Hello Artful Dodgers.
I'm just as honored now as I was back in the day to be considered a member of "the skateboard gang".
You see, I never owned a skateboard. (gasp!, shriek!, no!) Much less rode one. I was allowed in by some loophole in the bylaws that granted membership if you had a Les Paul and could pull off at least three songs from any of the following groups: AC DC, Black Sabbath, Maiden/Priest, or Zeppelin. I believe it may have been my stirring rendition of "Breaking the Law" that sealed my approval.
In any event, what a get-out-of-jail-free card this association turned out to be!
As an entering freshman to James I. Oneill I had instant street cred. I was about to get "into it" with this guy from Garrison. And when I say, "guy" I mean neanderthal and when I say "into it" I mean my ass kicked. When Pat Phillips walked up and said "what's up Devine!" and asked the neanderthal if he had a smoke. The dude gave Pat a smoke, shook my trembling hand and walked off!
That was the beauty of the skateboard gang. A bunch of non-violent really cool dudes, that people thought were dangerous!
I remember the first time this kid asked me if I was in the skateboard gang. I just kind of shrugged and said no, I don't think so. But that only made it seem more so! Awesome!
But then I'd be out at the halfpipe crankin' some UFO on one of those crisp fall days. Doing absolutely nothing but enjoying life when who should pull up... but an MP. and we'd let him park, get out of his car, do his hard-guy stance while talking into the radio and, if it was a really nice day, we'd let him take 10 steps towards us... then we'd all ditch over the fence and down the hill (let's face it this was pretty much a cliff) all the way to soldier field. If this fool decided to drive all the way down to get us, we'd end up climbing painted rock.
Always a win-win situation.