Saturday, April 19, 2008

The skateboarder

Whirrrr, rumble, bang! Whirrrr, rumble, bang! The sound of the boy, I guess he's about 14, skateboarding in the backyard of the corner house across the street. My window overlooks the yard. The kid sets up a little wooden ramp on the patio, rolls up the ramp, & attempts to land with some finesse on the back porch steps. He does this for hours. I tune it out pretty well. But this is the third warm season he's been out there, & he's no better than he was two years ago. He's a terrible skateboarder. The bang part tells me that. By now, he ought to be competent enough to test himself at the train station plaza with its interesting array of challenges; low walls, benches, slopes, steps, the pedestrian tunnel. I've watched the kids there & they aren't tough on newbies because they aren't all that great themselves. Another group of skateboarders negotiates various sidewalk obstacles & parking lot configurations in the small Elmora retail district. The beat cop there tells them to stop, they carry their boards a block in the opposite direction. I feel like walking across the street & saying, "You know, my friends & I helped to create this beautiful thing a long, long time ago* & you're worse than we were, so maybe you should find somebody to teach you the most basic of necessary skills by example or admit you're a klutz & go back to your video games. I can't show you because it's not like riding a bicycle & I'll break my ass."

* The Walnut Street Hill crowd: Jimmy B, Danny, Tommy, Rix, Doc, Janine, Leslie, Joanne (The Beatles Girls), a few others who didn't ride but hung out.

Yeah, what IS up with this new breed of 'boarders? Man, they are everywhere here in Hollytown.
In the mid-sixties it was already breaking into two styles, L.A. & San Fran. L.A. was hot doggers, they liked empty swimming pools; S.F. was street & sidewalk boarding naturally. We loved San Fran, they were lunatics.
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