Ozzie Ausband

desert school/pool duel.

By all reports, it was to be a potential rainout in the Badlands this weekend. Previously, I had spoken to Doug Kinkade about a possible desert excursion to rip some roundwall with him & a few pool pals. When I checked the weather report on Friday evening, I knew we would be desert bound on Saturday. I awoke at 4am or so. It was dark, cold and I could hear the gutters gurgling. Pulling back the blinds I peered outside, absently noticing their dustiness & thinking that I needed to clean the house more thoroughly. The rain was falling in cold, wet sheets; flooding the intersection & our low-lying front yard. It was going to be a bitch on the freeways….of that I was sure!

I wrote for a bit, read some Dostoevsky, drank coffee & then listened to Keith Jarretts–‘Nagoya’. This haunting saxophone hymn was like a narcotic,  on this bleak morning. I contacted Doug & Sam around 630 am & told them that the weather reports for the desert areas were calling for a minor chance of rainfall. We would be coming east. Sam arrived & off we went. Rain & wind followed us , but by the time we finally arrived at Doug’s, it had dissipated. The sun even poked its beaming face out of the clouds to lift our spirits. I knew then that Jeff Phillips & Andy Kessler were smiling down on us! (R.I.P.)

We drove to Joes pool. Joes is a Blue Haven right-hand kidney ridden by permission only. Joe told us that his family moved into the house in 1979 and supposedly, older skaters had ridden it before then. Joe & his family had swam in it until 1988. It remained empty thereafter. The property backed up against a school & Joe stated that school kids sometimes cut across the property to get into the neighborhood behind his house. It probably wasn’t too  difficult to see the pool sitting there & I smiled at the history he gave us. It made sense. Peter King told me that in the early to mid 1990s, he was flying with some friends in a Cessna airplane & spotted the pool sitting empty.

He made a note of its location, went back a few days later & was the first to take runs in it…in a long while. There were no grind or wheel marks that he could see. He was chased off the property by the owner. It turned out to be Joe. Texas Dan & I found it in 1998 while driving the grid out there & asked Joes mom if we could take a few turns. She said, “A few” and we handled it. Now, Doug had it on permission & held all the aces. It was rad! We bucketed a few inches out, wiped it down & commenced an ass-kicking on the pool & ourselves. The sun broke out, blue skies held fast & all was well for a few hours. Sam  was riding fs edgers up the hip, while Doug & I fought with the deathbox FS. We all made our wish list & the session was fun.

Blue skies, pool pals & permission. How could it be better?. We decided to ride some others after a quick stop for drinks & snacks. We stopped & checked a few that Doug has stashed away in his deep bag of pools…kidneys, capsules, eggs and amoebas. Stellar. We made it out further east to another permission he has on his list. An old (1950s) blue-tiled Rossmore kidney.  I was watching Doug handle the pool from the “go”. He was fast & smooth. Doug is a rad skater. He has super board control & held it down all day. The last pool was at this house and the young kid living there has started skating it. I was stoked when he told me that he had already rode a neighbors pool nearby. He was grinning the entire conversation. He knew. You could see it on his face. Pool pals.

We rode hard for another hour at this beautiful old backyard pool. There was no light or obstacles on the facewall & Sam kept telling me it was messing with his head. I asked him why and he answered, “Its like a tit without a nipple.” We laughed. Well said. The skies grew ominous & the wind picked up. We were running out of daylight & luck. The storm was coming. Doug threw down a rock n roll boardslide over the shallow box that blew us all away & Sam tore a double-double line that was poetry…perfect grinds & flow. I got mine as well with a BS hit over the side stairs. I then sat down….happy as can be. It was a great session with  skateboarding brothers. Thank you to my friends. Thanks Doug. Thanks Sam.  Epic. Skate Long-Skate Strong- Ozzie