Until Now I Haven’t Owned A Skateboard Since 1983

I had a custom plank I’d put together and purchased at the famous Val Surf back in 1977 that I rode like a crazed wanna-be Dogtowner through the rest of my junior high years. Cherished though it was, by the time I hit high school it was reduced to gathering dust in the long spaces between those rare days I’d roll it around the neighborhood or ride it to/from school. And in the end it suffered the ignominious task of ferrying the apartment building’s 10 garbage cans I’d roll out of the garage to the curb the night before pick-up day  — a chore negotiated with the landlord that gave my mom a $20 break on our rent — hey, every little bit helped us back then.

arboardAfter completing one such weekly trash transfer I left the board with the cans for some unremembered reason, and learned for the umpteenth time an important rule of life: Just because one’s regard for something is low, doesn’t mean it’s held in the same depleted esteem by the rest of the world. When I returned from whatever to retrieve it, it was gone.

I never replaced it.

A few weeks ago La Mano Press in LIncoln Heights was having it’s farewell sale, and Susan and I visited the place on its last day open to the public, wherein I browsed  around somewhat noncommittally until I came upon the board you see at right (cliackable for slight biggability), the bottom of which features a segment of the awesome woodcut titled “Infinite Night” that master printer Artemio Rodriguez created (and was later used for the 2007 Dia de los Muertos festival at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where he was the featured artist.

I went into immediate WANT mode.  I think I even uttered some rather embarrassing mewing sounds and my outstretched hands made grabby gestures.

Artemio was gracious enough to autograph the other side of it and for the last few weeks it’s sat near my desk not whilst I mulled what sort of trucks and wheels to match it up with — oh hell no. I was more interested in figuring out a way how to display it — the perfect solution for that coming in my finding plate hangers at Home Depot yesterday.

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."