in the last week i dreamed of catching snakes, narrowly escaping tornadoes, and skateboarding a parking lot full of burlesque girls with a bunch of other girls who were also skateboarding with me.
as i construct a new future ill try to be faithful to the past. the work for me is already done, because the best photography doesnt need words, but i am still learning, and i really like words [until i hate them again].
here are fragments from a trip to wisconsin in october of 2015, with text taken from a journal represented in quotations...
I WENT SIDEWAYS
dad picked me up in waukeagan since i missed the train that goes to kenosha. sorry dad im fried. we went straight up to madison. well actually we stopped at riverwest film and video so i could buy a few more rolls of 15 dollar super8 film. hats off to that place for still keeping it affordable. hey internet, fuck off with your 22 dollars a roll. we probably got coffees too, and then we went up to madison...
we hit the road with dad. this of course means we went disc golfing at as many different parks as possible...
cant see a photo of something like this and not think about the line from 'the sandlot' about 'benny busting the guts' out of an old baseball.
we went to the skatepark in oshkosh. i think we have been there twice before that? once in 2007 and once in 1998? its across the street from a high school so all day theres kids coming over to sit on ledges and smoke and try to skate your board for a few minutes of awkward glory. i dont ever let dudes skate my board though, especially sketchy dudes. its funny to tell a kid 'no, i dont let anyone ride my board' very frankly. they look at you like you are from mars.
"the oshkosh park was more fun/weird than i remember it being - maybe living with reno's park selection has affected me that way. the new appleton park left me wanting design-wise, some goofy oversights like woodchip pits, dead spaces, fucking stairs of course, and curbs with no coping and gaps in between - like they werent even trying to make it a finished thing. great fun when no ones there, and there are lights. an across to down rail gave me bump to flat, hit the qp and come back for the slant combos of the slide, lip, feeble, and smith variety. been so hungry for a good flatbar for such a long time - just basic stuff reno is missing. also got an end to end boardslide across and down, to fakie. happy to be skating well in the wi october air - feel like myself as much as ever. disc golf was fun too, saw a bunch of turtles in a pond. weeks plan still in the works."
well i may as well mention that i did venture into the glow of the autumn wood to relieve myself in the most proper manner and emerged a new man, securing a birdie on the very next hole. theres a street skating aspect to disc golf i cant quite put my finger on. maybe its the part thats like "hey you wanna come play this game?" "sure as long as i can shit in the woods while we play it."
we got back to madison eventually. dad split with nance on another leg of his trip, off to somewhere else unique and odd in the state. me and cole woke up to drizzle the next day and went to the new skatepark in madison, and it was dry...
dude, go to that park cole
we got to milwaukee and met up with tim olson, who does a skate company you may have heard of called the friendship. i was supposed to help him get a photo for an advertisement. it was kinda raining but we went for it anyways. bridge spot worked for a while...
from there we went to a ledge which was steadfastly referred to as "scott walker's dick"...
how can you not love skateboarding?
"we skated the west allis park at dusk and when the lights came on i got really stoked, pretty outta my mind actually. lotta weird stuff to zip around on there if im just gonna skate it this once most likely. among the crowd of hardened scooting children was a 32 year old dude in a series of puffy jackets, yelling at snakes and riding fast but kinda top heavy and outta practice. but he was sliding the down rail and hucking down the steps. he introduced himself to me and asked if i was 21. told him i moved to reno and he asked if i played blackjack and chess. he dedicated a 360 flip to me. i got the feeling he had never seen a guy his age skating before. it was kinda rad how stoked he was but equally as strange. the best part was when he asked if i smoked and my reply was something like "no, skatings hard enough as it is, why do something that will just make it harder?" this perspective floored him, he called that 'real talk'. cole and i stayed as long as we could tolerate the out of control kids and then we left. i told him i was still kinda buzzing so while we drove to racine [one of my favorite drives in a long time] we set our sights on the DTP."
oh, whoa. yeah that was pretty easy. huh.
Trips back home are hectic. 6 Days in, the first moment you get to yourself really slaps you in the face, and a strange gloom ensues - now what? You may find yourself under a bridge, ramming into a glossy blacktop curb for a half hour, learning how to count to 10 all over again. By the time you get to 8 you better be on your heels boy. There was a skate video that came out years ago called "what we do is secret". I always loved the concept of that title. Skateboarding thrives best as an underground activity, and I think most of us stricken with the sideways urge revel in the fact that no one else has any real clue about this oddball reality we construct and deconstruct. That aspect of it is majorly appealing to me, and I think is still part of what magnetizes all the other weirdos and outcasts - secret curb appeal, man. All that said, its a funny thing to consider now, in 2015, where it seems like no ones tryin to have any secrets. Yeah, the majority of the non-skating masses do not and will not ever know what a "slappy" is, but just think of how many sessions have tidbits immediately broadcast, before the sweat even dries. All those instant clips mobile-y uploaded means a lot less people going "what the fuck are these skaters doing?" and a lot more people going "oh those are skaters, they're living so voraciously in the present they are already thinking about the future..." or some such foolish accusation. I'm not saying its social media's fault that skateboarding will be in the next olympics, but I'll be damned if phones and medals will ever replace wax and stoke. Anyways, all I wanted was my first Wisconsin slappy, and this bizarro greasy blacktop edge under the highway was too good to not take home with me. So there you go, one more secret moment of mediocre shred is outta the bag and on the line, and in a moments time, sucked downstream in the raging current of the digital feed. Guh. Still got plenty of shit I'm never gonna tell you or anyone about - some of it even involves - gasp - skateboarding.
ive often wondered why that is. do cars put our heads at a forgotten height in space which somehow fills us again with the wonder, curiosity, astonishment and visual joys of childhood?
do the limits of that temporary position in traffic electrify the otherwise dull moment of transit with a sense of fleeting urgency?
does the obsession with needing to take advantage of those specific perspectives which you find yourself given by the random chaos of vehicular traversing patterns suggest some sort of freudian glitch?
do we conclude that no matter if your are in a car or up on your feet, all photography is still so undoubtedly linked to death? am i on a runaway train here or what? if that is the case, ill likely be holding a camera up to the window.
on the last day i drove dad to work in union grove and then came back into town and lurked around at thrift stores and antique malls - you know, cause theres plenty of room in my 2 bags to jam more shit to haul back to nevada. it was super early and nothing was open and this plaza always looks good...
does anyone not like piles of tires?
edward burtynsky might be the tire pile champion
white balance just driving me nuts on this morning. sorry nerds.