It was October 7, 2008. The sun still beat down unmercifully at times and San Bernardino was a hothouse of misery on this particular day. I had been driving the grid since first light. I was counting seven new pools and two possibles. Most were in black water status and it would take some hard work to get them ready for a session. I drove a yawning side street through a 1950’s era neighborhood. Old houses sat away from the main road, stoic and solid in the afternoon sun. Red tile roofs reflected back the unwanted heat. A water sprinkler slowly spun water to a thirsty lawn. Trees sagged in the dead air and even they seemed to tire of the sun.
I spotted a foreclosure and pulled to the side. Scanning the neighbors houses, I grabbed a pen and some paper. Walking the front yard, I tried to look like a potential buyer. I moved up to the front porch and could see through the dirty plate glass window and through to the backyard. I saw trash, household furniture and coping. My heart hammered. I saw the partial outlines of a hip. With a quick glance around, I was on top of the wall laying flat. I scanned for the presence of dogs then let myself over. My pulse quickened. This is what I lived for: discovery.
The pool was a sweet looking right-hand kidney. It was full of green water as well. Pea soup. I checked the house. No electric. No water. I spotted garbage and trash strewn everywhere. The home was tore up. At one time, I would find maybe two in ten homes left in this condition as people jettisoned their lives in the dark quiet hours of the night. Foreclosure. Debt. An uncertain future and the need to go underground. Now, I was finding more and more homes in this fashion.
The homes were trashed. Holes kicked into walls. Possessions scattered everywhere. It seemed as though people where mad at the banks for letting them get into something they couldn’t afford in the first place! Blaming others for their own mistakes. Ahhh! There is a small comfort that comes with denial. I looked around and quickly removed myself from the property. I’d be back. Of this, I was sure. As it turned out, Riverside Ed had found this little butterbean the week before I did! Riverside Ed and Billy have been responsible for finding some of the best pools that we’ve ever had the opportunity to ride. It was subsequently drained and then we sessioned it. Riverside Ed and Billy took it upon themselves to step it up & get it handled. That is how they do it. Down for life! We rode it hard for a few short, glorious weeks.
Things were flipped from bad to good and then the mortgage company moved in. It was cleaned up, filled up, re-packaged and re-sold in short order. I still drive by and check on her from time to time. No problem. Enjoy your home. We’ll be here long after you disappear into the twilight. We’ll keep counting and doing this thing we do. Mi Numi. Thanks to Riverside Ed & Billy Rix for all they have done and continue to do. Thanks to PK for the skate images, Willy Sions and Billy Rix for images & Brandon Wong for the PK video upload. This post is dedicated to ‘dude bro dude bro’. Skate- Ozzie
Monte Cristo minute with Salba: