A year or so ago, I drove up to Los Angeles & met with TA to go hang out and skate. He told me that Mike Early was coming along with Jeff Tatum. I asked, “Jeff Tatum of the Kona Bowl in San Diego?” TA nodded in the affirmative. Awhile later, we drove through Los Angeles from the Alva shop in Little Ethiopia, over through Beverly Hills.
We drove alleys and side streets, with TA keeping up a running dialogue on past pools he had ridden throughout the area. He told me that the huge ‘Keyhole’ pool, many OG Dogtown skaters rode in the 1970s, was located here. “The last time I rode the ‘Keyhole’, Dave Hackett & I rode our bikes up the alley & climbed over the back wall. It was in the mid 80s. Back then, you could get away with climbing over a wall. Now, they have armed response & you go straight to jail. Ozzie, that pool was perfect!”
There is a famous photograph of TA doing a BS micro edger in a pool. He is looking straight at the camera & holding up his middle finger. TA told me that the pool was in Beverly Hills as well. He said, “The estates here had huge yards & the pools were all built in the 1940s & 1950s. Almost all the pools we found in Beverly Hills, during the drought, were great.” TA was referring to the drought of the early 1970s, when pool skating really started for him & the Z boys.
I just grinned & imagined finding a huge keyhole pool someday. If you are going to dream…dream big! We pulled off at a side street & sat in his truck listening to reggae music. Mike Early pulled in behind us shortly, and we climbed out, grabbed our gear, and quickly cut down an alley nearby. We couldn’t see in any yards. The walls were 15 feet in height. TA stopped at a gate. We pushed our way through the wooden door.
Inside, there was a huge square pool, bone dry & glittering in the sun. We swept it down & rode -undisturbed-for an hour. It was great to be riding with all these guys. We grinded, pulled edgers & a few airs…everyone was stoked & smiling. We were ‘in the moment’. Sunshine, skating, rolling & weightlessness. Some days you remember forever. Perfect days. This was one of them. Skate & be ‘in the moment’.-Ozzie