- I lived in a small place in Pennsylvania and in the summer of 1977, the Pepsi skateboard team came through. They set up a clear plastic U-Shaped half pipe, in the parking lot of the local JC Penney store. It was hot and sweltering, as only the northeast can become in June. Pennants and colorful Pepsi banners hung slack in the stifling heat. People milled about the large plexiglass ramp which was roped off and empty. A PA system was set up to one side and a technician fiddled with wires, duct taping them flat onto the ground.
The asphalt lot was hot and people grew restless. I skated around the periphery, trying to see anyone I might notice from Skateboarder magazine. So far, zilch. I noticed some greasy looking guy selling snow cones from a box truck. He was doing a brisk business. The way he eyed up the kids, made me uncomfortable, so I kept my two dollars tucked deep in my corduroy OP shorts. There were a bunch of fat people sweating it out and from the looks of things, should’ve found themselves a spot inside the glass-fronted JC Penney store. At least they would be cooler in there and wouldn’t sweat and stink so badly. Damn! Even the store mannequins seemed to droop in the shoulders.
I skated around behind the ramp and that’s when I saw them. Roy Jamison and Mike Weed were getting their boards out of a small van. I caught my breath. Mike Weed looked at me and nodded. If Roy Jamison did as well, I didn’t notice. Mike Weed just nodded at me! Mike Weed! I couldn’t believe it. Go ahead and call me a moron, but I hadn’t seen a skateboard pro in my entire life. All I saw were magazine photographs of a life and culture far, far away. I stood there slack-jawed, I am sure. They slipped under a rope and crossed the bottom of the ramp out of my view.
I heard the PA system spark to life and the announcer began introductions. They began riding to music. I believe it was Foghat or some frizzy-headed, bell-bottom band similar to them. To be honest, I remember one -wheelers, forevers, Roy Jamison having such a rad style, and almost passing out when Mike Weed gave me a sticker. I recall little else. I know that I didn’t sleep that night… not much anyway. The next day, I talked my mom into going to the JC Penney store with me. They sold the only skateboards in town.
They had a Hobie Weaver Woody for sale. It was $49.99. I rubbed my fingers across the smooth wood and smelled the red, urethane Power Paw wheels. The ACS 430 trucks mocked me… I only had $11.00. I must tell you, that I worked an entire summer in my fathers upholstery shop, to save up the rest of the money to buy that Weaver Woody. It came without grip tape, so I cut up strips of floor sand paper and glued them onto it. I rode that board into the ground until it was unrecognizable.
Gregg Weaver wasn’t at that JC Penney demo, not that I can remember. His spirit was though. There are a few things that don’t make sense to me now. Over thirty years has passed. I don’t know why other Pepsi team riders weren’t there and I only really recall Mike and Roy skating. I can’t remember what I did with the sticker Mike Weed gave me. In my mind, it matters not one bit. He gave me a sticker….that is all that matters. When you are thirteen years old, and a poor skateboard kid from PA, that stuff stays with you forever. It is in my blood. I heard that Mike Weed passed away from cancer and it saddens me… R.I.P. Mike and thank you bro. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the Weaver image and Marlon Whitfield for the Woody images. Skate – Ozzie