I found this pool on a stormy Sunday morning. The rain was falling in cold, wet sheets and driving was horrendous. I saw the estate and palm trees over to my left, as I slowed to loop around and check another smaller house that was ‘For Sale’. The black wrought iron fence at the estate was spiked. Rusting. The palm trees that circled a walled- in area beside the house, were heavy with old fronds, and dried husks littered the yard. It looked terribly promising to my experienced eye. With a house and yard this large, it probably had a pool. My pulse quickened.
I checked the driveway. I saw an unused car. Flat tire. I walked slowly in the rain, looking for signs of dogs and habitation. My eyes missed nothing. No mail in the mailbox, trash cans without trash, three month old disintegrating newspapers in the driveway… dried leaves and debris. So far, so good. I slid up onto a stucco retaining wall and lay flat on top. I raked my eyes over the yard. I saw the pool. It was aesthetically perfect. Dozens of huge palm trees encircled the left hand kidney. The pool was four foot deep in black water and palm debris. It looked magical.
My heart raced as I completed my recon. I kept it under wraps for a few months until I showed it to Salba. He told me that he recognized it as a pool he rode with John Nakama in 1990. Salba recalled, “It was gnarly on the right wall as it had palm trees growing flush with the coping. It made the wall belly out a bit.” He remembered it being alright, but nothing to get excited about. I liked the look of it, so I periodically checked on it for close to a year. Samwise and I decided to go drain it recently.
The house was empty and abandoned. Personal furniture, clothing, dried plants and photographs were littered about the decks and yard. Vines crawled up the railings of the porches and everything was overgrown. Rank with weeds. The pool stank from fifteen feet away. Rotting palm debris & stagnant water made our job.. indecent. It took us hours to remove the debris, drain it, rinse and clean it thoroughly.
We went home. We changed clothing. We stank so badly, that we immediately washed our clothing. We drove back later that day with a crew of crushers. Ray Zimmerman, Josh Borden, Salba, Adam 12, Billy, Samwise, Scott and I. We took as much fun as we could from her. It was worth every stinking second.
Epilogue- We rode it the first weekend for a sum total of forty-five minutes. This week, we drove over and each took about ten runs in her then proceeded to get out as we saw a neighbor scoping us through some hedges. After we were outside by the car, a police cruiser pulled up. The officer came up to me and asked me if I was inside skating the pool. Being as I was holding a board and a broom and he was grinning wryly at me, I said, “Of course. But, we are leaving now.” He smiled and said, “Don’t ever let me see you again.” We headed out into the afternoon sunlight, happy with our good fortune. I found it, sat on it, checked it and dreamed of it. We drained it, cleaned it, skated it, killed it and lost it… all in seven days. You want to know something? It was worth it and it always will be! Thank you to Samwise for being a pool pal of the highest order and MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie