The pool count and Monte Cristo


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.

she's sweet and tender under the covers

don't they realize that the spray paint notice on the door is an invitation to people like us?

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.

when I found this pool, fleas were everywhere and by the time I noticed, they were all over my pants. I left my clothing there and drove home in my boxers!

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.


pea soup plantation

Riverside Ed and Billy Rix throwing it down! Double pump= top to bottom in a little over an hour!

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.

Monte Cristo I

Monte Cristo II

Billy Rix- FS Death to drain nap...

Billy- FS Death

Sallie - rocking


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: 


7 thoughts on “The pool count and Monte Cristo

  1. Pingback: SALBA | XBOARD.COM.BR

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  3. it’s very meditative, i am having such a hard time practicing patience right now. i am a mere three weeks away from what may be the most epic trip of my life! two weeks on the road with my best pool pal, southern/mid California, Vegas, Arizona, New Mexico, certainly never thought 20 years ago when i traded that complete set up for that bag of weed, that this would ever come to pass, thank the maker for recovery and skateboarding, i would never have found recovery without skateboarding, and would never have gotten skateboarding back without recovery, i’m doing my first deathbox somewhere out there, and i cannot fucking wait!!!!!

  4. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the pictures of empty pools. I think it might be meditative. Thanks for writing BTO.

  5. Awesomwe post, Ozzie. It is interesting that so many pools and so much of what we love to do has concentrated itself in the Inland Empire. We always considered ourselves part of the greater Badlands but also coined the “Ripperside” label for the few of us that skated the Norco, Corona, Riverside area. There was so much unsung talent and history in the area that dates as far back as those well known icons in Dogtown and “Down South”. Danzeisen, Coco, Gonzalez, now Kevin Burke and a slew of others both past and present keep our mark alive in the skate lineage. Thank you for documenting the numerous persons and landscapes of plaster and coping that have dotted the history of skateboardng.

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