Brad Bowman / Guest Post II

Brad Bowman

Brad Bowman

Salad Days

We all have them. It’s a part of life every human must go through on our journey forward. Although as we’re doing it, we usually have no idea where we shall end up.  It is these formative years that we can hold dearest to our hearts for no other reason than we did things for the sake of love and passion. Having something we are passionate about at a young age seems to be on the outs in our new, digital robotic generation. With all information given (practically force fed by advertisements and social media) rather than earned. Where are we headed as a species? Only time will tell.

For a lucky group of us outsiders, loners, rebels, misfits- there was a magic rolling board that captivated our imagination. Because of this board we were taken out of our comfort zone. We were shown new people in towns that had differing holes in the ground covered in beautiful smooth cement.  We sometimes feared and adored laboring to find our personal patterns in which to paint, invisibly, the walls with our wheels.  Like most, I always had to rely on my older friends with cars to get me around. Guys like Peter Gullah, Stan & William Sharp, my neighbor Brian, Pinto Pete (who dared the two hour drive to Carslbad with four wound-up skate rats in his seats food fighting and spit warring). If we were lucky or excelled-we were given equipment.  In that era of natural progression things were moving quite rapidly and some manufacturers were often slow to stay on point with the trends.

The current Pro’s of the day were the ones to have the latest and greatest equipment that had just come from the factory. I was blessed by the generosity of Pro’s on several occasions during my salad days and even in my sponsored times as well.
As a high school local at SkaterCross in Reseda, California I was witness to the skateboard elite coming through the doors. Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, Jay Adams, etc.
Lonnie Toft from Sims was a regular. One fine day he bestowed upon me a set of shiny new wheels (with bearings!) Months later on another lucky day Gregg Ayres gave up a set of gently used Tunnel Rock wheels. I was riding Sims Comps at the time, the ones Lonnie had given me. The Sims had the white writing on the flat back of the wheel. These new Tunnel ones looked just like them or very similar but with no logo. I exited the pro shop after mounting up these new, harder wheels to find an astonishing speedy glide to them. My lap times around the snaking circuit was immediately cut by twenty percent. What? How? They look the same!

 

Brad Bowman

Brad Bowman

I was amazed at how much faster these were than anything I had ever ridden before. A similar thing happened with the skate deck in this photo here. Yes, I am proudly bedecked in my first pro teams logos and colors of Gordon & Smith.  That’s just smoke and mirrors. The wheels are the very Tunnel’s given to me by that generous pro at SkaterCross.  The deck is a Val Surf PPP Kent Senatore model that Kent gave me after weeks of my craving one. Looking at this gift in my hands, it didn’t matter that he had already ridden it for weeks-I was psyched! It carries a certain pride with it actually being ridden by the name printed on the bottom. Kent would show up and just destroy the walls with stylish lines on his latest prototype decks. My trusty, splintered G & S Fibreflex’s were no longer at par in those fast paced moments of progression. One weekend I took the two hour bus/skate journey to Val Surf to buy a brand new PPP deck only to find they were sold out and on back order. Wow, there goes four hours and seventy-five cents for nothing. Life lessons. Painful yet memorable.

These moments make us who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow. Plus, it shows you how well that PPP deck rode since I was willing to shell out bucks for my friends pro model while getting free stuff from the G & S factory.  I always hold those generous people in the highest regard whom have helped me along my journey. Never forgotten. Pay it forward. Many thanks to Blue Tile Obsession for allowing me to share the stoke and stories. Thanks to G. E. Friedman for exposing some frames on me and these unpublished images. Also, big thanks to all those generous humans that have shown me some love along my journey. Skate for life.  B.B.

Thank you to Brad Bowman for the words and Glen E. Friedman for the images. Skate – Ozzie

For more of Glen E. Friedman- BURNING FLAGS

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Dennis Martinez / Guest Post

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Dennis Martinez

Wow! This photograph takes me back to the summer of 1978 at Skateboard Heaven in Spring Valley, California. It was the time in which everyone was making the move from narrow to wide boards. The evolution of skateboard decks was happening. Pineapple and I were sharing the G&S Team Rider board, but once the wider boards were developed and proven to be better, all skaters immediately switched over. What’s crazy about this photograph is that I’ve always been a strong believer in safety equipment. I can’t recall too many photographs of me riding without any safety equipment at all. So to me, this is a very rare image captured by Glen Friedman at Spring Valley. No pads, no helmet, tongue out… I’m digging the SkateBoarder Magazine head band too. Can you guess I was aiming for a shot in the magazine?

Thank you to Dennis Martinez for the words and Glen E. Friedman for the image. Skate – Ozzie

For more of Glen E. Friedman’s work and books : BURNING FLAGS PRESS

Luke Moore / Guest Post

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Luke Moore
Flashback. This is the only photograph that I have of that ramp. I built the ramp in 1977 and skated it for about two years. This photograph is from the day that Glen shot the images for my Who’s Hot in the magazine. Glen stopped by my house with ‘Woody’ (John Woodstock) and we took a few runs on the ramp and then headed out to south Hampton and skated the pool. All of these years, I knew Glen had some shots of my ramp. At one point,  I was pulling airs two feet out of this ramp with no problem. The ramp was in my back yard in west Hampton and it was close to fifteen feet high and it actually was pushed to over vert. I worked out on that ramp every day.  I think that this is why I was able to get a foot out of the three quarter pipe at Cherry Hill Skate Park on my first time skating there. This brings back great memories.
Thank you to Luke Moore for the memories and Glen E. Friedman for the image. Skate – Ozzie
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Rain Day

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We planned a big day out with the Powell Peralta crew. Deville Nunes lined up Charlie Blair, Brad McClain and Landon Belcher and my group of social misfits lined up a brand new Rossmore kidney pool. We drained it the morning of the session and the initial carve through seemed promising. We were excited to find new lines and discover exactly what this Sunset Rossmore had to offer. At the planned hour, the crew showed up and started skating.

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Brad McClain

Brad McClain

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The weather was looking pretty grim and cloudy. We remained hopeful. Within minutes of beginning the session, the sky turned loose on us. Rain fell in cold wet sheets and we all scurried underneath the porch roof, hoping to wait it out… Charlie had just started skating as he was the last to arrive. He decided that a little rain wasn’t going to dampen his spirits. He simply kept riding. We were baffled.

Charlie Blair

Charlie Blair

Landon Belcher

Landon Belcher

Most of the time, a pool can’t be ridden if it gets wet. Sometimes, the rough plaster is grippy enough, but most skaters will wait for a drier day. Not Charlie. Landon jumped in as well. The rest is history. These dudes ripped it up in a full downpour and I haven’t ever seen anything like it. The video clip is proof enough. George Powell’s new Flight deck technology was put to the test and truly measures up as an engineering marvel. Check out the video. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

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Gratitude / Thanksgiving

Me, Rick Stine, Ray Zimmerman and Ray Barbee

Me, Rick Stine, Ray Zimmerman and Ray Barbee

I write about gratitude often. I never gave the idea of being grateful much thought at all. Sure, I’d thank people if they gave me something or helped me. I wasn’t rude… but I’m talking about gratitude with a deeper meaning. I’m happy to wake up every morning. There was one time in 2002 when I woke up in an Emergency Room with an oxygen mask on my face. I had been dreaming I was Darth Vader… heavy breathing and sweating. It turns out, I had taken too much of whatever it was that I was taking and washing it down with whatever I could swallow fast enough to leave this stone in space… I sat up on the gurney and looked around, my sticky eyes trying to focus. I saw my hospital co-workers looking at me, some in pity and some, in disgust. I overdosed and woke up in my own E.R. where I worked as a nurse. “How the Hell did it come to this?” Did I learn? Hard question. Not for awhile longer. I got to the bottom of the hole, pulled out a shovel and dug a little deeper. I eventually hurt enough that I asked for the help I desperately needed. It came. It cost.

Me

Me

Ray Barbee, Rick Stine and me

Ray Barbee, Rick Stine and me

Rick Stine

Rick Stine

I’ve had a psychic change. I have changed the way I think. I live in gratitude now. I’m even grateful to the idiots that walk through life around me sometimes… We’ve all seen them. You know the people I’m talking about? Just look at this previous election. Plenty of examples there, I’d say. I’m even grateful to them… a negative example can be just as powerful and instructive as a positive one. What I’m getting at is this: I try to live in gratitude everyday. Simple things. Beauty, life, love, food, friendship…  all of these things become so much more, when you’ve almost lost it all. Today, I worked hard and met a few friends for an hour of pool riding. We were laughing and pushing each other a little. The sky grew darker towards evening and the sunset signed off on our day. It made me feel peace… I’m happy to have such a thing. I’m extremely grateful to have skateboarding and to be able to share it with my friends and all of you out there. Happy holiday. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

 

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After Eloise

Chris Livingston

Chris Livingston

“The mail is addressed to Eloise Delgado. There sure is a ton of it.” The young man put the mail back into the mailbox and moved along the sidewalk. The skateboarders walked quietly up the alleyway behind the property. This was their second pool of the day and they marveled at how Hollywood always gave up something. They had ridden so many pools in the Los Angeles area. They looked over the wall. One of them went over and checked the house. He came back smiling. “Empty”  The pool sat there. Steady. Sure. A Blue Haven giant from a better time. The blue tiles were a promise… One by one, they pulled themselves over and into the yard. They quickly cleaned the pool and took some runs. The world and its problems were quickly swept away.

BLKPRJKT

BLKPRJKT

Brad McClain

Brad McClain

Rick Stine

Rick Stine

One of them sat on the stairs and wondered at the strangeness of it all. Eloise. Who was this woman? Where was she now? Questions. He looked over at the porch by the backdoor. An old wrought iron cross hung beside the back window. Jesus Christ hung there, looking out at him. Was he a constant reminder to tow the line? Eternal life? Who wanted that? The skateboarder shrugged. An old terra cotta pot sat on the steps covered in cobwebs, and a limp aloe stubbornly hung onto hope… The skater walked over and turned the spigot on. A trickle of water remained in the pipes. He watered the little tenacious plant. Whoever she was, Eloise was gone, but her spirit somehow remained. The skateboarders rode, the parched aloe drank deeply and the iron Jesus stood in mute testimony to the end of all things that were.

Thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

 

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Eloise

 

San Fernando

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you? – Leonard Cohen

She sat quietly. The radio sang old songs to her. Songs that moved in her. Melodies from the hot summer of 1952. He had met her right after returning from World War II. Scarred skin. Torn within. He was dark flashing eyes and teeth. A smile that didn’t end. Wet mouth parted in welcome. “My name is David…” Her last memory of any words. He was perfection in shoes. She would watch him that summer. His long fingers moved and pointed as he tried to explain the world outside of the San Fernando Valley. “What did you say?” She shyly asked. He’d look at her. Laughter on his lips. “Haven’t you been listening? You… my daydreamer.” He called her that often. “Daydreamer.” It was true. As fitting a nickname as could be fashioned. She thought things she’d never thought. Home. Family. Cooking meals for him… She felt herself tighten in her stomach. Warmth. Summer moved to winter and they still held court together in the cafes around town. Cold beer bottles in plastic buckets of ice and tacos were a regular date night. They didn’t have much and needed less. They’d end the night in the car holding hands. Radio. Droning. A love song to quicken the flame that seemed to burn so bright. Sometimes, his hands moved across her skin in frenzied motion. Mouth open. Fingers clenched. They’d soon love and she let it go… her naivete and youthful flower.

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He married her then. Van Nuys was their first home. Their dusty radio still held forth. His past in Europe during the war was a closed passage for him with no door visible for her. She didn’t pry. When he’d wake up and stare into the long cold night, she’d touch his arm softly. She’d hum the old tunes… he’d calm and quiet himself once again. Decades moved as they always will. The Buddha said, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Their time was quickly rendered unmanageable with the arrival of three children in succession, his new job in the steelworks in Los Angeles and the new home they bought. It had a huge pool in the backyard and the children spent most days splashing and avoiding the San Fernando Valley heat. It was paradise. She watched the children through the back window. They swam. Friends were over. “My, they are growing up fast…” She mumbled to herself and stirred the iced mint tea in the big plastic pitcher. She stepped out onto the backporch and squinted into the sun. She called out for her husband to join them by the pool. “David”.

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The woman awoke in the living room. The house was still. She rubbed her eyes and moved a stray strand of hair from her cheek. Somewhere, the faint sound of music reached her. Pulling herself up from the chair, she slowly moved into the kitchen. Dreaming. She had been… there were no more children in the home. Her beloved David had gone to join the Lord several years ago. She put a tea pot on the stove and looked out into the backyard.

Rick Stine

Rick Stine

John Zask

John Zask

Howie

Howie Dugan

Omar Hassan

Omar Hassan

The pool sat empty. It was cracked and sun-blistered. It was too expensive to keep filled and there was a leak in the pipes somewhere. The yard was overgrown. She couldn’t keep up with it anymore. After making tea, she sat back in the living room. She read the Bible. Prayer. The radio still haunted her. The songs took her back. They always did. She figured it was this way for most people. It isn’t necessarily the music or lyrics that hold the meaning, it is the people we assign to those songs and the times we are transported to that make them special. She sat in her chair and waited. It is what she did. “David” she murmured.

Jeff Grosso

Jeff Grosso

Arto Saari

Arto Saari

Thank you to Eloise for the time together. Thank you to Rick Stine. Ruling it. Thank you to my real friends and for helping me with what I do. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie

Me

Me

 

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