Jami Godfrey – Staten Island
I met Jami Godfrey at Cherry Hill Skate Park in 1979. He was super rad, friendly and down-to-earth. He ruled the park along with Victor Perez & Mike Jesiolowski…. I really mean it – they ruled! They were easily equal to the west coast riders that graced every magazine. Back then, I wrote him a letter and we started up a friendship. My father let me skip school one spring day & drove me to Cherry Hill. He wanted to try out a new camera. Jami came to the park with his mom & we ended up riding the place virtually alone all day. It lives as one of my favorite memories. He was on the Bones Brigade at the time and when he saw my crappy worn out equipment, he gave me a purple Ray Bones snubnose with Tracker Magnesiums when I left. He was a huge inspiration to me and others. I asked him to talk about this Glen E. Friedman image and this is what he sent to me. Awesome! – Ozzie
I remember this session well since it was the time I saw my entire life pass before my eyes! The bowl pictured here sat maybe 12-13 feet off the hard macadam. There were no decks surrounding it just Lexan attached to a 1 inch metal square lip. To access getting into this fish bowl you walked up metal steps that ran parallel to the bowl. They were sketchy steps since they were also 1 inch square forged metal stairs and nothing else! Once up these precarious steps, you felt safe on the narrow roll – in platform that made a 2 foot canyon that was fun to air over. This odd above ground structure was tight and and fun. I was feeling more comfortable on the narrow lip and having fun doing Smith grinds and various stalls.
I remember the session including the NY Posse that came to rip up Cherry Hill. Papo Cappellla, and Jamie Mosberg and Frank Basanta ( their coach ) were locals to Staten Island and made this outdoor session a blast since we skated indoors most of the time at Cherry Hill. We all skated Cherry Hill together in the past, so the session started getting heated up. Plus, we had Glen E. Friedman to push our adolescent endorphins into overdrive. Glen, besides maybe Jim Goodrich was– at the time– the only credible photographer that gave the ‘Right Coast’ any documentation.
My session ended abruptly when doing a tail stall — just like the one in this picture — where I stalled to long and lost my balance. Over the lip I went!! As soon as I went over I thought my days were done! Instead of falling the full distance to the asphalt, I landed square on my back on those metal steps! It was about a 4 to 6 foot fall… But in that short distance, my mind raced to say good bye to this world!!! I got some nice bruises on my back from the fall but I felt lucky when I felt the stinging pain and the wind taken from my lungs on impact. I’d like to thank Glen for capturing the tail stall and reminding me of a moment of time that stays with me today. It reminds me just how fragile life can be! In a span of just a few milla – seconds, life can be changed forever or even ended. I give thanks that I still get to let 4 wheels roll on. Its not about going big or going home! Its all about going with your own unique style and going home with a big smile!!! – Jami Godfrey
Thanks to Jami Godfrey for the great memories and Glen E. Friedman for the image. Skate- Ozzie