Pennsylvania. In the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s, Jim Howell and I rode -more than- a few ramps. There was an occasional time each year, when we tried to get a few sessions in at the Hagbowl. The Hagbowl was a roman- end backyard pool that overlooked a huge golf course and country club near our homes. Rumor had it found by Doug Mayer and Booger Brown in the mid 1980s. An old deaf lady owned the house & lived there alone. You need to understand that concrete backyard pools hardly exist in Pennsylvania because of the winter freezing temperatures and all. They are very scarce.
The only time it could be ridden, was late at night after she went to sleep. We would stealth across the golf course, dodge trees and street lights to climb higher up into the neighborhood. We would reach the top cul-de-sac, and pull ourselves over the fence and green hedges. It lay there, in the moonlight. A real backyard concrete pool! The pool hadn’t been filled or used in –what appeared like –decades. The coping was all loose and missing in spots. The tiles clattered into the pool as you rode over them. Vines of ivy, festooned the edges and draped into the deep end. It was heaven.
The pool was tight and gnarly. Jim and I would ride it as best we could. We would quietly take turns carving across the deep cup, grinding and breathless in the moonlit shadows. We were busted by the police there on March 24, 1988. The police came and we hid under a big fir tree. His spotlight caught us and we came out rather sheepishly. The cop actually seemed amused by our antics. He couldn’t quite understand what we were doing. He asked if I had any knives, guns or weapons. I responded, “Why, do I need any?” He finally let us leave with a terse warning, “Go! Don’t let me see you guys again.” I smirked and thought, “Don’t bet on that, buddy.”
Steve Caballero, Colin McKay and Tommy Guerrero came to do a strip mall demo in the summer of 1990 or 1991. Afterwards, we took them to our spots. Ansels ramp, the Hagbowl and Busters barn ramp. When we saw Stevie Cab skate the Hagbowl, we were speechless! He pulled slider to fakies in the roman corner and grinded everywhere. It was a lesson in poolriding by a master. Somehow, we took them there that afternoon and it is the only time that I recall being there during the day.
We had fun and I wish that I had better images to share with everyone, but these are it. It was a great day. The Hagbowl has since become history. The old lady died, the house sold and refurbished. Its a swimmer now, but its past emptiness lives on in our minds. It was one of our only backyard pools in central Pennsylvania. Jim and I still have a blue tile from the pool. Both have black magic marker writing on them. ‘Jim and Ozzie mania. March 24, 1988’. Skate-Ozzie