I wasn't going to write about this at all but i will. This year has been riddled with death. Mostly of people that i didn't know well personally, but somehow had an impact on my life. I sometimes find it weird openly showing sadness or mourning people you don't know that well. Like it's unfair on the people that really really knew them, that's hearts are broken from their loss, but it's always good to recognises how important some people are, even if you only meet them once, how much of an impression they leave. Shawn Mortensen, Dash Snow and Andy Kessler RIP.
I met Shawn Mortensen February 2009, in LA, with Carri, a few months before his death. We spent the afternoon together. He picked us up from Canters! He seemed really anxious, fidgety, someone i'd describe as unpredictable and impatient. We got into his his jeep, which was trashed! It was full of junk, dusty, the seatbelts didn't work and it reeked of smoke! I watched him from the back seat. He told us we were going to Sean Stussy's house and gave us a little tour of downtown LA. Lupe Fiasco was doing a shoot in a comic store so after Seans' we went over there, he told us we were only going to be in there 15 mins, and as soon as 15 mins was up he came in like a bull bellowing our names saying 'we had to go'. His voice was so course and raw. We were kinda scared! He then drove us for a while around LA, showing us spots, he seemed really happy and positive, although his natural facial expression didn't radiate that. But the most important part was hearing him speak and the advice he was giving us, to push ourselves because no one would do it for us, to use the internet as our primary tool for exposure and how lucky we were to have it, to fuck what anyone has to say about you, to work hard and to just love what you do. He invited us to his house for food, but i couldn't make it, Carri went, i wish i had have gone now. He dropped me off early evening on Fairfax, i left feeling overwhelmed and inspired. Thanks Shawn, it's crazy how much of an impact you had on me.
I met Andy Kessler on 22nd June 2009 for the first and only time. I was with Joey Tershay and John Cardiel. He met us at the bottom of central park. He was on some old mountain bike. The sun was shining and he was happy. He was gonna take us for a ride around the park, all the spots we wouldn't have seen or may have ignored, all the shortcuts. He told me that he used to sleep in the park and i laughed, he knew it like the back of his hand. He'd found a gold ring that day, he took it out, gave it to me, said i should have it. I said no but he insisted, I immediately put it on my necklace and have never taken it off. It had stars and moons on it and we said it looked like the universe. He seemed like such a kind person, just LOVE. We rode to cleopatra's needle, he's never ridden a fixed ear bike so joey let him have a go and was teaching him how to skid, he got it first time, it was fun to watch. He was having fun. We sat there for the rest of the afternoon, just talking. He spoke a lot about skateboarding and how it had changed, and grown. About the times he used to ride clay wheeels, just everything! I can can honestly say he taught me more about skateboarding history that day, than i could ever learn. Even John and Joey were taken aback. Andy. Such a humble, living, blessed legend. The sort of dude you'd want to see again. I'm going to keep that ring forever.