I met Andy @ the Bricktown, New Jersey Pro/Am skate contest in 1991 or 1992. I was a judge for the contest & later learned that he had been getting ‘ripped off’ in his last few contests …as usual. He was tearing the spine ramp into small easily-digestible pieces & ruling it over Tony Hawk & several other notables. To the consternation of the ‘image-conscious’, he was wearing a Jay Adams Flyaway helmet & had flat-spotted wheels. Every time he landed an air over the spine it would make that loud peculiar sound- frump! frump! as he pumped up the opposite ramp trannies.
We became fast friends & over the ensuing years, spent many summers together at Woodward camp in Pennsylvania. He helped me as my assistant one summer after he fractured his leg. I still have vivid memories of him hobbling around on crutches trying to keep up with me…Andy moved to San Diego in 1992 – I think it was. He took a job wearing a Shamu suit at Seaworld, lived in cockroach -infested apartments & ate free food samples at the grocery stores just to get by.
Andy always had time to be a good friend. He is the most positive person that I have ever met. When I moved to California in October 1997, Andy flew to Pennsylvania to ride out with me. We threw all my books, a few clothes, and some skate gear into my 1971 BMW 2002, then cruised our way to San Diego. The next year, Andy won the X-games vert contest & just about every other major contest out there. He accumulated substantial monetary compensation as well and bought a great house where a bunch of his pool pals moved with him.
Powell had the insight to put him on the pro team & it has remained a great decision for them. When Andy wasn’t travelling, we would head out to the Badlands to ride backyard pools with Salba. Preston & Rhino, Bacon, Steve Roche & others, would all make the long drive up the I-15 from Pt. Loma to ride backyards. In 1998, JGrant Brittain, Andy & myself, drove out to Joshua Tree and the Nude Bowl to shoot photographs. It was a stellar weekend. The photographs are from that time. Andy took me to my first backyard pools in California & I owe him a debt that I cannot possibly repay. We had a falling out a few years back. I lost a really good friend. Thanks to JGrant Brittain for the great photographs. Treat your friends well. Skate-Ozzie