Pennsylvania. In the late 1980’s & into the 1990’s, Jim Howell & I rode -more than- a few ramps. There was an occasional time each year, when we tried to get a few sessions in at the ‘Hagbowl’. The ‘Hagbowl’ was a roman- end backyard pool that overlooked a huge golf course & country club near our homes. Rumor had it found by ‘Doug Mayer’ & ‘Booger Brown’ in the mid 1980s. An old deaf lady owned the house & lived there alone. You need to understand that concrete backyard pools hardly exist in Pennsylvania because of the winter freezing temperatures & all. They are very scarce.
The only time it could be ridden, was late at night after she went to sleep. We would stealth across the golf course, dodge trees & street lights to climb higher up into the neighborhood. We would reach the top cul-de-sac, and pull ourselves over the fence & green hedges. It lay there, in the moonlight. A real backyard concrete pool! The pool hadn’t been filled or used in –what appeared like –decades. The coping was all loose & missing in spots. The tiles clattered into the pool as you rode over them. Vines of ivy, festooned the edges & draped into the deep end. It was heaven.
The pool was tight & gnarly though. Jim & I would ride it as best we could. We would quietly take turns carving across the deep cup, grinding & breathless in the moonlit shadows. We were busted by the police there, March 24, 1988. The police came & we hid under a big fir tree. His spotlight caught us & we came out rather sheepishly. The cop actually seemed amused by our antics. He couldn’t quite understand what we were doing. He asked if I had any knives, guns or weapons. I responded, “Why, do I need any?” He finally let us leave with a terse warning, “Go! Don’t let me see you guys again.” I smirked & thought, “Don’t bet on that, buddy.”
Steve Caballero, Colin McKay & Tommy Guerrero came to do a strip mall demo in the summer of 1990 or 1991. Afterwards, we took them to our spots. ‘Ansels’ ramp, the ‘Hagbowl’ & ‘Busters’ barn ramp. When we saw Stevie Cab skate the ‘Hagbowl’, we were speechless! He pulled slider to fakies in the roman corner & grinded everywhere. It was a lesson in poolriding by a master. Somehow, we took them there that afternoon & its the only time that I recall being there during the day.
We had fun & I wish that I had better images to share with everyone, but these are it. It was a great day & the crew stoked. The ‘Hagbowl’ has since become history. The old lady died, the house sold & refurbished. Its a swimmer now, but its past emptiness lives on in our minds. It was one of our only backyard pools in central Pennsylvania. Jim & I still have a blue tile from the pool. Both have black magic marker writing on them. ‘Jim & Ozzie mania. March 24, 1988’. Skate-Ozzie