7.28.2004

Take a SKATE down memory lane.....
This page is epic, even if epic is more a word from my early 90's snowboarding days in Breckenridge than a word to describe my experiences of the 70's.  The word EPIC seemed like it was the answer everyday. If in DC the trademark question is "what do you do" then in the ski town's trademark question is "so, did you get out today?" and the textbook answer..."yes, it was epic!" Just the same this page has images of skateboards from the early 70's. The images of the metal trucks blows my mind. Just how I remembered them!

brb...got to do some more surfing.....surfing down memory lane
(web surfing that is)

Went looking for the Sunshine House. Thought something would come up. Maybe a write up about the local history of Bethesda. But nothing. Totally empty. Sort of sad. Something with such history. A great local contribution..lost and gone forever? It was a classic business failure, grew too big too fast....had they stayed smaller they would have been prime for a much more prosperous life span as the local economy had begun to prosper and skating was yet to grow to its mainstream popularity of today. I am sure they still have their Ocean City Maryland location, but the Bethesda location could have easily been their bread and buter. ((yet not as sad as the Windsurfing Unlimited story.....they guy who bought it (it was East of Maui at this point) drove it into the ground. That place was a potential gold mine; ironically the Windsurfer/Skateboarder/Snowboarder existed in a new building strip mall where the Sunshine House once stood. New concrete poured smoothly where the wax once decorated the sidewalk. there is still a Windsurfing Unlimited store in Annapolis. The Windsurfing Unlimited location was in a residential house down the street from where I grew up. I used to cut their lawn. They always wanted to pay me in t-shirts.))

gotta roll
can't risk waking grant

night

it is morning and I am at work
thought I might do some searching for more info on this topic

nothing
coming up with nothing in the GOOGLE on Sunshine House
just a piece of forgotten history

Ocean City Maryland....Ocean Bowl

I was never much of a skater....these things take time. My time was being spent elsewhere. Too busy playing soccer, volleyball, and running (and of course some cycling, which was actually just bike riding back then) to be able to actually gain any skill on the skate. If it were not for the 6'4" Tony Hawk I would try to use my height and center of gravity as an excuse. But, it all comes down to time. I never invested the time. Most of my skating was about getting around town, hanging out, and having fun. My fondest memories of skating are with Rob Hardesty (the same guy I tour Europe with on bikes) We use to go all over downtown DC in traffic down heavily traversed roads, running lights, hanging on for dear life as speeds grew so fast that there was no slowing down, there was no stopping, and there was no jumping off, and there was no escaping the inevitable crash; the best we could hope for is that we don't get hit and we can slow down when the road flattens out. Better than going down Wisconsin Ave into Georgetown or back toward Maryland at Tenleytown was riding the carless parking garages in Downtown Bethesda. We use to do all sorts of grinds and rock and rolls on the heavily painted curbs. Then we would run up the stairs and race down the ramped garage doing high speed power slides wearing down our Buck99 gardening gloves, which I most certainly stole from my dad's shed. The pinnacle performance of the parking garage had to be the catamaran.  As goofy as it may appeared, and not at all pleasing to the uptight homophobe, the catamaran was the coolest thing you could do in a parking garage, well, without a girl. It was the fastest and the funniest way to get from the top of the garage to the bottom.
The catamaran is hard to picture and even harder to describe, but I will try.  It takes two riders, each rider sits on their own board and puts their feet on the other person's board, one foot on each side. then they hold hands, yes, hold hands. Things start off slowly, a few pushes at the ground bellow and we were off. The first turn at a slow pace was easy, but as speed picks up the peron on the outside of the turn is forced to lean way back, while the inside rider leans forward. The force to the outside is great, the wheels slide and the tight turn is forced. Again the speed tends to become too fast for the riders to control. Crashing is accepted as part of the experience. If you are not crashing then you are not testing the limits. Without a doubt we would go home all bruise up with our hands and fingers sore from slamming and running over our hands with our own boards. But not until after we had run up the stairs and ridden down until we were completely exhausted or it was time to go home.

MAN THAT WAS FUN!

Can't wait until Dean is old enough to get me skateboarding again!
only problem is that in this modern world the parking garages are still used in the evenings
there are even signs posted, "NO SKATEBOARDING"
the times of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are long gone
we are in the age of National Security

GREEN SKATE LAB
this is a non-profit I know nothing about
but I think it is a group of skaters grown up and trying to spread the word of skateboarding



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