Fishbowl / Pink Motel / Camtest

Brad Bowman

Brad Bowman

History. They say it is written by the victors. Funny. I suppose that another saying may also be true…  “Half the world believes what the other half invents.” Whatever the case may be, the origins of Fishbowl AKA The Pink Motel are solid and sure. Factual history. Think what you want, I’m here to relate it as I heard it. A group of young skaters from the San Fernando Valley were skating to school one day and they spotted the pool behind the fence. Terry Bixler and Wagner Rodrigues crept inside and were summarily kicked out. They had the moxie to return and be persistent.

Monty - Fishbowl/Pink Motel Owner

Monty – Fishbowl/Pink Motel Owner

Eventually, they made an arrangement with the owner- Monty -and the pool became a permission pool for them and anyone they cared to bring along. They kept it tight and secretive. It was 1976. Eventually, word leaked and skaters began riding it. Magazine images appeared. Fishbowl would become a Mecca. Pilgrimage. Skaters around the world marveled at its huge transitions and giant palm trees. It screamed “California”.

Fishbowl

Fishbowl

Fast forward. 1987. Powell Peralta video – Animal Chin. The Bones Brigade were famously told, “You guys can do anything you want to do, if you want…” Then they did. The footage from that session is amazing. I believe that it was at this time that the Fishbowl became known in skateboarder’s minds as the Pink Motel. In the late 1980’s, Skate TV used the Pink Motel as a base camp. Heavy sessions were held and all of it was pumped out through the wires and into televisions all over the place. Fishbowl. Pink Motel. Its history is heavy. Its place in skateboarding is cemented fast.

Bones Brigade / Animal Chin Session. Mountain, McGill, Guerrero, Caballero, Hawk

Bones Brigade / Animal Chin Session. Mountain, McGill, Guerrero, Caballero, Hawk

Lance with Lance Jr. / Skate TV

Lance with Lance Jr. / Skate TV

Steve Caballero / Skate TV

Steve Caballero / Skate TV

Lance Mountain / Skate TV

Lance Mountain / Skate TV

Over the years, random skating events have been held at the Pink Motel. It can be rented out hourly, though it can be costly. In 2010, Lance Mountain helped California Skateparks with a pool refurbishing that smoothed out the transitions and skim-coated a new surface onto the entire pool. It had deteriorated from years of sun, skating and sitting empty.

California Skateparks refurbishing

California Skateparks refurbishing

Fishbowl Facelift

Fishbowl Facelift

Lance Mountain ties the old into the new.

Lance Mountain ties the old into the new.

In the past few years Cam Dowse has been holding his Camtest event at the Pink Motel and –once more– the Pink Motel finds itself host to a good thing. Cam started holding the Camtest in Colorado in the early 2000’s. It was a way to get all of the Colorado skaters together and session. They held it off-and-on over the years at different locations in Colorado. Eventually, Cam would end up in California. One year, Cam was going to hold his birthday party at the Pink Motel when he found out that his close friend Dave Tuck was diagnosed with Cancer. The subsequent birthday party became the Camtest and a fundraiser to help his ailing friend.

Camtest 2012

Camtest 2012 / Pink Motel

Robbie

Robbie

Al Brunelle

Al Brunelle

Cam Dowse

Cam Dowse

The next year, it was held in Arvada, Colorado with Dave Tuck in attendance. Ultimately Dave was taken from the skateboarding world and his friends miss him terribly. His legacy and good nature live on in everyone he knew. Friends never die as long as we continue to celebrate their lives…

Dave Tuck R.I.P.

Dave Tuck R.I.P.

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Glen Charnoski Camtest/Dave Tuck Invitational/ Arvada

Glen Charnoski Camtest/Dave Tuck Invitational/ Arvada

Parts, Tuck and James / Arvada Tuck Invitational

Parts, Tuck and James / Arvada Tuck Invitational

Camtest is being held this year at the Pink Motel. It is a ten dollar donation at the gate and ALL money goes to cancer charities. Three bands will play and DJ Don Cesar will spin tunes. The contest will have weight-classes ranging from 100-125 pounds all the way up to 200 pounds plus. Everyone will get to lay into the historical coping of the Fishbowl/Pink Motel. The Camtest runs from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm. If you’ve never been to the Pink Motel or witnessed unbridled skateboarding mayhem, then you should drop the ten dollars for a good cause and come have fun. After all, most of us spend that much at Starbucks in a week… they’re not nearly as historical or important in the grand scheme of things compared to the Fishbowl/Pink Motel. History. Truth. See you there… A special thank you to William Sharp, MRZ, Team Pain, Brandon Wong, Skatemaster Tate, Thrasher Magazine and Powell Peralta for the images. Thank you to Cam Dowse for putting it all together for a great cause. R.I.P. Dave Tuck. Skate- Ozzie

Dave Tuck R.I.P. Image: Thrasher

Dave Tuck R.I.P.
Image: Thrasher

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Jay Smith

Jay Smith – Marina

Powell- Peralta. The Bones Brigade. I recall that team & its formation much like everyone else. ‘Skateboarder’ magazine  was soon to be a cherished memory. D.David Morin changed it to ‘Action Now’ magazine but the bicycling, sandboarding, rollerskating & the rest of it sort-of nauseated most die-hard skateboarders. Its life was short lived. Like all things  in skateboarding at that time,  everything exploded hot & heavy. It was  quickly undone. Vertical skateboarding was changing just as rapidly. Surf styles, lines & powerful flow became usurped by technical maneuvering. It became a sport of trickery. Jay Smith filled me in on the details of this time. His time. 1979.

Jay Smith hails from Canoga Park out in the San Fernando Valley. He started skating in 1975.  Jay stated- “I was really just a street skater. This was before parks and magazines in a way. All my friends rode motorcycles and skated. That was what we were into back then.  Eric Grisham and I rode pools together in the valley.” Jay then told me an interesting anecdote regarding his early pool skating barges.  ” The Sunset Pool company had an office with concrete demonstration pools on site. This was right next door to where ‘Skatercross’ was being built. They had two pools there. One was empty. We would sneak in and ride  even while the park was being built next door. It was the first time I hit tiles & I recall looking over at ‘Skatercross’ and wanting to ride the bowls there when it was completed.” Jay became addicted to the speed and vertical like so many of us.

Jay – lapover – San Fernando Valley

He recalled riding pools all over the area when he was young. Jay told me how they would constantly look for things to skate. – “My friends and I would ride all over the San Fernando Valley. From Encino and Woodland Hills all the way over to Glendale… everywhere. There were so many pools to ride. We hopped the fence at –singer–Barry White’s & were riding his pool one morning. He walked out but was really cool about it. He had his maid come outside and they watched us for awhile… he was pretty nice to us considering the situation. Lucille Ball had a house out in the Valley and it sat empty. The pool was a ‘go’ for quite some time. We also rode at this place in the Valley. It was a zoo or animal park. It had these bowls and stuff that were empty. The place was closed down. We rode the reservoirs  that the animals had used as a natural habitat type of thing. It was pretty unreal.” Jay talked about the early skate park scene. He was a local at Skatercross. Jay told me that he rode with Eric Grisham, Arthur Viecco, Shane Reed & Jerry Valdez. He told me that those guys were a bit older though. “My early skate influence was probably Shreddi Repas. I loved to skate with him. He was stylish, fast & powerful. Eventually, I rode for Lonnie Toft & Sims. I skated with the whole Santa Barbara crew. Doug de Montmorency, Jack Waterman and other Oxnard and Skatercross riders.” Jay told me that he was really into flow and speed. -“I really love to go fast!” It would be at Oxnard where Jay had his first photograph taken which ended up in the magazine. ” Bill Sharp took a photograph of me doing a tailtap on the corner. I was stoked. I couldn’t believe it!” Things started falling into place for Jay. He was skating some of the hottest parks & pools. His speeding, low-slung, rubberman  approach to skateboarding was rapidly winning him respect & admiration. Jay then told me how he was put on the Powell Peralta team that Stacy had just formed. Jay is a wealth of historical skateboard information. After all, he was on Powell Peralta before he was 18 years old. These were formative years for Jay. He continued- “I was riding for Sims but they already had Bert Lamar & Brad Bowman. Those guys were both super riders & Sims wasn’t really doing anything for me. Powell Peralta & Sims were both out of Santa Barbara as well. It was odd. When Stacy approached me at Marina del Rey and asked me to ride for him, I was like- “Oh hell yeah!” It was immediate.”Jay told me that the Bones Brigade started as- Stacy Peralta, Ray Bones Rodriguez, Mike McGill, Alan Gelfand and then he was added.  I asked him about the ‘Powell Peralta Class of 79′ advertisement.  Jay stated that Stacy  chose the best he could find to represent all areas of the country.  ” Stacy added Mike Jesiolowski & Jami Godfrey from Cherry Hill right after I was put on the Bones Brigade. He also added Rodney Mullin & Tim Scroggins from Florida, Steve Caballero & Scott Foss from Northern California, Teddy Bennett from Big -O and David Zakrzewski from Oasis. That was the original Powell Peralta team.” Jay remembered early contests with Powell Peralta and stated tersely- ” Contests just weren’t my thing man! They’re just too organised. That goes against everything I am. I just loved partying and riding pools with my friends. Stacy was super nice though. He bumped up our confidence. If I remember correctly, I actually turned Pro at the Bakersfield contest before I was on Powell Peralta. Once I was on the Bones Brigade, I waited for awhile before I received a model. I think we all did.” Steve Caballero & others told me that some of the riders kept their AM status & continued to build contest standings & placings. They developed new tricks and worked on their overall skating. This way, they created a demand for a model rather than just having one put out for them.

Jay- FS Air – Pipeline Combi

Jay Smith himself was soon ready for his own model. He originally rode Powell Peralta Double Beamers. – “I wanted the Double Beamer to be my model but they were having lamination problems.” Jay asked me if I remembered the rivets in the Double Beamers.-  “Of course.” He laughed & continued-  “Back then we would do long boardslides and the top- most layer of black fiberglass would become ground down. The rigidity of the deck was affected and it would snap. Rib Bones were then made larger to compensate for this.  Caster made my boards for awhile. The first Jay Smith ‘Splash’ deck was made by them. I think that the Caster boards were more expensive though. They were really good & had concave. Powell Peralta finally ended up making my boards from Brite Lites but they were definitely flatter than the Casters were. ”

Jay- Andrecht at Marina

Jay went on & discussed the early punk scene and its influence in his life. He loved the fast music, motorcycles and anarchy.  ” It went along with what we were doing. The music and clothing added to it. It was crazy, fast & fun. I really didn’t care. I just wanted to rip and have fun….  no worries.” Jay told me that Stacy liked him on the team with his long hair & all. “I was just rebellious. I was actually a long-haired surfer kid. Then, I made an anti-christ kind-of change. I cut all my hair off. I was back east with Glen Friedman. We were going to Cherry Hill, Staten Island, Apple & other parks. We would go in & cut the skaters hair. It was just to be obnoxious…  the kids were so cool.”  Jay said that he was really into heavy rock-n-roll like Zeppelin & early Van Halen but the punk music was too hard to resist. “Bands like The Buzzcocks, Discharge, 999 and others soon fueled all of our sessions.”  Jay told me that he will always have a fondness for Marina del Rey & Cherry Hill skateparks. “They were the best things I ever rode.” I had heard various stories regarding Jay Smith over the years.  One quote – “He was the epitome of punk.”   Another – “Jay would take a contest run and he’d just carve in circles throughout the entire time… smiling.” Whatever the case may be, Jay Smith was hard to miss. He was a standout. Glen E. Friedman & Jay became pretty good friends and would hang out quite a bit back then. Some of the great Jay Smith images that we have were from Glen and this period in time. Style. Timeless perfection.  Glen told me about Jay Smith- ” The bad uncle (to Stacy’s good father) of the Bones Brigade, his awesome girlfriends, his insane risk taking driving, The most stylish layback and frontside carve in existence, and a heartbreak of an injury that sent him for a loop. I took him to see the Bad Brains play a club in NYC (when they first moved here), with less than 30 people attending the show. We drove across the country together to do a skate tour and he tweaked his ankle on the first stop, so it was ‘Jay’s Barber Shop Tour’ instead. That’s just off the top of my head– 30 years later.”

Classic Skateboarder Magazine centerfold by: G.E. Friedman

Jay Smith and his life have been shrouded in myth & legend for decades. I was at the ‘Old School Skate Jam’ in 2000 and I remember seeing Jay Smith attending the event. There were just as many people crowding around Jay as  there were with Tony Alva. He has immense popularity & appeal. Jay is one of a kind. I asked him about his  disinterest in skateboarding & subsequent walk from it.  He readily replied- “I didn’t dump skating! I became kind-of bored with it. Tricks were becoming wall-to-wall and mechanical. It took away from the speed,  flow and beauty. If you take away the beauty of it, it’ll lose everything. That is what drove me from skateboarding. The ‘power & finesse’ is what made it rad for me. That is what Powell Peralta embodied. Stacy encompassed all of this. Jay lists Duane Peters, Eddie Elguera, Shreddi, Steve Caballero &  Scott Foss as being a huge influence to him & his skating.

King James Cassimus sequential of Jay Smith layback

Jay told me that he continued riding into the mid 1980s but motorcycles & racing took up more of his time. Eventually he stopped.  He saw Richie Carrasco at a show & Richie kept after Jay to go skating. Eventually he caved in. Jay- “Richie took me out and we went slalom riding. It was so rad. Pretty soon, I was riding vert, doing airs and laybacks, I slammed though and was hurt pretty badly. It hurts more… and for a longer time these days.”  I asked Jay if he skated recently. He went on to tell me of a dark day a few years back. A day he will never forget. He was riding his motorcycle in the rain. Almost night. The black greasy ribbon of wet freeway reflected all of the lights. ” I was in a motorcycle accident on the 101. I slammed into a car. I had a few drinks & it was raining. I got on the freeway and found myself behind this woman going 55 mph. I got pissed and went around her. I really gunned it. Then I saw why she had been going only 55 mph. There was a car directly in front of her going slow. I saw it at the same moment that I ran up into the back end. I hit her so hard that I broke both my legs. I got tore up! I was in the hospital for a few weeks. I haven’t really skated because I have plates and screws in my legs. My movement just isn’t there. No flexibility.” I was quiet for a moment, digesting all the tragedy that Jay had just laid bare. The thought of Jay Smith skating without flexibility was intolerable. It was like Picasso without a paintbrush. I groaned inwardly.  Jay quietly went on – “Ozzie, you know what ? It was all worth it. Skateboarding. I am stoked on my skating time and how it all went down.”  So are we Jay…. so are we. Thank you to Glen E. Friedman for the –previously–unpublished Jay Smith images. Thank you to Jay Smith, Steve Caballero, Glen E. Friedman & Jami Godfrey for their memories. Thank you to King James Cassimus and Bill Sharp for images. We’ll just thank them all. Jay wants to thank Dave at Skaterbuilt for all the support. Skate- Ozzie

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Heimana Reynolds

Heimana Reynolds

Heimana Reynolds

As a kid growing up in Pennsylvania during the 1970’s, I saw the skateboard magazine photographs of all the original pool skaters. Most of them came from a surfing background. They had style. It oozed from their pores. I can see the photographs even now. Shogo Kubo, Roy Jamison, Kent Senatore, Jayboy, TA… all of them had that thing that separated them from most others. Great style. Over the years, there have been a few super stylish skateboarders. In my opinion, a skater can do every trick in the world, but if he looks bad doing it… well, there we are. There are skaters that look good doing even the simplest things… effortless. Quiet upper body. Flow. Some skaters just have that thing. I was watching the Am Tec a few years ago and saw it again. Heimana Reynolds. Pure style. He is from Hawaii. He surfs, skates and is about as cool as one can be. It isn’t hard to see the reason once you meet his father. Epic human. Heimana was on an absolute tear this year at the Combi contest but a slam took him out…  literally. He left on a stretcher but made it back to watch the finals. I personally think he has the potential to light that building on fire next time around. It will be a great thing to see. I asked Heimana a few questions and here is what he had to say. Enjoy- Ozzie

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Heimana Reynolds

BTO-  How much do you skate and what do you ride the most? Vert, street or bowls?

Heimana-  I try to skate as much as I can, probably about three to five times a week. I skate everything from flat ground to curbs to street to vert and bowl. I usually get warmed up skating street then work my way to skating bowl. I’ll go up to the vert ramp and then usually I end skating street again. I vary things.

BTO- How much influence does surfing have on your skateboarding?

Heimana-  It has a lot of influence on my skateboarding because I am lucky enough to do it almost everyday with good waves and warm water. Surfing and skating definitely work hand in hand. My skating helps my surfing and my surfing helps my skating.

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BTO- How do you learn new tricks and what inspires you to do so?

Heimana-  I learn new tricks by thinking of them in a skate session and trying them out. If they work and I like it then I keep trying and trying until I hopefully land it. I get my inspiration from seeing really good skating from other skaters or skating with my friends and feeding off of each other.

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BTO- Is there anything you really want to learn that you haven’t yet?

Heimana-  Of course there are a lot of tricks out there that I want to learn, but ultimately I just want to get better at everything and keep learning.

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BTO- Favorite trick that you do?

Heimana-  My favorite trick has definitely got to be a Madonna. I like to see how far I can kick my foot out and I like to see how loud I can slap my tail.

BTO- Influences (pros past or present)?

Heimana-  Some of my biggest influences were of course my dad and my family but as a grom my biggest pro influences were the boys from “The Search for Animal Chin.” I watched it so many times I could repeat all the lines and call out the tricks. I especially liked it when they came to Hawaii and skated the famous Wallos ditch located in my neighborhood.

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BTO- Favorite places to skate?

Heimana-  I enjoy skating my home parks here in Hawaii with my boys. But I also really enjoy traveling to California to skate with all my friends there. I spend a lot of time at Combi, DC Ramp, and Woodward.

BTO- Future plans?

Heimana- My future plans are to finish school, and keep trying to get better at skateboarding and surfing. I enjoy competing and traveling to new places. There are so many surf and skate spots all over the world to be ridden. I plan to stay involved with skateboarding as much as I can. My family owns a successful skate shop and skate park here on the islands so skateboarding will always be a part of my future.

Thank you to Heimana for the words and MRZ, Landon Hayashi, N. Bustamante and Dan Sparagna for the images. Skate- Ozzie

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Christian Hosoi on Shogo Kubo

Shogo Kubo

Shogo Kubo

Shogo Kubo. He was a huge part of the early era of skateboarding. The generation of Tony Alva, Jay Adams, the Z-Boys and Dog Town. Shogo was an integral part of that time. When he first came here, he barely spoke English, but soon after, he was a master at using the English language to heckle and joke. He would make us laugh hysterically. Back then, there was a declaration… a creed. If you skated, you had to step up and rip. If you didn’t, you had to go. You had to be trying. Shogo and Jay were my mentors. They raised me with that attitude. That attitude was expressed: “If you’re going to layback, do it! You need to blast. No half-stepping.” It was the Golden Age. Skateboarding was its own little culture at the time. Attitude. Aggression. Style. Individuality.  The next generation (ours), translated all of this into travel and sponsorship. I took what Shogo taught me and applied it to my life.

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It is so ironic that Shogo and Jay were taken from us at the same time. What they gave us is incredible. We’ll continue to harness and draw from them. Both were such radical skateboarders. They were passionate and uncompromising people. Shogo was not about the limelight. He was all about style. This really resonated with me. The personal time I spent with him is important. He stayed with me and my pops at our house and we would shoot pool all night and skate all day. My father was great friends with all of my mentors and that made it easy for me to have access to their wisdom, which has led me down the road I have traveled ever since.  Shota Kubo is Shogo’s son. He has his own thing going as well. He honors his father and I know that Shogo is proud that he has a son that loves skateboarding. The bottom line is that skateboarding is not just a sport. It’s about keeping it authentic and respected. Honor it. Never exploit it. This is what I learned from Shogo. Rest In Peace Shogo.  – Christian Hosoi

Thank you to William Sharp for the previously unpublished photographs of Shogo and thank you to Christian Hosoi for the words. Honor Shogo Kubo and skate – Ozzie

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what we got

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What you give, is what you get. I drive the grid. My mind a cauldron. I search. Asphalt ribbons. The endless road. I fantasize. I’m hoping that the next Dog Bowl, Gonzales pool, Buddha pool or Date Bowl is right around the next bend. The morning consisted of endless traffic, filth, poverty, heat, and frustration on virtually every face I saw. People looked ready for a return to the Dark Ages. I could see it in my mind’s eye.  If someone say’s some disrespectful crap, they get a knife across the throat. No words bandied about. No warnings. Knife point. Immediate. Draining on the ground. Bloody froth. Questions… “What? How?  I would look down at them in their urine-drenched pants and murmur… “If you knew then, what you know now. You probably would’ve done otherwise…” It seems to me that the problem these days is that there is no accountability. People can run their mouth without fear of reprisal. Our society has become cowardly. A revolution of the meek. I turn my thoughts off. Kill switch. I don’t want to think like that any longer.

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SLA-Alley

I downshifted the truck. I had been all over the San Fernando Valley since six thirty in the morning. The dirty sun hung overhead now. Trash and old tires littered the underpasses. In an alley, there was a square pool. It looked like it had round carveable corners and I wanted a closer look. As I slowly crawled along, I spotted green water through a broken fence on my right side. I stopped. Trash bins overflowed. Reeking. A dog barked at my intrusion. I peered between the wooden fence slats. Firecracker coping. Kidney pool. Disuse. I swung around the block. Knock knock. The owner basically said that he wasn’t interested but I gave him my phone number anyway. “Just in case you need it drained sometime.” He smiled and closed the door. I went on my way. Life moves. Ebb and flow. The pool quickly blended with a thousand others I’ve seen… A week later the phone rang. It was the homeowner. It took a minute to pinpoint what pool he was referring to. He asked if I could drain his. “You can skate but I’m going to clean and repair it. After that, it will be full as my daughter wants to swim.” I told him that I would be there the following Sunday morning.

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Arto, Shawn, MRZ and Lance joined me for a few turns. It was pretty stellar. The wall dropped pretty sharply after the loveseat on the right side and the shallow end was steeper than we wished, but the pool was fun to ride. The loveseats were clicked off in short order, Arto banged out a side wall slasher and I threw myself across the love seat and deathbox combination. Failure. The firecracker coping really dug into my trucks and my testicular girth was insufficient for said maneuver. When you’ve been riding forty plus years, you learn to be happy that you’re still rolling. I didn’t take it too hard. Life.

Shawn Ahringhoff

Shawn Ahringhoff

me

me

I tried setting up another session but the homeowner was pretty elusive. I understood. Having a group of strangers in your backyard skateboarding in the pool — as normal as it is for us — is probably a bit disconcerting for regular folks. I didn’t push the issue. Some of the San Fernando Valley pool skaters heard about it and informed me that the pool I just drained was one they called “White Horse”. They had ridden it about ten years previously. This sort of thing happens sometimes. You find something new that actually isn’t. I would try to set them up with a session… Proper respect.

This past Sunday, the owner phoned me. I figured that the pool had been filled. He told me that I could come and patch it for him. As I drained it the previous weekend, I saw some cancer spots and told him I could fix them. He now asked for these repairs. I drove up the next morning and spoke with him. It was early and it was hot. San Fernando Valley. I took the supplies into the backyard and quietly repaired the cancer holes. He told me that we could ride it one last time that day. I was stoked. I phoned the Valley skaters that had originally rode the “White Horse” but they had to work and couldn’t get away. Pat Rat, Mitchell and Jake were in from Hawaii and they stopped over for a few turns. In the end, fun was found. It rained from the sky. What you give, is what you get. I believe it. If you put out harsh words, lies and treachery, you’re bound to receive some bad Juju. Dark Ages. But, what if you put out some good…

Robbie

Robbie

Hawaii Jake

Hawaii Jake

Thank you to the homeowner. Thank you to the San Fernando Valley crew. Thank you to MRZ and Arto for the photographs. What you give, is what you get. Skate- Ozzie

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Back In The Day / Mondo’s Pool

Jay Smith at Mondo's Pool

Jay Smith at Mondo’s Pool

In 2012, William Sharp and I began working on a book project together. It was difficult from the beginning. Thousands of slides were assembled, all out of order, randomly stored in sleeves… it took awhile just to separate and categorize everything. We both have full time work, so it was a labor of love. Passion. I decided to interview everyone I could and include anecdotes with the images. We did three major photograph selections. Only the best of the best. Then, we spread the love around. For example, I found only one photograph of Lee Gahimer and one photograph of Charlie Ransom… they went in. We both felt that it was important to give as many skaters as we could, the recognition and respect they deserve. We did exactly that.

William Sharp

William Sharp

About a year into the process, I was doing the section on Mondo’s pool. I never could pinpoint where Mondo’s pool actually was. Some of the best images from Skateboard World magazine were shot there. The iconic Jay Smith lapover photograph comes immediately to mind. It was Scotch taped to my bedroom door in Pennsylvania.

 

The Sharp archive was filled with great photographs from Mondo’s. Eventually, I found the pool. I drove out in the summer of 2013. The house was in pretty good shape. A high wall surrounded the property. I had to go in via the front door. I knocked on the security gate. A woman’s voice answered, “Yes?” My reply… “I know that this is going to sound crazy…” With laptop in hand, I began telling her about the pool’s history. Silence. A metal clank. The gate opened. The owner introduced herself and looked at the photographs. Fascination. “Whoa…  it actually is this house.” She was intrigued by the whole thing. I asked if there was any way I could see the pool. “It doesn’t look like that anymore.” She replied, pointing at my computer screen. My heart sank. I followed her into the yard.

Mondo's now

Mondo’s now

A slate top deck had replaced the famous Blue Haven bullnose coping and there was a huge jacuzzi in the shallow end cup. It didn’t matter. I walked around in awe anyway. I was standing at Mondo’s. I ran my hands along the top of the pool just below the tiles of the hip. Jay Smith’s spot. The owner just looked at me in amusement. The transitions could still be seen under the water. Amazing. Mellow. It was a very wide bowl. No wonder so much was done here. I thanked them and went on my way. I’m grateful to have been there. The William Sharp book  ‘Back In The Day’ is completed. We are getting ready to shop it around and put it out. Mondo’s is just one of many pools that are included. I’ll keep you updated as to its release. Thank you to William Sharp for the Jay Smith image. Skate- Ozzie