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Photo by Joey Shigeo

When he’s not out there crushing the world beneath his skateboard to the sweet Southern sounds of Skynyrd, James Hardy’s usually keeping to himself, taking walks in the woods with his dog and other things that you’d generally equate with a more sensitive person. But, sometimes it’s being aware of a sensitive moment that makes you kind of hesh. Take for example, if your friend has chemo. During Fallen’s Skate & Create, I caught up with him to find out why Hardy went baldy.

I see your hair came back, but you did have your hair and eyebrows fully bic’d. What was the reasoning for that?
My friend back home, Ryan Ezell. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer in August and when he started chemo, I told him, “If you lose your hair and eyebrows because of chemo, I’ll shave mine off.” So, around the very end of December, he lost his eyebrows and his hair, so I shaved mine off. I kept it bald as long as he was bald. Just recently, his chemo was up and his hair started growing back in, so I let mine grow back in.

Is he good now – healthy?
Yeah, yeah, he’s good.

It wasn’t one of those crazy phases of life then.
No, no. It wasn’t some distressed period of my life or some break-up from a girlfriend. It was just for a homey – try to help out.

Did anybody ever see you and think you had gone through chemo?
No, the most I ever got was, “Oh, you lose a bet?” or “You a skinhead?” People thought I was just trying to look sketchy. But, no, I didn’t lose a bet and I’m not a skinhead.

Your friend must have been stoked to have someone backing him like that.
Yeah, I didn’t want it to be about me. I wasn’t going around talking about it like, “My friend’s going through chemo. That’s why I look like this!” I just wanted him to know someone was there that looked the same, so he wouldn’t be tripped out about looking that way. No one would guess why someone would bic their head like that, so I was always nice to people who asked.

I never would have guessed.
Yeah, first time I saw Garrett [Hill] was the first time someone thought I lost a bet. Pretty funny.