Ozzie Ausband

the long way

Cresting a small hill, we saw it simultaneously. A boarded up 1940’s era motel. The stones rattled against the side of the car as Ray Zimmerman pulled over.  We craned our necks to look…  ”Did you see the fence around the place?!” - I asked excitedly. Ray nodded his head, trying to peer through bushes that obscured our view. He looped around and pulled up an access road nearby. Ray switched off the engine & we climbed out. We clearly saw what had caught our eye. The motel squatted there like a malignant thing… it was a blight on the landscape. The roof sagged in places, paint was peeling and the palm trees that stirred in the wind were in dire need of trimming. “Looks like its been closed up for years.” - he mumbled. I ran my eyes over the place. The plywood covering some of the windows was warped & stained. Broken glass glittered. Weeds grew through the paving stones and trash and palm debris was thick under our feet. A rusting chain link fence wrapped itself around a long concrete slab that was raised up about six feet above our point of view. From our vantage point, we could only see the cinder block foundation & the fence enclosure. It was the pool area.

I remember muttering-  ”Big old kidney. Big old kidney.” - like a strange mantra, as we made our way up the short hill and level with the pool. On closer inspection, we couldn’t even see the shape of the pool as it was covered –row-on-row– with what appeared to be giant steel girders. They were laying across the entire surface of the pool covering it.  I was over the fence in less time than it takes to tell it. I pulled up on one of the beams. I couldn’t even budge it. They must have weighed a thousand pounds each. There was a small area where I could see a round corner  and some bullnose coping but that was all. “Damn. Someone wanted to definitely keep people out of the pool!” - Ray exclaimed. I told him that I had never seen anything so drastic…  it was bizarre. We utilized his pole cam and Ray took some excellent images and then we continued on the long road to our destination. We were meeting up with Alex Perelson, Josh Stafford and Sam Beckett at a new pool that Riverside Shawn & I had drained the week before.

sweet little amoeba
My pool pal -Lowden- had heard of it from his friend Cody. It was a sweet little amoeba. The transitions were crazy good, the coping was ladyfinger and the neighborhood was pretty relaxed. Riverside Shawn & I had drained it and put a real good pounding onto her…  we were going back this week to see what else might be done. Ray and I decided to take the long way. On the journey, we had found a few pools and now we had spotted the old motel. It is skate missions like these that make me happy. Discovery. Taking the bad & making a good thing out of it. Creation. We meandered through a stark desert valley and cruised our way into a small town. Rusting cars lay abandoned on dried lawns. Old wrinkled men sat idly on porches watching as we drove by. “It’s like time forgot this place …” Ray smiled in response as he drove us toward our destination. Stopping for water, we then went to the pool. Alex and the crew were a few minutes away. Ray took photographs and I cleaned out the leaves and litter.
doppia immersione

Once they arrived, we all quickly became very busy. They were really stoked on the look of the pool. One could easily see the possibilities from a casual glance. The trannies were mellow and the bowl was wide. The only slight imperfection was that the grout in between the slabs of ladyfinger coping had all come out. There were small quarter inch gaps between each coping block… it made for an interesting day.

Brandon Perelson
Brandon Perelson quickly threw himself into high gear and flowed through the pool like he’d been there before. He hadn’t but it didn’t matter. His lines were fast & smooth and we all found ourselves wishing we were him. Brandon would end this pool session with a BS boneless on the hip, FS airs over the diving board and complete deathbox destruction. No joke! Alex Perelson decided that he wanted to do a BS ollie over the diving board. He’s Alex… so he did it. It was amazing and we were all happy like school kids on vacation.
Sam Beckett
Josh Stafford rips everywhere he goes. He pulled FS tailslides and FS airs… among other things. Sam Beckett was feeling way more comfortable in this pool session than on his last outing with us. It showed. Sam pulled the deathbox before any of us and his crailslides over the box were amazing. We were all thirsty and we’d been there for quite awhile. It was time to go and we all bid goodbye to the awesome amoeba.
Brandon- FS Invert
Josh- Judo
Alex- buckled in …
We rolled out and then hit a local favorite for a few more grinds and airs. Josh hurled himself out of the pool with Judo airs, Brandon pulled FS inverts and Alex threw down a seatbelt grab ‘Remy Stratton’ air just to keep it all legit. The sun dropped, it grew cold and everyone was tired but elated with the session. The crew had traveled far and found more than we ever hoped to find. We went the long way…  Thanks to the crew. Thanks to Lowden & Cody for the pool and MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie