I found this pool over a year ago, on a stormy Sunday morning. The rain was falling in cold, wet sheets & driving was horrendous. I saw the estate & palm trees over to my left, as I slowed to loop around & check another smaller house that was ‘For Sale’. The black wrought iron fence at the estate was spiked & rusting. The palm trees that circled a walled- in area beside the house, were heavy with old fronds, and dried husks littered the yard. It looked terribly promising to my experienced eye. With a house & yard this large, it probably had a pool.
I checked the driveway & saw a dirty, unused car. I walked slowly in the rain, looking for signs of dogs & habitation. No mail in the mailbox, trash cans without trash, 3 month old newspapers in the driveway…dried leaves & debris. So far, so good. I slid up onto a stucco retaining wall & lay flat on top. I raked my eyes over the yard, house & pool. It was aesthetically perfect. Dozens of huge palm trees encircled the left hand kidney that lay, ensconced within. The pool was 4 feet deep in black water & palm debris. It looked magical.
My heart raced & I completed my recon in Salba mode. I kept it under wraps for over 9 months until I showed it to Salba. He told me that he recognized it as a pool he rode with John Nakama in 1990. Salba recalled, “It was gnarly on the right wall as it had palm trees growing flush with the coping. It made the wall belly out a bit.” He remembered it being ‘okay’, but nothing to get excited about. I liked the look of it, so I periodically checked on it for close to a year. Sam & I decided to go drain it recently.
The house was empty & abandoned. Personal furniture, clothing, dried plants & photographs were littered about the decks & yard. Vines crawled up the railings of the porches & everything was overgrown & rank with weeds. The pool stank from 15 feet away. Rotting palm debris & stagnant water made our job…indecent. It took us hours to remove the debris, drain it, rinse & clean it thoroughly.
We went home, showered & changed clothing. We stank so badly, that we immediately washed our clothing. We drove back & served that pool some skateboard punishment. Ray Zimmerman, Josh Borden, Salba, Adam 12, Billy, Sam, Scott & I, all went & took as much fun as we could from her. It was worth every stinking second.
Epilogue- We rode it the first weekend for a sum total of 45 minutes. This week, we drove over & each took about ten runs in her then proceeded to get out as we saw a neighbor scoping us through some hedges. After we were outside by the car, a police cruiser pulled up. The officer came up to me & asked me if I was inside skating the pool. Being as I was holding a board & a broom and he was grinning wryly at me, I said, “Of course. But, we are leaving now.” He smiled & said, “Don’t ever let me see you again.” We left & headed out into the dirty afternoon sunlight happy with our good fortune. I found it, sat on it, checked it, dreamed of it, drained it, cleaned it, skated it, killed it & lost it … all in 7 days. You want to know something? It was worth it and it always will be! Thank you to Sam for being a pool pal of the highest order & MRZ for the images & the crew for being…you! Skate & do all that is necessary- Ozzie (first posted Jan 2010)