Ozzie Ausband

Elvis -Revisited

This was the first story I ever wrote for my original blog. These events occurred and the next night– as I was looking through the images that photographer Zach Petschek sent to me– I knew it had to be told. I only had a Facebook page at the time and couldn’t really do anything there, so my friend – Mich– set up a Wordpress blog. This is the resulting story. Only about fifty people ever really saw it, so I repost it here. Zach pulled the images for me and here you go. Reviewing it made me laugh. It really was an incredibly odd day. In the photographs of the pool, you can see that the decks are still wet…yet the pool was dry. Strange. I think that Jeff Phillips was looking out over us and smiling…. - Ozzie

Zach Petschek

Friday, Zach and I experienced a Twilight Zone  moment and ran with it. As you’ll see, sometimes a person ‘gotta get in, to get out’….ride the strangeness through to the other side– so to speak. I know this sounds vague but here’s what happened. Salba has been telling me about the ‘Elvis’ pool for 15 years or so. “…one of the best pools out there, dude.”  Salba dropped this pearl of wisdom conspiritorially. His story has it that after the Northridge quake of 94, a hundred pools opened up in the Valley. Salba, Zask, Tyco, Rhino, Pstone, Reuler and the rest of the heavy- hitters, along with Swope and Royak, killed all of those pools on a regular basis. The Elvis stood out among the best. Major obstacles were to be found in its white-plastered environs. It had two love seats opposing one another, two sets of side stairs in the deep end and fire-cracker coping. These obstacles, along with big transitions and a very peculiar shape, made the Elvis a task for any good pool rat. The ‘Elvis’ was a permission pool for a short while then quickly found itself relegated to the status of Legend ….the one pool you should’ve seen and rode but probably would never get the chance.


"... in the cold Kentucky rain."

A few weeks ago, the grapevine sent out the word that the Elvis was empty again. Friday, I had the day to myself. I contacted Zach and left San Diego at 6:00 am  for the long drive up. It was bleak, overcast and grey that morning. The sky was like dull metal and we rode quietly north listening to Katatonia and thought of Elvis. About halfway into the drive, I sent out a text to Big Al Glasco (who was meeting us ) that we were enroute. I received his reply. “Its raining hard”. I groaned and pulled over. I phoned him.  “Wet.  Too wet”,  Big Al stated tersely. Damn! Zach and I agreed to stop and get some coffee and here’s where things went loopy. I pulled off the I-5 at the next exit and stopped at a Starbucks. As we got out of the car, we saw a diner on the opposite corner called….GULP! – OZZIE’S DINER. We were dumbfounded…but it gets even stranger. I had to go check it out! We go inside for coffee and I see a huge neon sign ‘Ozzie’s’ on the backwall over a booth. It has photographs of Elvis Presley underneath!! We were like….WTF!

weird... Ozzie's Diner AND Elvis photographs.

front gates to Melody Land

We then decided that the skate gods wanted us to continue to the Elvis pool regardless of the rain, and this we did. It was pouring rain but we traveled on and an hour later pulled up beside the place. By then, the rain had stopped but all the streets were wet. We decided to -at least- take pictures of the pool anyway. The sprawling house was heavily overgrown with ivy and vines, and  huge Roman columns upheld the vast roof. The large white front gates had wrought iron images of music notes, guitars, and the moniker “Melody Land” on its face. We stealthed our way inside and found the pools surface …DRY! I know! I know! But it really was dry! We swept it  and skated it hard for forty-five minutes before a  heavy rain shower put itself down and put us out of the sesssion. Bruce Lees’ son– Brandon– had a quote that’s perfect for this little (true) tale…”It doesn’t have to rain everyday.” Thanks to Zach Petschek for the images. Skate-Ozzie

Zach Petschek- loveseat in the drizzle