Dog Bowl. Santa Monica. Summer 1977. David Hackett, Shogo Kubo, Jay Adams, Bob Biniak,Tony Alva, Wes Humpston and Stan Sharp on the deck. Four of seven. I look at this shallow end lineup and find it difficult to believe that four of these guys have slid away from the sun. Shogo Kubo, Jay Adams, Bob Biniak and Stan Sharp are no longer here. However, everything they ever were is not lost, as long as we keep talking about them and keep their spirit with us. In
my opinion, there is no such thing as, “Out of sight, out of mind.” There are so many skateboarders out there in the world. There are way more now than when this photograph was taken. Most have no idea why anything moves the way it does. Life. Dreams. They probably don’t question…
Life seems to move much faster than it did in 1977. Attention is limited to a quick flick of the thumb and what was surprising, new and amazing, quickly becomes a thing of the past. I recall studying photographs… boards, trucks, wheels, sticker placement. I took in the tiles, the crumbling block wall beside the pool, the palm trees… everything. The big picture. Etched into my DNA. I look at this photograph from time to time. I’m filled with wonder. I’m sure the guys in the photo would barely recall it… “…just another great afternoon at the Dogbowl with the boys.” they’d say. When pressed, one or another might remember a certain aspect of the photograph. One can never be sure. Memories become a confusing mess as we age. I’m unsure how many times all of these guys were there together, but I know that it couldn’t have been that often. The pool only lasted through that summer. That one special summer. As I grow older, I still skate as much as I can. I look around at some of the legendary skateboarders that paved the way for us and I see them gray, bent and broken. Some, not all. They skate better than they walk.
I love what they did all of those years ago… some are consumed with the past. Others don’t really care too much. Some scream out for recognition they say they don’t want. Actions… actions. Your words say one thing but your behavior? Some are eaten alive by all-consuming ego. Sadly, I look on and wish I’d never met them. Rather a perfect photograph Scotch-taped to a wall in a Pennsylvania farmhouse, than the realization that a would-be hero is forever stuck as an insecure twelve year old. I guess, we get what we get in life. One should be like Teflon. Nothing sticks. I once looked for validation from them… something I will never get. One cannot relay something that one doesn’t possess. I look at this photograph. They never knew. I don’t think that this moment in time was anything other than what it seems. In their minds, they were only having fun. There was no ripple… pebble in a pond. There wasn’t a strange sense of convergence. No thought for tomorrow. Maybe it’s best this way. Fun in its purest form. This is what they gave us and it is all we get. I guess its all we need. Thanks to the people that came before us. Rest in peace Stan, Shogo, Bob and Jayboy. Thank you to William Sharp for the image. Skate – Ozzie
(Stories and images used by permission of Blue Tile Obsession / Ozzie Ausband)