William Sharp and I have been talking virtually everyday as we move forward with the book project. A bunch of us decided to meet up at Arto’s on Saturday. We were going to skate, have fun and then Sharpie and I could go over a few things. I left San Bernardino early. I drove through a few side streets and checked some pools that I knew of. At one place, I heard raised voices over the neighbors fence. A slamming sound. Doors and yelling. I slipped against the fence like a ghost and squatted there quietly. I heard the sounds of violence. Someone had been struck…. no doubt. Silence. I moved cautiously out of the yard and to my truck. I frowned. Do I intervene? People carry guns. Out here in San Bernardino, it can be brutal. There is nothing out here. People act messed up because they are messed up. I caught my reflection in the mirror. “…. and you live here by choice.” What does that say about me? I drove the busy roads to Los Angeles. It was warm and I tried to think good thoughts. I listened to Reverter. On arrival, I saw good people. I felt better. Lance, Steve Olson, Rusty and friends all met up, as well as Al Brunelle, Angelo, Wes, Chris and a few others. A great session ensued.
Arto Saari- front feeble
Arto was flying through the pool and it was rad to witness. High speed frontside feebles were on his mind. Sharp was taking photographs and Arto quickly joined him. Lance was ripping as always. Front rocks on the hip, huge airs and inverts were his. Steve Olson took two runs and dropped more style than most anyone all day. I guess some folks just have it…
Lance, Olson, Angelo and Wes
The crew was heavy and the vibe was light. The sun shone and the shadows through the trees were incredible. Al Brunelle was on fire! The kid is non-stop. He rips and when one is ripping… it’s unmistakable. Al lit the session with huge stalefish, lipslides, front Smith reverts light box and just about anything else he wanted. Everyone was stoked.
"there is freedom within, there is freedom without...."
Al Brunelle - front Smith death
There was a really cool crew on hand. It was a mixture of old and new. Layback rollouts, rock-n-rolls, sweepers, airs, lipslides, grinds and plenty of speedy carving were all to be seen. People were in and out all day. Arto took some awesome portraits of some of the riders. It was fun. After what I had heard earlier in the morning, I was happy to be a skateboarder. I think that there are so many people walking around in misery. Empty. Frustration. They have no way of expressing themselves except through pain. Malice directed at others and even themselves. Drugs. Alcohol. It is a dark existence. We should be content in the knowledge that we have skating. It doesn’t matter your ability level or style. It only matters that you do it. Positive expression. Creativity. Thank you to William Sharp and Arto Saari for the images. Skate- Ozzie