Back In The Day / Kent Senatore

Kent Senatore

“I’m not one to promote things, but a book full of previously unpublished skateboarding photos doesn’t come along often. In fact, I can’t remember another book full of unpublished skateboarding images, especially when it comes to the golden days of skateboarding history, can you?”

“Yes, there’s been a lot of great skateboarding books published in recent years which were mostly comprised of photos that have been published over and over again, and rightly so, because they’re iconic images. I’d be happy to look through a book full of those previously published images too, “but yeah… a book full of unpublished William Sharp photos of all our heroes and brothers from back in the day with stories about the friendships, the epic sessions, and the pools, parks and pipes?”

Kent Senatore

“Come on, seriously? Don’t forget the contests, and the rivalries. The words come from interviews with the legends themselves.  The forward was written by the infamous Jerry Valdez, and chapter prefaces written by Ozzie Ausband. Truly, this is something special, unlike any of the books we’ve seen yet, and I don’t know about you, but I’m frothing!”

If you haven’t already pre-ordered, you should, here’s a link to get you there- BACK IN THE DAY

Back in the Day will be in the warehouse the first week of December and we are expecting to begin shipping directly. William and I will be having Guest Posts from several of the legendary skateboarders in this book and I’ll be posting them up during the next few weeks. Thank you for the support. – Ozzie

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Christian Hosoi

Birthday Blaster

I never saw Christian Hosoi in person when he was a little skate rat. I was skating on the east coast or in the military. I think that the first time I saw anything about him was the Ted Terrebonne photograph of him doing a frontside ollie at Marina. He was tiny. I got to see him often enough during the mid eighties during the Virginia Beach contests at Mt. Trashmore. He was already larger than life… He went higher than everyone else and it seemed to me that he was only getting better each time I saw him. I got to know him personally when he came to Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania. He was charming, charismatic and always smiling. He was constantly surrounded by a posse of admirers. It was amazing to ride with him because he would yell and shout for everyone skating in the session. He raised the bar with his skating and his attitude and good vibes.

Rumors always circulated about his generosity and crazy lifestyle. I heard that one night his friends were partying hard at his house and they got a phone call that the North Shore was cranking. Christian wanted to surf and so did his friends. He got on the phone and bought everyone tickets to Hawaii and they all ended up surfing together that following weekend… It almost doesn’t matter if it is a true story or not. It should be a true story. Crazy rumors about his life have always existed. Legendary.

Eric Dressen

Tristan Rennie

Bucky Lasek / Christian Hosoi

I didn’t see him for a long time and once I moved back to California, I caught up with him again at the Vans Combi contest in 2010. Christian had changed… in some ways. His confidence, style and powerful fluid skateboarding were obviously still evident. When one has so much raw natural talent, it is something not easily shed. Christian’s joie de vivre was the same as it had always been… but he was a bit more serious. Focused. Changes in his life had led him to darkness and back again. John Milton wrote – “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” Christian Hosoi has traveled along that buckled and broken asphalt. Men that have wandered such pathways, often leave a portion of their soul behind. For Christian, this is not the case. He is light. Divine purpose. He has the courage of his convictions… It is marvelous. Christian holds hope in the palm of his hand and he wants to share it with everyone.

Mofo / Drunk Injuns

Chuck Hults / Salba Powerflex 5

TSOL

His fiftieth birthday was celebrated last night at the Vans Combi pool. Drunk Injuns, Powerflex 5 and TSOL all played heavy sets. Mofo was on fire and it was good to see. Chuck Hults lent his dynamic presence to Powerflex 5 and Salba was full throttle. The music was extraordinary. Pops Hosoi created some artworks on site and Steve Van Doren held a BBQ and also floated a huge wad of cash as Christian blasted airs over some onlookers below. It was a great celebration for a great soul.

Pops Hosoi artwork

Pops Hosoi artwork

Christian Hosoi rises above it.

Steve Van Doren / Christian Hosoi / Currency

Skateboarding is lucky to have Christian Hosoi and his positive influence. Thank you to Vans for hosting the event and thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

Christian shares his experience, strength and hope

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We Could Have Been Beautiful

Lance Mountain

“We could have been beautiful.” I listened as the line went dead. “What the hell do you mean?” I asked the now dead phone line… Cryptic as always. I put the phone on the table and looked out of the window. I knew exactly what she had meant. Alcohol had chewed up any traces of honesty left in my veins and I walked through life in a shadowy realm of deception and obfuscation. I was always jogging ahead of everyone covering my tracks. Fear. Lies covering my handicaps. I poured some coffee and got mad at her. I threw things around my kitchen. “Bitch!” Exhausting my anger and self-loathing, I sat back and cried. The half empty bottle of vodka on the counter mocked me. Its curved lip grinned in disdain. I was nothing and it was everything. I pulled myself up and began cleaning up the mess I had made. “We could have been beautiful.” She was right…

Beautiful

Thank you to Arto Saari and MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

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Scott Foss / Back in the Day

Scott Foss Upland Combi

Scott Foss

“I’ve never seen this shot before. I’ve only seen the later version that was in SkateBoarder Magazine.  I had never skated Upland before and we had arrived late Friday night.  I only had the Saturday morning practice sessions to get ready for a contest in the biggest, most intimidating pool I’d ever seen. I’m pretty certain this would have been shot Saturday morning during one of my first and only practice runs. From the sun angle it’s obviously early and I’m sure from the standard frontside air that it was Saturday … I had changed to double-grab by the finals on Sunday.  During the prelims on Saturday (sometime not long after this shot) I had spontaneously decided to try a double-grab during my run in the contest, not a great competition strategy but that’s the way I’ve always skated and always will … just fuckin charge. I’d never done them before but luckily I pulled it because I was not going to bail … I thought I could fly so I did. Peace” – Scott Foss 
Thank you to Scott Foss for the words and memories. Our book BACK IN THE DAY will be in the warehouse in early December. I’ll be posting information as I get it from GINGKO PRESS. Thank you to William Sharp for the image. Skate – Ozzie
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Frontier

They came in waves. The barrel of the machine gun was hot. Steady left to right. “Choose your targets…  Don’t waste any rounds.” I barely had time to look over my shoulder. Castaneda was surgical with his AR15. I watched as a roaring face pulled itself over the crumbling cinder block wall of the outer perimeter. Its eyes glimmered and it moved way too fast for a human… once human. No one knew what they were now. Castaneda’s AR15 jumped and it lay twitching in red ruin. They came in waves. I slammed a fresh magazine in and kept at it… burning eyes, gnashing teeth. Smoke and death. How the fuck do you kill something twice?! How does something come back to life? I pondered these maddening questions as I removed the arm from one of them in a welter of gore…  “Shit.” It crawled towards me, howling furiously… one arm dragging itself. I put one through its head and a torrent of blood splattered the window edge. “Jesus…”

It went this way forever. Magazine after magazine. Blood oozed from a million wounds and I heard them clawing at the roof and beams. “They’ve worked their way behind us! Dude… watch our back!” Castaneda moved quickly. I heard him behind me in another part of the building. Boom! Boom! His twelve gauge Mossberg was speaking. That thing sure made a mess of them. Castaneda shot one in the face a few hours ago and it literally stumbled around for a few minutes without a head… if I hadn’t been so completely disgusted at the sight, I would’ve laughed. It was almost comical. A lull. They stopped coming. “Drink some water.” Castaneda threw a bottle to me as he moved up beside me. “I’ll watch.” He pulled a large box nearer and removed more ammo. “Fucking things…” Our eyes met. We were both growing weary. I had to get a grip on myself from time to time. Insanity slipped its fingers under my skin. I heard voices whispering to me… It had seemed like days. At first it was almost unbelievable. I watched as one of them moved up slowly behind a woman on a bus and bite her. “It couldn’t be?!” I stood frozen… “What the…?”

She screamed. A fountain of blood jumped from where her shoulder once was. It splashed the roof and those seated nearby. They shrunk back horrified. It quickly became madness. It stayed that way and here they were. Castaneda was inside of a gun shop when I broke down the back door to give myself a fighting chance. I needed firepower. He stood there pointing a sidearm and looking at me… “Hey dude. Lower that thing. I think we are thinking the same thing. He looked closer. “You know what the fuck is going on?” He growled, as he lowered his pistol. “No idea. None. I saw one of those things bite a woman’s shoulder off and figured that I’d seen enough. Their teeth grow! Did you know that? That thing’s teeth were four or five inches long…” He shook his head in the negative and pointed to the open door behind him. “Lots of stuff in there. Stock up.” My name is Castaneda. I’m a cop…   well, I was a cop. I looked at him over my shoulder. He had a blank expression on his face. It was one I’d seen before. When you suddenly realize nothing will ever be the same as it once was. I started shoving ammo into a huge backpack. “My name is Ozzie. Let’s see if we can figure a way out of the city.”

We’d been together ever since. Castaneda watched my back and I watched his. We didn’t run into too many people and when we did, we didn’t want them around us. Panic-stricken, noisy, running, ill-prepared, slow, soft and weak. I don’t think we slept longer than thirty minutes at a time. Daylight seemed to filter into one long, gray nightmare. Things burned redly and the sky was the color of dull metal. They came in waves. If we were quiet enough, they’d root around the building and continue on. Where they were going or where they came from, we didn’t know. They were attracted by the gunfire so we tried to stay quiet. Ghosts. Invisible. Castaneda was peering over the window ledge. I smelled skin cooking. Nauseating. He shouted horsely and pointed… several of them were crawling over the block wall. Tattered clothing hanging down. Rivulets of hair lank and clotted with blood and dirt. Eyes burning. Red-rimmed. They came. We fired and fired.

I found myself shrieking incoherently as one landed on top of me as it got inside the building. It smelled horrible. Feces, urine, blood. I tore out my Gerber knife. I stabbed it in the face and neck. It clawed at me. “Jesus Christ…!”  Rolling in the dirt. My blood thrummed in my veins. “Fucker! I twisted its arm underneath it and stabbed and stabbed…. “FUUUCK” Brutality. Castaneda was screaming and shooting. I felt its fingernails rake my face. Blood poured out of me. I threw the thing off of me and it scurried like an animal and quickly pinned me down again. Blood, warm and copper-smelling was everywhere. I was slippery and my eyes were swollen… I clawed and fought that fucker with everything I had. I saw its head go back and its teeth extended. Time crawled. Nothing moved. I couldn’t speak as the flashing white teeth arced towards my neck and face. Hate filled my heart. I was poison. All I stood for was lost… it lifted my face up and bit again. Pain stomped across my brain in giant black boots. It held me against its neck and swallowed. It groaned in ecstacy. I woke up. Sweat-soaked. The sheets were a tangle around my legs. Desperate. “Jesus Christ!” The coffee pot had started on automatic and it gurgled wetly. I rubbed my eyes and — for a moment — I could still smell those things. My skin crawled. I sat up. My pulse hummed… I felt the cool floor under my feet as I moved to the bathroom.

Tony Alva, Rick Stine and Lance Mountain

Tony Alva

Lance Mountain

I soon checked my phone. Messages. Things were beginning to feel normal again inside my head. “Ahhh, this I understand.” Skateboarding. Familiar ground. My bad side burned itself slowly out. The past came to haunt me. I sipped coffee and read the text and looked at the photographs. It seems like the crew found a new pool. I shook my head to rid it of the lingering images from last night and slowly got dressed.  Skate- Ozzie

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Pilgrimage

Howie, Rick, Gopa, Shawn, Henry

“If you’re a skateboarder… you should make a pilgrimage to Mt. Baldy.”  Steve Alba said it and — for once — I am in full agreement with him.  A few of the crew had never been there and rode the concrete cylinder. Last week we were texting back and forth and the topic came up. It was quickly a sealed deal. We were going during the weekend and so it was. This morning the sky was steely. We left Hollywood and drove east. The rest of the crew came in and met us at the base of the spillway. We made the walk in. Howie, Gopa, Ripperside Shawn, Henry Matus and Rick Stine.

 

On arrival, there was no plank. A few didn’t want to make the jump. Old bones, older injuries…  Howie and I left to go to a lumber yard. Leaving the neighborhood, we spotted an old pile of lumber at an abandoned lot. Problem solved. We marched back and in less time than it takes to tell it, we were rolling and laughing.

Ripperside Shawn

Howie

Rick Stine

Gopa

There are some things that cannot be explained. How do forty and fifty year old men explain the feeling of absolute happiness that burns through our blood streams when riding a huge concrete pipe or a new pool? How can we understand the inner compulsion that drives us through so much adversity… pain, injuries, lawlessness, social stigma? We can’t even explain it to ourselves. I don’t understand why I do what I do except to say that it is fulfilling beyond anything else in my life. While my contemporaries watch TV and live life through others actions, my friends and I are participating in our own… viscerally. In the gut. In the bones. Happiness.

Thank you Shawn, Gopa, Howie, Rick and Henry. That was truly fun. X Ozzie

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Unchanged

Punker Matt doubles up

We do this thing we do. It occupies our thinking. It is drug-like in its persistence. Responsibilities gnaw at us like a festering wound. We carry these on slumped shoulders. Shoulders that carry a long tortured road of hurt. Broken words, friendships and promises. To us and from us. It goes both ways. Shoulders attached to backs of worn muscle and degenerating bone and cartilage. Joints that have been bent and broken. Our future will remain unchanged. We couldn’t turn it all around if we wanted to. We are skateboarders.

Kevin Burke

Texas Dan

I stood at the Combi contest a year or two ago and noted how old we are getting. Collectively. Gray beards, thick waists, slumped shoulders… We walk slowly and some limp. I saw a certain legendary pro skater amble in. He looked as if he’d have a hard time finding a seat in the bleachers, let alone, ride a skateboard. Yet, once he rolled into the huge Combi bowl, he moved like one born to it. Flow and grace. Savage fucking beauty man… He skates better than he walks.

Mike Smolik

I know that some of these guys are one in two billion. They were special when they were young and they remain so. Their bodies can barely contain their unique abilities… and so it goes. The joints inflame, the muscles ache and we won’t change. Why should we? We know something and own something others completely missed out on. I’m glad they did. Skateboarding is ours and it is us. Thank you to Joe Hammeke for the images. Skate – Ozzie

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