History. I am a skate nerd. I like to know… and I always want to go. I like going around and finding old pools from the past, even if I can’t ride them… I still need to see. I’ve found Mondo’s, Elephant Country and Buddha pool. Swimmers all. I went to the Dog Bowl with Tony Alva in 1999. I walked around the entire edge of that pool, bent over, touching my fingers on the front edge of the coping. TA was just standing there watching me with a small smile. He knew… It is bulldozed and gone now. I’m glad I could look at it and marvel. We skated Gonzales pool back then as well. Mr. G was still alive and gave us permission. I got to know his daughter Tessie. Good people. That one is reduced to a grass lawn as well. Pity… I collect bits and pieces of pool history. I keep it all at Ridiculous. Sometimes, we skate pools that are foreclosed or going to be gutted. If there are old cactus around, I’ll take one back to Ridiculous and plant it in the beds by the pool. That way, even if the pool is dozed, it will live on. I have chunks of coping from various pools including a piece from the guy in the band Maroon 5. TA and I rode his pool by permission. I liked his pool but not his music. I have a potted aloe from the house in Arizona where I did my first set of shallow stairs. Chris Livingston gave me the go-ahead. Its been thriving by our pool ever since. I do landscaping. I have a few cactus from Tony Hawk’s house that we removed and replaced. I put it all in the backyard. Its like plant rescue… for pool skating.
Among all of that, I sprinkle my memorabilia around. An original piece of Dog Bowl coping that belongs to TA. One of the fiberglass chairs from the Gonzales pool, given to me by Tessie Gonzales. Pool lights, tiles, plates and also a chunk of Pipeline Combi pool coping given to me by Salba. History. Your average person wouldn’t even notice such things were they to walk back there… but to me and my people, it is of utmost importance. These things are POWER.
It is our history and it is being lost to us quickly. Someday, none of these old 1950’s and 1960’s pools will be around. A builder told me that when people buy these old homes, the pipes and plumbing to these pools are usually in dire need of refurbishing. Forty years or more, have left them in ruin. The builders are finding that it is easier to just demolish the old pools and start over… cost effective. Infinity pools and boulder strewn shoebox pools are replacing our beloved Blue Haven kidneys, amoeba’s and capsules. One day… lost. We have to retain what we can. History. Thank you to Tessie Gonzales and Grant Brittain for the skate images. Skate- Ozzie