sports (42)

On the Pavement Again

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Breaking my arm (compound fracture) 2 years ago traumatized me (first broken bone in 84 yrs.). I gave up skating, but in about 2 weeks thought fuck it I’m not giving up.

Started skating after I was healed, but it was as if I’d aged 20 years. I felt awkward, tentative. I hoped no one was watching. Once I’m rolling I feel OK, but it’s the pumping then jumping on the board transition where I feel nervous.

But I’m easing back into it, poco a poco. Not pushing it any more. Just gentle slopes where I can carve.

On my way back from Louie’s last week I found a gentle down slope and a couple of guys filmed me from their truck.

What you gain in skating, as opposed to surfing, is the wave to yourself; no crowd problem. What you lose is a soft place to land.

And yes, Mom, I’m wearing safety gear.

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Classic 1975 Skateboarding Film – Huntington Beach, California

Oh man, this is so good! The rawness of the sport, the crudeness of the boards, the sunny (1975) SoCal spirit, the moves, the dream skating scene starting at 30:17. These guys had something that today’s hot skaters don’t have.

I think this belongs in the same category as The Endless Summer. Pure unabashed LA, in its still glory days of the ’70s.

“Amazing old skateboard documentary mainly based in California in the mid-70s. Shows the early days of skateboarding and show cases some of the main skaters of the day like Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and many of the original Zepha Surf Shop team.”

From Leo Hetzel

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Jack O’Neill, 1923-2017

Photo by Dave McGuire: Martinis at Jack O’Neill’s cliffside home in Santa Cruz in 2013. L-R, Betty Van Dyke, Richard Novak, Jack, Lloyd

I graduated from high school in San Francisco in 1952. I had to make up some grades in order to get admitted to Stanford, so I took some morning classes at a private high school and worked as an office boy at an insurance company in the afternoons. Each day I had a couple of hours off, so I started going to the beach.

Kelly’s Cove is the beach right next to the Cliff House at Ocean Beach, and I met a bunch of guys who were starting to bodysurf there. Cliff Kamaka, a Hawaiian who was a lifeguard at the nearby Fleishacker Pool* had taught the boys the art of bodysurfing. Charley Grimm, Rod Lundquist, John Stonum, Jim Fisher, Bill Hickey — and Jack O’Neill — were some of the gang.

The water averaged in the low ’50s, so you had to really be motivated to endure the cold. They’d build a big fire on the beach to warm up after getting out of the water, and had constructed driftwood windbreaks that you could get inside to lay in the sun.

Jack was working for a company that sold firefighting equipment. He and his wife Marge and their 6 kids lived in an apartment on Sloat Blvd., across from the zoo, a few blocks from the beach. His first attempt at staying warm was a “dry suit,” as used by divers. It was thin rubber. Jack bought one He showed it to me and he was wearing long woolen underwear underneath it. Where it might have worked for diving in calm water, it didn’t work at all in the turbulent ocean. Water would come in at the sleeves, legs, and neck.

Jack didn’t invent the wetsuit. According to Wikipedia, “Hugh Bradner, a University of California, Berkeley physicist invented the modern wetsuit in 1952…” The US Navy then developed wetsuits for their divers and the first ones were being sold in stores. The wetsuit was neoprene and allowed the water to get next to your body, but kept it warm. Before they started lining them with nylon (maybe Jack’s invention), they were difficult to get on, so we had to coat our skin with corn starch so they would slide on.

I may be the only person in the world who knows this, but one day Jack went to Roos Brothers, the big department store on Market at Powell in San Francisco, and bought a wetsuit in their sporting goods department. He took it home, took the measurements off it, and returned it the next day. Voilá, he had the pattern for his first wetsuit. I know this because I stopped by to see him the day he brought it home. Like Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but perfected it and made it available to millions, so it was with Jack and wetsuits.

Read More …

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Free Brand New Car

When I was on the road, I heard Warren Buffet say this on TV (I’m starting to unscramble notes from my trip):

When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.

Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours.’

Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’ And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.’ If that had happened, I would have picked out that car.

But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it? I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.

That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just life the car would be. It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/587506-when-i-was-sixteen-i-had-just-two-things-on

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Bella Coola Gnar Segment (from INTO THE MIND)

From Godfrey Stephens. I’m pretty sure I posted this before, but I saw it again last month at Godfrey’s and was struck by the power of the music and imagery. The band is A Tribe Called Red, according to Wikipedia: “…a Canadian electronic music group, who blend instrumental hip hop, reggae, moombahton and dubstep-influenced dance music with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming. Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the group consists of three DJs: Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau (of the Nipissing First Nation), Tim “2oolman” Hill (Mohawk, of the Six Nations of the Grand River), and Ehren “Bear Witness” Thomas (of the Cayuga First Nation).…”

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