Ozzie Ausband

I don't care what is normal.

In the spring of 1979, I pushed on the swinging aluminum doors that separated the pro shop from the riding area, leading into Cherry Hill skate park. Immediately, I knew that I was home. I said it before and -gladly- say it again, “It was like sliding into a woman for the first time.” Up until that point, I was aware of my pariah status in the small farmland community where I lived. I knew I was a polar opposite of those around me. I felt disconnected & ill at ease in every way. A monument to ineptitude, I couldn’t catch a baseball. But when I stood on a skateboard, I found what I was intended to do. At Cherry Hill, I found a building full of misfits just like me! I will never forget the moment that I pushed open those silver doors & heard ‘Devo’ on the speakers in the park. The song, ‘Gates of steel’, throbbed across the skate park & the smell of concrete, Lysol & urethane overwhelmed. I knew then, that I would ride my skateboard for life. My skateboard never ridiculed me, never called me names, never struck back in anger & was-forever- there when nobody else was. It never let me down. It gave me hours of fun & helped me to overcome insecurity & fear. At 46 years old, I continue to skate & wave my middle finger at the world. I refuse to care what is normal. Thank you to Dave Hackett for the image of him in ‘Devo’ mode. Wynn Miller photograph. Skate FOREVER!-Ozzie