Friday, August 22, 2008


Obviously I have been on a bit of a nostalgic skateboarding tangent the past few days. Part of that is due to all of the skateboarding-related projects I have been working on this summer, but more of it has to do with the activity of skateboarding itself. For me, skateboarding was a limitless possibility when I picked it up in the mid-80's. It was not only the lack of rules and structure that was so appealing, but also it's (unintentional) effect of helping me discover and define my own identity. It was something I could pursue on my own, I could interpret and engage in the suburban 'landscape' of strip malls and parking lots, curbs and sidewalks. The skateboarding culture was also a perfect, companion fit with my all of my other creative interests-photography, drawing, painting, stencils, stickers, customized t shirts, carpentry, etc-all of which I still do to this day.

Above is a recent 'test' silkscreen print that was a by-product of reissuing 'Streetscribe', a zine I did with Kevin Taylor about our local scene of Charleston, SC. It ran from 1987-1989 and partially reflects a lot of the friendship and fulfillment that skateboarding provided us. Kevin recently organized an evolving documentary on one of our most important skate spots during those years, The George Street (Burgess) Pool. This fifteen minute video has great stills of some of our good friends and locals- Chris Bortz, Hank Beiring, Blaize Blouin, Shepard Fairey, John Donehue, Chris McMurray, Keith Durden, Jeff Richards and many more. (There's even some local news footage of me in Charleston County Jail when I got arrested for 'trespassing' in the pool). Hearing Bad Brains do 'I Luv I Jah' while viewing some of those photos COMPLETELY takes me back to that time...

It was rough and bumpy and gnarly; the Wallos ditch in Hawaii is the only other thing I have ever seen to compare it to. Riding the George Street Pool required speed, aggression and some wreckless courage. In it's heyday, jump ramps, quarter pipes, curbs and railroad ties were scattered around it's immense flat bottom. And on Saturday afternoons, it wasn't unusual to see 30-40 different skateboarders from around the region converge to ride. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

whats up Jason, i was a young buck when you guys were killing it here in chucktown, but seeing alot of these old pics and names makes me think back to Vans and Stuff and Big Ednas days here when me and my crew were tearing up the streets of the Charleston in the early 90's! Been a big fan of your wk since you were at Obey, glad to see it looks like things are going well for ya