Van Nuys, California. The police moved in slowly along a side street. Stealth. The targeted house was one block up and over. Even now, the officers knew that the people in the house were about to experience a reality check. One officer grinned and elbowed his partner. “I love this shit!” His partner laughed under his breath and shared in the enthusiasm. The house they were headed for was a known pornographic studio.There were reports of underage teenagers being filmed there. This particular area of the San Fernando Valley was the home of the porn industry. The officer checked his gear one more time and readied himself. The officers had been briefed by administration. The pornography industry in Sylmar, Chatsworth and Van Nuys had an estimated yearly income of one billion dollars. The officers were stunned. “A billion?!” It defied a polite response. With such money, they were bound to have unscrupulous parasites operating in the margins. The task force, they were told, were to raid these suspect pornography studios and stop the filming of minors and the law would prosecute the child molesters in the process. The officers reveled in it. The thought of setting things right made them feel remarkably useful. Civic. It was why they did what they did.
Hours later, the officers stood outside of the house as investigators and detectives arrived en masse. They had raided the home. It had been divided up into larger rooms. Studios. Walls had been removed to allow for open spaces. There were bright lights set up. Little else was in the room except for a large bed and a couch was off to one side. Officers on the scene were a bit shocked at what greeted them. A fifteen year old girl was being filmed with a man, while several other men stood naked to one side waiting their turn. Disgusted, one of the officers had to restrain a fellow officer from punching one of them. They were happy to put such scumbags in jail. No problem. Detectives flowed up and into the house. The sun waned. Patrol officers set up a barricade nearby to keep the neighborhood away. Computers, films and expensive camera gear were all seized. Night oozed into the next morning. Detectives sealed the doors. Construction personnel boarded up the windows. They were done.
The skateboarders drove down an alleyway and pulled to the side. Charlie and Eddie had heard about the house from a kid who went to a local school. He had been there the summer before when the Van Nuys police raided the “Porn Palace”. It was the name that the kids gave the old house. It had been boarded up all year. Disrepair. Neglect. The kids knew that there was an old swimming pool in the back. One of the neighbors had told people that the porn actresses once sunbathed naked there. He watched them through a fence. Charlie and Eddie didn’t care what had been done in the past. They only concerned themselves with the future. Turnabout. They soon pulled themselves over a fence and found what awaited them. It was a massive mess. Someone had drained the pool and cleared out the remaining contents of the home. All of it was in the pool.
Charlie and Eddie couldn’t quite believe the work that they had ahead of themselves. They made phone calls. Help arrived and within a few hours, most of the debris was out of the pool and stacked in the back alleyway. The skaters could see that the transitions were good. The pool had a straight face wall with round carveable corners. The corners were amazing and everyone was anxious to try them out. It was growing late in the day and the crew agreed to come back the next day and drain the remaining filthy water. They’d skate it and have fun.
The crew managed to get the muck, filth and debris out of the pool. The ‘Porn Palace”. Cleansed of its seediness, sin and vice. The old pool raised its plaster face to the sun. Charlie and Eddie talked quietly while the skin of the pool dried in the warming light. They shook their heads about the pools history. Life is crazy sometimes. “Who would’ve thought? A porn house?”
Eddie Mighty Moreno
They skated and took what the pool offered up. Possibilities. The afternoon sun grinned down on them as wrongs were made right. A Karma debt had been repaid. A cloud that once lingered overhead… was now, long gone. Thank you to Deville for the images. Skate- Ozzie