An old friend, the one featured in the picture, sent me this photo of he and another old friend that I had almost forgotten even existed. The photo is poor quality as it’s a scan of the original so I included a photo I found on the web of the same make and model deck. In fact, I have no idea if the original photo even still exists. It was one of several photos taken that afternoon in the hall at Westminster High School. We were freshmen and had ridden our skateboards to school – a trip of roughly 10 miles (thankfully mostly downhill). I don’t know why he’s holding my board but he is which is cool because it was stolen some time later that year and I’ve not seen it since, until this morning. I quit riding it, for the most part, after I face planted going about 30mph down a set of stairs (on the last stair).
You see it was one of those long stairs broken up by railroad ties that was popular in the 80s. The problem was that the last stair had TWO ties and a gap between them just about wide enough to snag a couple of skateboard wheels. If you didn’t pop up the front before you hit it the board would stop and you would continue on to find your own way to make peace with the pavement. I know this in the way that only experience can teach you. I caught myself as my head impacted the pavement. I stood up, dusted myself off, and walked home carrying my “friend.” About ½ way home, I looked down to see that my brand new $120 White Nike high-tops had turned red as they were soaked with blood from my knees which, as it turns out, resembled hamburger at this point. Knowing I was in for it when I got home, I trudged a bit slower. When I arrived, my mother, being the concerned freak out type, freaked. I let her follow me into the bathroom but refused to let her doctor me. As it turns out, I had gravel in my forehead, the tip of my nose, my palms, my elbows, and my knees. I know because I sat there for an hour picking it out of my body piece by painful piece with tweezers. It’s a wonder any of us survive to adulthood.
Anyway, Brian (the human friend) and I’s FAVORITE skateboard related thing to do was to walk our boards to the top of the biggest hill we could find and then sit down on them and ride them down. Some of those hills were so big that the board would start to shimmy and it took a will of iron not to bail, of course at those speeds bailing was generally worse. We’d do it over and over again until we were too tired to walk up the hill or until one of us was wounded past continuing.
Brian will probably hunt me down and kill me for posting the photo of him so, in my defense I posted a picture of me taken on the same day. I was the same height I am now but 130lbs. The girl was my first true love but then, that’s another story…