Mark Zamudio put together a little trivia/memorial event at the Vicinity Skate Shop in Orange this past Saturday evening. The event had photographs from many different Fishbowl sessions over the years. It had really cool paintings and art by Nicole Dodson and others, photographs by MRZ, Brandon Wong and other great photographers. Mark Zamudio had gone by the Fishbowl when he found out that it was being destroyed and managed to collect broken pieces of our dream. He had them on display. Stellar.
In 2010, Ben Butler and Jon Tucker managed to talk the owner Jeff, into letting us have a few more sessions. I was lucky enough to ride there with Ben, Duane, Arab, Chicken and others. Privilege. I asked Duane Peters and Arab about their personal memories from the Fishbowl over the years. I figure that it would be better to simply reprint their responses here.
“We first started skating the pool back around 1976-77. In those early years, the old lady that lived there would charge us fifty cents to skate. Duane reminded me that it was fifty cents per hour and then I remembered she had an old cooking timer she would set for one hour and leave it in the kitchen window. When our time was up, it was either pay another fifty cents or split….. In the early days you would get free tap water in a little Dixie cup, but then when she realized she could make money on the water she would charge us ten cents for iced tap water in an eight ounce Dixie cup.”
“The first time that I went to the Fishbowl, there was an old wooden fence surrounding the yard and I had jumped up to look over at the pool. As I pulled myself up, I pulled the fence right over onto myself! It was fucking hilarious!! We propped the fence back up and went around to the front and asked if we could skate…”
“I don’t know who originally found the pool. It could have been Arnie Hogue and his brothers, as they lived in the area. Arnie and his family moved away to Utah or something, before the whole pool contest thing started. You ask anybody that knew him though… Olson, DP or the Carrasco brothers and they will tell you, Arnie was one of the best pool skaters ever back then. Had he stuck around, he would have probably won the Hester Series the first couple years. He was like Gerry Lopez on a skateboard; so much style and so much power, he owned the Concrete Wave pool and every other pool around Orange County in the 1970′s.”
“Back to Fishbowl. The pool saw some great sessions back then and it was a tough little pool to skate, because it was so tight. Later on, in the mid to late 1980′s, there was another resurgence of the Fishbowl. By then, the brick wall that surrounds the pool was built and some of the little fish that protruded from the plaster walls had been chipped off.”
“In the early 1990’s, the house was sold and the guy that lives there now had moved in. He would not let anyone skate. I tried about every five years, knocking on the door and asking if I could skate. One of his daughters would always tell me that their dad would “kill them” if they would let anybody skate the pool…”
“I stopped about a year ago and there were a bunch of potted plants in the bowl and no answer at the door. I didn’t feel like barging by myself without a lookout, so I just chalked it up to another failed attempt. A couple months ago Ben Butler had told me about the guy that lived next door. Jon Tucker. He had a kinky square pool thing that they were skating and the owner of the Fishbowl was letting them skate his pool now. I was able to ride it thirty-five years later after my first session there. How awesome is that?” – ARAB
“There was a really heavy local scene, back in the 1970s.” Every pool crew had their own spots and you didn’t just cruise up on someone’s pools. When we did try to go someplace else, we had to be careful. One guy would peek over the wall…uh-oh! Heavy session going. We could hear the skating. One of us would hop over and feel out the scene. If you got the ‘nod’, you had to get in there and get some…try and go all out! We always had a few pools in our pockets, that way we could trade with the locals. At Fishbowl there were a couple of Mexican guys that were rad. This one guy was doing ‘rock walks’ beside the deathbox…later at Concrete Wave, there was quite a bit of argument regarding the rock walk or the cess slide. It all went back to the Fishbowl. Some of the earliest tailblocks were done there. The old lady living there, did have a kitchen timer…she also had a little hourglass timer, if I remember clearly. That was a heavy localized scene though. Arnie Hogue was a rad guy…really good. He did one of the first taildrops ever done on vertical. The Fishbowl was going before the Concrete Wave opened, I know that. That pool has been going for a long time. It was great to go back there.” – Duane Peters
Thank you to Jeff for letting us skate the Fishbowl. Thank you to the original pool rippers that discovered it and kept it going. Thank you to Jon Tucker & Ben Butler for this go around. Thank you to MRZ and ARAB for the images. Thank you to Arab and Duane Peters for the memories and for Mark Zamudio and Vicinity Skate Shop for doing things right. Skate- Ozzie