that I was a part of Cherry Hill during its reign as the ‘greatest skatepark ever’. Thanks to Glenn E Friedman for the amazing photographs, my dad  & Jim Howell for the others. Skate Long/Skate Strong-Ozzie

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Hate- cruel as stone knives.

jan2 LB 004

...probably will not see me living here!



pat garcia
Tony Farmer_ smith

tony farmer

Hate. Ignorance & intolerance -combined -will give us more Third Reich, Bosnia & Iraq idiocy. Bloodshed and mayhem will follow.  Madrianne Arvore wrote, “Hate cages all the good things about you”. Hate less, live longer. Pat Garcia & Farmboy show us pool love in a hateful world. Thanks to Brian Walnum & MRZ for the images. Go skate & don’t hate. Ozzie

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Dressen @ Gonzos

The basic tenet of every religion is love. Skateboarding  could be considered a ‘minor’ religion.  I love skateboarding! Share the love. Skate Long/Skate strong-Ozzie

Thank you  to Mr. Gonzales daughter ‘Tess’ for this photograph.

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fortunate few


salba, nilton, ozzie

Pool Sesh in Salba Land

happiness w Farmer, D, Clayton & Jim Howell, Sam & Salba

nite crew

night crew-Oz, scott ward, partain, 'little' & serna jr

jay adams- ta

Jay Adams & TA

1aug09 grp 003

the fortunate few-Partain, Max, PK, Toby,Al Partenan, Billy, Sean & others.

8-09-09 adam sallie zask billy 007

zask, billy, salba, adam12


lightner, spooner, the idiot


pool pals

The modern world around us is filled with distractions. We invent everything, to keep ourselves occupied. People wander through life texting, scrolling and numbly listening to headphones…blocked & insulated away from other human beings. The more the population explodes exponentially, the further we become from each other.

Bruce Lee said, “If every person would help their neighbor, no person would be without help.” Hell! I barely know my neighbors….do you!? If they are anything like the rest of us, at the end of the day, the six pack gets opened, dinner is consumed, the world is locked away ‘out there’ and  TV is the new god! Sometimes, for many, the only comfort is the sound of ice falling into a glass of J&B scotch.

However, I digress. Skateboarders are an exception to this. We are usually quite fond of each other. Sure, we may talk smack on others, but as a whole, we will cruise together & hype each other up in a session. Its as though we share a special secret no others can know of. We are the fortunate few. We are not armchair warriors. We live our lives ourselves and not vicariously through another.

Krishnamurti stated that, “…if you live your life through the opinion of another, all you will ever see in yourself is the opinion of others.” Convoluted? No! It makes perfect sense. Society wants us to toe-the-line; follow the rules. Society wants us to obtain a few letters after our names & gain respectability…then be a slave to money until we die. That is safety for society. As skateboarders, we walk to the beat of our own drummer & refuse to go the path others would have us take. We are the fortunate few. Thnx PK, Kyle Lightner, Brian Walnum for photographs, Matt for TA/Jay photo and all my pool pals—Skate Long-Ozzie

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All they make you give.

villa capsule 7-18-09 001

july 18th. 103 hot hot....


3-14-09 028

blue haven hidden
3-14-09 034



vector control door magnets
nov 29 008

250 gallons/minute

white sage randscraper 001


dec19 012

Dave Reul & Sallie- working.

12-31-08 001

Ruelers truck....what it takes.

colton rialto 1-19 040

you think?

tobee-oz nite recon 008

silent midnite drain sesh w toby

mar 6th 015

....just another typical morning.

3-12-09 005

upland dan.

3-14-09 024

all they make me give...

Relentless. The name of the game is passion. Few skaters want to work for the privilege. It takes an inordinate amount of devotion to give all it takes.  In Salbaland, we do. It is what we are. I would have it no other way. Skate Long-Ozzie

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4-20-09 AH 0044-24-09 012

4-24-09 014

TA- Los Angeles

I went to Culver City with Mich & rode with TA back in April. We also rode this little blue ‘jelly bean’ pool in LA  I met a guy there named Rick who was shooting photographs of Tony. He took a photograph of an invert I did & sent it to me. Ultimately, he saw my blog & eventually asked me to write a story for his magazine ‘Burl school’. Here is the effort. Its a bit of history on the IE & pool riding. Just click on ‘magazine- new issue’ then its about a dozen pages in. The magazine has cool features on Hot Rods, bikes & music. Thanks to Rick, Brian Walnum, Zach Petschek . The photographs are great. Skate-Ozzie

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Outcast in Pennsylvania.


Ozzie- with Salba K-beam & rickety quarter pipe. 1978 (nice afro/hair farm)


Ozzie @ Hoffers halfpipe. No flat-bottom. 1979

Growing up in Pennsylvania as a skateboarder was very difficult. I had to pay dearly for my riding time. Weather, poverty, lack of skate pals; these all played a part in making my life a misery at times. We had a school yard that had an asphalt bank on it. Nearby, a few older skaters made a quarter pipe. Del Collins, Ron Hoffer & Scott Kreiser were early PA influences. They eventually moved on or couldn’t keep up with the progression.

My friend Jim Howell & I met there at the school but didn’t ride together much just yet. Del had a half pipe in his attic. That’s how it is back East in the winter. You move your ramps inside a garage, attic, basement or barn or build them there permanently. Baskin Ridge, NJ. barn ramp & Buster Haltermans’ are just a few examples. However, these came much later. I built my first halfpipe in  a backyard by my house in 1977. I had quarter pipes in the yard, basement, and attic before that.

Back then, I knew nothing of trick-to-trick riding. I built one side with 3 feet of vert and the other side just below vert. I would do a high kickturn on the vert side, then do a trick on the low side. This was how I learned. I would study the magazine pictures of Bobby Valdez doing his handplant (cast on arm in Powerflex ad), then go outside and kill myself for days. I used flat cinder blocks as coping & glued linoleum bathroom tiles under these to mimic a backyard pool.

We rode a U-shaped, no flat -bottom plywood halfpipe called Hoffers until its demise in 1980. It was splintered, with no decks, 4 feet of vert and only a 2X4 as coping. It was hell climbing out on that ledge to drop in for the first few times. On my first attempt, I landed on my head &  cried. Del & Hoffer grabbed me by my arms and legs; throwing me in a rosebush. I untangled myself;  bleeding & whimpering…then, climbed back up there and made the drop in the summer of 1977.

Those guys were no joke. They didn’t last though. It would be Jim Howell & I . We carried the flag after that. We eventually rode Cherry Hill, Virginia Beach, Spinning Wheels & all points in between. Youth. We just wanted to ride pools & parks like our California brothers…but it took a bit longer for us to do so. Besides the parks I mentioned, we had little to ride unless we made it ourselves. But, that is another story altogether. Remember where you are from & what you are. I am proud to be a skateboarder with 35 years of time served. Skate Long-Ozzie

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The Collector.

IMG_1050[1]IMG_1051[1]trucksIMG_1139[1]IMG_1052[1]John Fowles wrote a novel in 1963 called ‘The Collector’. Its a powerful story of passion, sexual slavery and evil. I own a copy & like the novel immensely. However, in the late 1980s, Leonard Lake & Charles Ng read this book & subsequently acted out its pages in the real world. They started ‘Operation Miranda’, named after the character in the novel. In doing so, Lake & Ng unleashed a fury of sexual perversion, human slavery & death on perhaps as many as 50 innocent victims. I don’t know why I tell you this, but I know that it’s far healthier to collect old skateboards than it is to collect sex slaves. Leonard Lake was captured and ate a cyanide capsule; dying before justice could be meted out. Charles Ng, ran for Canada, was extradited & tried in Orange County Ca. He was found guilty-obviously- and awaits his day with a well-deserved fucking needle! Scumbags! Regardless…here is a pool pal ‘booyah’, to the skateboard collector. This is a great big ‘Fuck off’ to the sex offenders and just a bit of advice to them….in the interest of self-preservation; stay out of our neighborhoods!  Skate – Ozzie

Thanks to Marlon Whitfield for being ‘The Collector’ (skateboards) and for the photographs.

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San Burn-gnar with Salba.

1 nov 09 070

billy- side stairs


1 nov 09 042

Salba – rock-n-roll
1 nov 09 047

Toby the ninja

1 nov 09 053

the 'village idiot' using sign language.

1 nov 09 059

Salba- side stairs grind

1 nov 09 065

Adam 12- destroying. (coming into the shallow end!!)

1 nov 09 073

Michael Serna Jr. FS grind- side stairs

Our Sundays have become a ritual in San Bernardino. I get up, stretch, make coffee & breakfast, then wash out and CLR the ‘Ridiculous’ pool in the yard. CLR is Calcium, Lime & Rust remover. Its a bionic version of ‘Lime Away’…and it’s rad. After washing the pool & allowing it to dry, I apply the CLR and mop it on from the tiles down to the drain. It makes it grip like crazy once dried but not enough to tear your pads off if you knee slide. It works rather well. Try it in your slippery pool. You can buy it in any grocery store or Kmart.

Salba & the crew show up here at ‘Ridiculous’ around 10 or 11am. Everyone stretches, and some get their heads screwed on straight, as we contemplate what to ride that particular day. This Sunday, Salba decided it would be ‘Bent Square Sunday’. The cast of characters was as follows. Salba, Billy, Michael Serna, Toby, Adam 12 and myself. We would ride a few bent square pools, then end the session here at ‘Ridiculous’.

We headed over to a seldom -ridden bent square & looked it over. It was lost amid a tangle of overgrown shrubs & red-flowered bogenvilla. There was a huge white mansion up above, perched on the hillside and the pool had dried muck and sun-bleached animal bones scattered about the drain. As we hacked our way into the pool, I peered up at the sky. It was like a blue porcelain bowl…magnificent. We cleaned the pool in short order and everyone began to search out their lines.

Michael Serna quickly lit the fucking fuse with a FS 5-0 on the side wall that left us mumbling….sick! This pool was tight & tiny…no joke. Salba caught a rock-n-roll on the shallow side cup wall that was absurd. Billy tore the face wall & Adam 12 was his usual destructive self. Toby flowed through the pool like the ninja he is and we left after an hour feeling the backyard stoke! If you’ve done it…you know what I’m speaking of! We hit another bent square and once again, everyone tore it up. The photographs were all taken by me with an Olympus point & shoot. We had fun. I hope everyone rode today. It was an epic Sunday session with a wrecking crew of pool pals. I am proud to be a skateboarder. Its the best thing ever! Skate-Ozzie

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Lance Mountains’ pool.

Lance f grind Mark mith's Pool copy


Lance- FS grind @ Mark Smiths pool -1977


lance fs ladder

Lance Mountain FS Air- ladder
lances indy

Ozzie- Indy

badillo hip transfer

Steve Badillo- rope/hip FS air transfer.

Yeah, I know, I know. Blue Tile Obsession is all about the ‘backyard’ pools. I never meant to cover ‘made-for-skating’ pools. However, since it is MY blog & Lance is rad…we are going to visit his place regardless. I tried to get out to Lances pool a few times. Salba would phone me and say he was going over if I wanted to ride. I always had something pressing & couldn’t go that particular day.

I recently saw Lance at the ‘Skateboarding Hall of Fame’ induction. I grabbed his number & hooked up a session. Lance is a busy guy. When I showed up to his house, he was walking around the street -out front- in shorts & socks; a cell phone glued to his ear. Author & Skatelab ripper, Steve Badillo was sitting in the driveway as well. I knew Steve from the ‘Dogtown/Zboys’ documentary shooting with TA & Stacey back in 99-2000, so it was great to see him again! We caught up on old times and then did a bit of minor leaf-removal to get the pool readied.

Lances pool is super sick! Its a peanut-shaped pool with great coping & pink tiles. He has removable obstacles to place in the pool which increase the difficulties as the session develops. The deathbox is even covered over with tiles which Lance removes for added grinding fun. He has a deep end, side ladder which you will see in the photographs. It is really difficult to get over as its a mind screw…playing with your head. I coasted about 30 BS airs over the damn thing  & cleared it a few times but couldn’t make myself ‘man up’ and put it down. Oh well, next time. Lance has NO problem with his pool. Lance served up big FS airs, Judo airs, Egg plants and every obstacle was conquered double-quick.

The pool is fast, fast, fast! The shallow-to-deep ratio is super perfect. When you carve the shallow & pump the waterfall, you hit the facewall going Mach 5! Lance, Steve & I rode for a few hours. I had such a blast. Lance told us that he had the pool built for his last video part. He said that he worked on 540s for something like a month….trying to put one down in the pool.  He said that MRZ would show up & photograph his attempts daily, asking him, “Lance, why do you do this to yourself?!”. Lance just shrugged and answered, “Because I have to.”

Steve cruised out after a few hours as he had a publishing deadline to meet. Steve Badillo has published some great skating books. ‘Skateboarder’s Start Up’ and others. Check them out. Lance and I spoke about skateboarding history & the early contests from 79, 80, and 81. He told me of a session at his pool with Grosso, Duane, Brad Bowman, Chris Strople and Darrel Miller. All these legends were there together. Pool pals; down for life! That must have been something to witness- I am sure! It was interesting to look through his scrapbook & photo albums with him. His pool is rad & I had a stellar time skating and hanging with such an influential skateboarding pioneer. By the way- I posted a photograph of Lance in a “real” backyard pool for all you hardcore pool pals. I think we are safe now! Skate-Ozzie

Thanks to Lance Mountain & Steve Badillo for the photographs.

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