Saturday morning, I awoke early-as usual- and gathered my board & pads. I grabbed a quick coffee & ‘Powerbar’, then headed west on the 210 towards Pasadena. Traffic was minimal & I found myself in Studio City in a bit over an hour. I met up with Tony Alva & we hit an AA meeting. We then drove over to his house, grabbed his gear & headed over to Pedlow park to cruise a few runs. The pool is big & mellow; very wide open. I put my knee pads & helmet on, then pushed around the deck to the deep end. TA was being ‘sort -of’ bombarded, with people wanting to say ‘Hi” & get autographs…I left him to deal with that stuff. I dropped into the pool in the deep end, cruised the shallow, hit the right side wall, frontside grinded, then proceeded to get a ‘wheelbite’ and immediately received the beatdown. I landed on the pool bottom, elbow & hip first. Crunch! I was in shock. My body wouldn’t even function for a few seconds. I slam hard, I will tell you all…I really can ‘take one for the team’. However, this was completely a mind screw. I was flowing & all was right with the world, then BLAM! I slowly walked out & sat down. TA was only just putting his helmet on, thats how fast it occurred. I ended up obtaining ice within an hour, when TA and I stopped for some fish tacos. My arm looks grotesque & deformed. It truly is the worst ‘swellbow’ I have ever had. So, here I am, trying to type out my absurd stories of falling & failing through life…so you can just sit there, reading & laughing at my continued physical self-abuse. Thank you for reading. I suck. Thanks to MRZ for the images of skaters riding the park appropriately & doing a damn fine job. Skate-Ozzie
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
“It is the surmounting of difficulties that make heroes.”-Louis Kossoth. I read this quote one day recently. I was reminded of Jeff Grosso. I had skated Combi pool & ‘Ridiculous’ the other weekend with him. I asked him about his skating & he told me that he had recently started riding again. He had been off his board for almost a year. He was injured, you see? Now, I’m 46 years old, and I know how difficult injuries are to overcome. Jeff is younger than I, but if he was off his board for almost a year, I knew his return was probably arduous…a difficult path to be sure. He rode Combi pool, with power, speed & style. Jeff was very approachable & mellow. He seemed happy to be riding his skateboard. It was inspiring to see him with Salba, Lance & Omar. Four pool riding greats under one roof. Inspiration. Thanks to Ray Zimmerman for the image. Go out & destroy some coping this weekend. -Ozzie
To be soulful. Surfers speak of it often. I have been told that when a person is surfing, they feel as though they are a part of the ocean; at one with nature. It stirs something within them and makes them feel complete & at peace. Time ceases to exist. It is only them & the ocean. All life has come full circle. I think that this is probably true as well with skateboarding. Maybe, I don’t have the moving, rolling green sea around me, but the feelings that skating evokes, are the same. I am one in the moment–complete. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the ‘Soulbowl’ image. Go skate & escape. -Ozzie
Riverside Shawn works in construction. He found this filthy little nugget on a Tuesday. By Friday, He & Ed had the water out of it. I received a phone call early Sunday morning from Salba. “Where are you?” I told him what was going on & he directed me to meet up with him and, “….bring buckets & gloves dude.” Myself, Ed & Shawn drove over & started pulling debris out of this ghetto ‘Blue Haven’ with Salba , Billy & Adam.
This boarded-up, abandoned disaster was right out of the ‘California Apocalypse’. You cannot fathom just how filthy this pool was! The meth-heads & squatters had pulled the copper & innards out of every single appliance in the area, throwing it into the pool. There were wires, diapers, concrete slabs from the ‘cool deck’, bottles, cans, tires, ‘tupperware’ containers of rotting food & bloated disintegrating “somethings” in the black water. It was a tangled profusion of detritus. I would pull on a snarl of wire & debris, and muck would fly all over the place. We gave up, trying to stay remotely disease-free.
It was going to be one of those days. I heard a noise & looking up, saw Tony Trujillo, Rick Charnoski & Peter Hewitt saunter into the backyard. Peter Hewitt took one hard look at the pool & quipped, “I don’t think you want to fall while skating in there.” Salba directed everyone, tasks were handled & slowly the pool became clean. Adam 12 & Sean Mazza, borrowed buckets of clean water from a neighbor. We washed it down & everyone removed their shirts to ‘fan-dry’ the pool.
The blow-by-blow; Peter Hewitt- FS lightbox, shallow stairs FS and Mach5 were achieved. Salba-FS lightbox, side stairs & lightbox/cess/bs box. Damn! Adam 12- shallow stairs BS. Bad Billy- BS lightbox. Sean Mazza- destroyer lines, lightbox. Trujillo- Ipod/earplugs/cheering. Charnoski- nursing hangover with 3 hrs sleep/bleary eyed. Me- FS box, BS air. It was super fun…but I am still waiting to look down & see my skin dissolving from some strange new bacteria, found only in the ‘pathogenic pool.’ Thanks to Ed for the images. Skate & carry hand sanitizer. Ozzie