Friday, August 14, 2009


Andy Kessler was from what I call the 2nd Generation of skaters, but certainly had the spirit of the early 1st gen Dogtowners. He died recently and this article was sent to me by a friend. Jackson may be more familiar with his impact on NYC skating, but I liked the piece for the way the author encapsulates the soul of a true skateboarder.

"For most of Kessler’s life, years of which were mired in violence and addiction and the existential angst that torments many a non-conformist, skateboarding wasn’t merely a sport or pastime or even the artistic expression of his soul. It was the path to his soul’s salvation."

That's good stuff. RIP Andy Kessler. I didn't know ya, but then again maybe I did.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catching Up With An Old Friend

A couple weekends ago, McLovin', aka Gorko, showed up at my place, with kids and girlfriend in tow.  He was on his way from Connecticut to his folks place in Tallahassee and Asheville seemed like a good stopover.  

McLovin' hasn't changed much, personality-wise, since we'd last hung out about 25 years ago (man, where does the time go?).  He gave me a brief update.  After graduating from Northern Illinois as an Engineering major and a Language minor (earning the nickname "Lazy-Ass" in German from his unwillingness to study whatsoever and still be able to ace tests, even at the highest levels), he got his Master's in Engineering.  Upon returning to West Point and holding a string of laughable, menial jobs, not unlike the vast majority of us, he landed a cushy job in Germany for Mercedes-Benz.  He did that for awhile, returned to the states and has remained in the engineering field.  He explained to me that at his current job he is the one that decides to keep or scrap the airplane engine parts (some of which cost up to $125,000 to produce) that are only 99.9% perfect.

He was married but is now divorced and has 2 extremely well-behaved kids, son Paul, 10, and daughter Riley, 12.  Said kids are suspiciously well behaved.  I suspect they are actually aliens from another planet sent to scout earth for their future invasion.  I mean, come on, no fighting? No whining?  What's up with that?
After a BBQ and a few beers, we broke out my yearbook and settled down for a classic story telling session.  I reminded him of how he vandalized my yearbook.  He didn't remember doing it but readily conceded it was his handwriting, and since he/we were such assholes back then, it's exactly the kind of thing he'd/we'd do.  Many laughs later we called it a night.  The next day we went to Asheville's big hippifest, the Belle Chere.  Then they headed out after dinner for the long drive overnight to Tallahassee, a typical McLovin' Doin'-Things-My-Way move.

Here are some of the highlights of his stay:
  • Through sheer coincidence, he has witnessed virtually all of my brother's left hooks back in the day.  I was kinda surprised by how many there were.  Fortunately, none were directed at him.
  • He still has that hilarious way about him of dismissing anything that isn't of 100% importance.  I'm not sure I'm able to describe it well, but if you knew him back then, you'd know what I'm talking about.  For instance, if he had been a counselor of some sort, here's how I would imagine him:  Client- "I'm having trouble cutting down on the drinking..." McLovin' - "OK. Listen. This is what you have to do: stop drinking."  Client - "But.." McLovin' - "OK, shut up. You're being stupid. Just stop drinking..."etc...
  • Sister Brigeet cautioned his daughter about me, telling her (among other horrible things probably) that I was most likely fat and bald.  Hey, whatever lie you gotta tell yourself honey so that you don't cry yourself to sleep each night over having let this prize get away is fine by me.  Do what you gotta do!
  • He's lost track of the number of degrees his father has earned/is still earning but is running out of new ones to pursue.  His best guess: 42.  Wow.
Me, decidedly not fat and bald (L), and McLovin' (R), drinking brews, talking shop.

My brother has been kicking around the idea of us having some kind of reunion.  I don't know if it'll happen or not, but I'm definitely on board after this visit.  

Stay thirsty my friends.