Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I remember skating this kinda crappy particle board vert ramp in 1984 and my friend Lew telling me about this "sponsored skater" who had just moved to Kalamazoo (to go to WMU). His name was Bill Fergusson and he was indeed a sponsored skater and he ripped! Fast forward six years and this same dude was still in Kalamazoo and was opening his own skatepark, the "Kzoo Skate Zoo". I rode my bike at Kzoo tonight, 21 years later, and wished Bill happy birthday on the way out. As Iwalked out the door, my mind started racing with so many memories, one after another. I went to (I think) his 26th birthday party and I barely knew him. Not long afterward, he gave me a part time job at Kzoo, then right after that, a part time job at the shop he ran, Piranha Alley. I didn't work at the park for very long before becoming full time at Piranha Alley, where I stayed for six years before becoming a sales rep. I have a thousand memories of so many funny things, a few bad ones (mostly involving shop lifters) and good times. Just yesterday I took my son Dylan to skate a little bit and he climbed into the circular shirt rack in the pro shop to scare me. Pretty funny for a three year old but the time that I came walking back into Piranha Alley with my lunch and Bill jumped out that exact same rack, he startled the fucking shit out of me. I pointed out what Dylan was doing yesterday and Bill, who was putting a board together for a customer, just chuckled. He couldn't stop laughing that day in the mid 90s. I'm laughing thinking about it now. That job really paved the way for everything I do now and I thank Bill for giving me the opportunity. More than that, I'm just glad we're friends.

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