Ozzie Ausband

A tale of three skaters.

Tony Hawk is truly a household name. He has made millions of dollars on contest winnings, product endorsement, lucrative financial investments & game sales. In every skate park that you visit, one can see Tony Hawks name on a poster, sticker, t-shirt or other item of merchandise. Tony Hawk and his name are ubiquitous within the skateboarding culture.

I met Tony at Woodward skate camp in 1992. He came with the first ‘Birdhouse’ tour. I believe he had Willy Santos & Steve Berra with him. I hired Tony to come back to Woodward often & he visited many times over the ensuing summers. When I moved to San Diego, Andy Macdonald & I, would drive to ‘Birdland’ & skate the vert ramp in the warehouse there. Tony was filming ‘The End’ video with Jamie Mosburg. I recall there were countless rolls of wasted film lying in loops on the concrete beside the flat bottom, from failed or wasted attempts at tricks.

Eventually, I went on to start helping my friend Scott Ward in his landscaping business. Scott had moved out to California a few years after I did. He studied plants & began his own company in landscaping & design. Scott also rides vert & pools, as he grew up riding the ‘Buster Halterman’ barn ramp in PA. When Scott was a grommet, he would emulate Tony Hawk as did many skaters out there. Once he moved to California, Scott started hanging out with his pal Sean Mortimer, who is best friends with Tony. Tony Hawk took Scott & about a dozen of Sean’s friends to Las Vegas for Sean’s bachelor party a few years back. Scott said “It was rock star.”

Scott received a phone call one day a few weeks ago. It was Erin Hawk. She wanted Scott to come back & redesign the courtyard he had completed for them about two years ago. We went down & completed the job. The results were amazing. Scott is  very knowledgeable about plants and his eye for design is stellar. Driving home after the second long day of work, Scott & I looked at each other & laughed.

Here we were, three skateboarders who -basically- knew one another. I was working for Scott, who was working for Erin, who was -previously-married to Tony, who is- basically-skateboarding personified; Tony Hawk. Life works mysteriously. At one time, I hired Tony to come to Woodward & now his money -basically- pays for my boss & I to come plant cactus at his ex-wifes house. I am one of Erin Hawks gardeners…..Funny!  Thank you to Jim Goodrich for the image. Skate-Ozzie