Over thirty five years have gone by since Shogo Kubo, Brian Clark, Jay Adams, Mike Szeliga, Craig Clark and Darren Ho were captured by Glen E. Friedman at Adolph’s Pool in Holmby Hills, California. Adolph’s pool was also known as Westlake by some skateboarders in the late 1970’s. It was located near a school of the same name. Last Saturday morning, I was up early and drinking coffee. I had decided to go to a meeting on the beach at Gladstones. I was cruising along Sunset Boulevard. The road twists and turns on itself. There was minimal traffic. I passed through the flats. I saw North Maple Drive. I passed Rodeo Drive. Huge estates marched up into the hillsides. The morning sun glimmered through the heavy green screen of trees. Black wrought iron fences were lost amid a tangle of vines. Security cameras perched high on gated driveways. I was thinking of how things might have been back in the 1970’s when Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Kent Senatore, Jerry Valdez and all the early pool riders would hunt for pools in this area. Times have changed. I doubt I could scale a wall to check a pool, without finding my face in the grass and tasered within a micro-second.
I then thought of Adolph’s pool. There are only a limited selection of photographs from there. Glen Friedman, Craig Stecyk and Hugh Holland shot there. I was on Sunset Boulevard and was approaching Bel Air. “Didn’t Glen say that Adolph’s was in Bel Air?” I mumbled to myself like some mad scientist no one understands. Some people occupy themselves with things that others find mystifying. I picked up the phone and called Glen Friedman. “Hello.” Sleepiness… “Glen, It’s Ozzie. I’m driving through Bel Air. Can you remember where Adolph’s pool was?” Glen said something about it being early in California, told his son Ezio in the background something about his breakfast and said he’d look on his computer. “I think I know exactly where it is.” Twenty minutes later, I had hastily scribbled directions and was on my way. Glen Friedman’s instincts were spot on. It had been thirty-eight years and he recalled the exact place. Later that morning, I found myself in front of the property. It was huge. Gates. Cameras. Privacy. I rang the bell…
According to Jay Adams, he had previously told me that Adolph’s pool was the first place were they started really exploding off the lip. Shogo Kubo wrote to me about the Sharp book in 2011. He stated that, “I remember doing frontside edgers and wheelers at Adolph’s Pool. It was pretty early on.” Adolph’s has a place cemented in my mind and heart. I never rode it and never will. But the images are scorched into my brain cells. I saw them and fantasized about riding there with Jay, Shogo, Darren and the others. Sometimes, you simply can’t go back… and maybe we shouldn’t. Perhaps the thing that makes Adolph’s great, is that it happened, these particular progressive skaters were there, they were captured in these photographs and history was written. Perhaps… Thank you to Glen E. Friedman for the guidance and photographs. Rest in peace Jay and Shogo. Thank you both for everything. Skate – Ozzie
For more of Glen E. Friedman’s remarkable work, books and words – Burning Flags Press / Glen E. Friedman