This word ‘Bones’, has seemingly followed me throughout my entire skating life since one random, fateful day back around late 1977 or early 1978. I had moved back from Hawaii expressly to find and ride pools like I had been seeing the Z-Boys riding in Skateboarder magazine. Realistic? Probably not. But to this particular thirteen year old skaters brain, it seemed the only way to change things if I was gonna be like Jay… but I digress.
On that particular day, I had gone to Kennedy bowl reservoir in Los Gatos to skate it for the first time. It had recently been tarred so it was pretty lame but there was a crew of skaters there that I had heard about. I had met a couple of them previously but I was still a little intimidated … that’s the way it was back then. Even though my nature is shy, especially as a child, I had a drive to be what I’d seen, so I charged it anyway. I knew that I had to earn a spot at the table or go elsewhere. It wasn’t an exclusionary thing, so much as it was a way to keep the energy and charge level at it’s highest. I think we could all sense that we were on the emergence of something that we could not identify but knew was coming. I feel we all knew that this was something special that we were experiencing and creating and it needed to reflect the best characteristics and strengths of where it was coming from and that only came from total commitment. On point, we came up when you charged one-hundred and ten percent every time because you needed to and created lines because you had to. This would not prove beneficial later on in contests but that is irrelevant.
On that day at Kennedy bowl, I met and skated with the ‘Ratchet’ crew, a name also interchangeable with ‘Shred Weasels’. What can I say? It was the times. The old guy (roughly sixteen years old) leading this crew was my future good friend Bob Denike. He approached me and asked if I wanted to bail with them to go skate some pools. If memory serves me, we skated three or four backyard pools that day. Later we would road trip out to Alameda skatepark, Ameron pipes and other spots. I knew then, that I had found the friends and place I had been searching for. During this time Bob nicknamed me Scotty “Bone” (interchangeable with “Scotty Bones”) and it has stuck ever since with my core group of long-term skating friends like Meekster. Bob and I became inseparable skate partners and he was primarily responsible for all of my skating during this formative time … without him I would’ve been just another bored kid getting in trouble.
Eventually I was picked up by a crew and team with wheels by that name, but by that time I had been riding ‘Bones’ for awhile already. There was also a guy on that team already with ‘Bones’ in his nickname from a different route … what are the odds? All of this reminiscing has a point and it’s not to shine a light on myself, but to illustrate the importance of recognizing the efforts and significance of all of the members of our skating family. I realize that I was just one of the lucky ones and that there were many skaters as good or better than I who just didn’t catch a key break or stroke of luck which I may have.
As an example, since returning, I’ve met an entire group of hard core skaters from Pennsylvania that had their own crews and ripped just as hard as anyone in California, Florida or anywhere else back in the day. Most have never heard any of their names. (Not coincidentally, they all happen to be my good friends now) I was given a gift to be able to experience what I have in skateboarding and that gift was provided by the key people in my life, like my parents, my sisters, Bob, Judi Oyama, Jay Shuirman, Michael Chantry, Ted Terrebonne, Stacy, George … I think you get it. Without one key person along the line, I would’ve never had a chance … I never forget this.
Skating, as a sport, is unique in that it is a legitimate culture … it still has a physical connection to it’s very beginnings and earliest pioneers. No second-hand, victor writes the history bullshit here. One can still go direct to the source and that’s significant. Ask almost any one of the earliest skaters and they will tell you of the support they received, and needed, to accomplish what they have. Just as significantly, if not more so, is that every single person connected to skating is a legit part of it from the most talented ripper to the youngest grom’s parents … without any one of these crucial links, there is no culture let alone skating. The superstars, the fans, parents, everyone is all an equally important and contributing part of the whole of skateboarding and that’s what gives it the substance to have the effect it does. They are the “bones” of skateboarding. They are skating. – Scott Foss
Thank you to Scott Foss for the words. Thank you to Lorrie Palmos, William Sharp and Scott Foss for the images. Skate- Ozzie