The yard sat unattended. Trash lay in heaps and the area was downtrodden. Poverty. Huge palm trees scraped the dirty sky and the sun was an ominous thing. Heat. Oppression. It was hot enough in the mid afternoon to cook a man’s brain in his pan… The house had burned. The end of a dream. One family had owned the home. Forty years ago, it was kinsfolk, holiday cheer, celebrations, childbirth… a new era had dawned. The 1980’s. Life took a big step backwards. Freeloaders. Finger pointing. The drugs came. The neighborhood shuddered. Gang warfare and fear crept onto the sidewalks with furtive feet.
Skateboarders cruised the sidewalks. They saw the abandoned lot. They cut through the property. The pool sat pale and neglected. Homeless people used the area as a toilet. Beer bottles, syringes, dirty diapers and slimy condoms littered the stairs and shallow end. Disease. The pathology in us all. Squatters and fiends had sat under the night time sky and wallowed in their certain sickness. Trading favors. Limbic system. Base impulses. The end of all things beautiful.
The skaters brought shovels. They brought brooms. Hope. Ambition. Creative and fearless, they made it a better place, a concrete and plaster canvas on which they can express themselves. Life crawled forward… slowly. Thanks to William Sharp for the images. Skate- Ozzie