One day, Tony Alva & I were driving in Orange County. We were going someplace I no longer remember, but it was probably skateboard related. We were sitting at a redlight on Brookhurst & he calmly points to his right and states, “That’s where the ‘Fruit Bowl’ was.”
I was quickly rendered inept as I followed his gaze. No longer watching the lights & traffic, I peered around as he pointed to some condos in the nearby distance. TA continued, ” My dad once lived over in those condos. They were built on the site of the ‘Fruit Bowl’…”. A car horn brought me back from his reverie & I stabbed the gas pedal to get through the green light that had changed. Traffic was moving.
I asked TA how the pool received its name, ‘Fruit Bowl’. “It was at a rundown mental hospital”, he grinned. Recently, I spoke with David Hackett about his first time visiting the pool and he told me that he caught a ride there, as he was too young to drive. He was really stoned that visit, but remembered that there were at least 50 people there.
” It was a heavy scene. Waldo Autry was king there. He ruled the place. He did ‘forever figure -8’ carves & frontside & backside carves over the stairs that were on both sides of the pool.” David Hackett said that TA & Jay came to the ‘Fruit Bowl’. Both rode really well, pulling edgers & Jay tried hand plants on the wooden tombstone extension.
“If you didn’t have pool skills & couldn’t rip, you sat in the shallow end & watched. It was a gnarly scene there.” David told me to talk with Steve Olson as he had ridden there early on. I phoned Steve Olson & he added a bit of history as well. “I was one of the first people to drain the ‘Fruit Bowl’. Guys that I knew, rode their bikes in it. One guy named ‘Willy’ & some others. It was insane! The pool was not a bust & lasted like 6 months until it became a party spot & the police finally shut it down.”
Steve Olson remembered it being amazing. He added that the concrete parks started opening up around that time, like the ‘Concrete Wave’ in Anaheim. The ‘Fruit Bowl’ was definitely an early proving ground for Orange County skateboarders. I saw images from the pool in the magazines & remember that there was always a crowd around the shallow end. Watching. Waiting. Wishing. Thanks to Jim Goodrich & David Hackett for the images. Skate-Ozzie
Addendum- Salba told me this afternoon that the ‘Fruit Bowl’ was were he first became sponsored. He had ridden it a few times after coming from riding the famed ‘L-pool’ in the Badlands. He stated that the sessions were very heavy there. “I have to say that the ‘Fruit Bowl’ was definitely an early proving ground for pool riders.”