I don’t care what is normal.

Dave Hackett- "Gates of steel."

In the spring of 1979, I pushed on the swinging aluminum doors that separated the pro shop from the riding area, leading into Cherry Hill skate park. Immediately, I knew that I was home. I said it before and -gladly- say it again, “It was like sliding into a woman for the first time.” Up until that point, I was aware of my pariah status in the small farmland community where I lived. I knew I was a polar opposite of those around me. I felt disconnected & ill at ease in every way. A monument to ineptitude, I couldn’t catch a baseball. But when I stood on a skateboard, I found what I was intended to do. At Cherry Hill, I found a building full of misfits just like me! I will never forget the moment that I pushed open those silver doors & heard ‘Devo’ on the speakers in the park. The song, ‘Gates of steel’, throbbed across the skate park & the smell of concrete, Lysol & urethane overwhelmed. I knew then, that I would ride my skateboard for life. My skateboard never ridiculed me, never called me names, never struck back in anger & was-forever- there when nobody else was. It never let me down. It gave me hours of fun & helped me to overcome insecurity & fear. At 46 years old, I continue to skate & wave my middle finger at the world. I refuse to care what is normal. Thank you to Dave Hackett for the image of him in ‘Devo’ mode. Wynn Miller photograph. Skate FOREVER!-Ozzie



4 thoughts on “I don’t care what is normal.

  1. i always thought we were normal and the rest of the world was abnormal i guess skaters are ahead of the times as it should be

  2. i grew up in Elizabeth Louisiana (google it) i was the only skateboarder, the ONLY! built my ramp and people wanted to know what kind of boat we were building, skateboarding was the only thing i wanted to do, growing up there wasn’t easy, i didn’t have friends with similar interest, the closest big towns were miles away Alexandria, Lafayette or Lake Charles. back then if i went to one of those places and i saw a kid wearing vans we’d know that each other skated and if we didn’t strike up a conversation there was a nod of recognition, in Louisiana in the 80s there weren’t nearly as many skateboarders as now, now skateboarding IS normal, it’s everywhere! parks are getting built, fuel tv has it, you cannot escape it, and it’s funny how i remember feeling like an outsider back then and how exciting it was to see a skateshirt in a crowd. how i miss those days now….. FUCK NORMAL

  3. Digging your site daily!! This shot of Hackett is forcing me to bust out some full-blown, double-axle frontside carve grinds while in Cali this next week.
    I always puss out, carving at tiles, just skirting the coping when I carve frontside.
    Seeing this shot today is an epiphany: think DEVO!!!
    Thanks Ozzie!

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