01 February 2008

Fourth grade

When I was in the fourth grade I had been a skater for probably 3 years. Skates were something that came naturally to our family. Mom was a champion skater from way back so when we learned to walk, the skates were next. In those days skates had metal wheels. Yeah, those were fun, hit a rock and it was over. The skates attached to your shoes with leather straps and there was an adjustment knob on the front to tighten the up. Sort of a one size fits all skate.

Well, after you've skated up and down your street 50,000 times or so, you begin to get a little brave and do stuff that most people don't do on skates. Like walk down to Laurel street and dare each other to skate down the hill, remembering of course, that you have to catch the stop sign at the bottom because if you don't it could be goners for you from traffic.Yeah that's how the brother and I had fun. It was a blast, in fact last week I rode down Laurel street and it all came flooding back. Ah sweet memories.

After a 1000 or so trips down Laurel street and no deaths, we were ready to ramp it up a bit and decided to try something new. Mom was going to kill us. We found some old 2x4s and a saw and decided to invent a new way to "skate" we broke the wheels off the skates and nailed them to the 2x4. Yep we did. A 2x4 skateboard. Of course we don't have pictures of the best skateboard ever, because back then who thought to document an invention?

Well, it was the prize of the neighborhood! Suddenly everyone was doing it and boy were we having fun. It was near impossible to steer and would not corner at all, but it was the best. You could use it regular, or sit on it and Laurel street would never be the same. I found out I was a goofy footer and that was okay, it separated me from the boys and I really thought I had better control over it that way. Goofy footer? For the uninitiated, that mean my left foot was the prominent foot used while skate boarding. (and surfboarding too)

Good times. good memories. Then when I saw this video this morning I thought to myself how far skateboarding has come. And for all those guys, making a living skateboarding? You owe all us kids from the early 60s a debt of gratitude!

Go watch it. It is 5 minutes, but take the five minutes and enjoy it!