We’ve Got Mail – Nov. ’06

If your town doesn't have the sunny weather of San Diego, the schoolyard skate spots of L.A., or the city streets of New York, then here's a litter of letters guaranteed to make you feel right at home. You may be livin' and skating out in the boondocks, but we haven't forgotten about you. So, stop tippin' those cows and start flippin' through these postal pleasures from small towners across the world.

For a little inspiration, this month's featured letter gets a signed deck from Jamie Thomas-he came from a small town in Alabama and look where he's at today.

LETTER OF THE MONTH There's something unnerving about receiving a call from the hospital while you're at work. "Hello, Mrs. Vandewalle, we have Dalton here and… " I managed to squeeze out the word "yes" from some hollow region within me. "Well, your son Dalton has a very badly broken arm and needs to get to Sioux Falls (an hour-and-a-half drive away) so he can see a specialist; we have his father here right now." "Okay," I said softly and hesitantly. The tears began to well up in my eyes as I spoke to my son.
Apparently, my fourteen-year-old son managed to break both bones in his left forearm. Dalton was spending a week with his dad, and I was feeling bad that I wasn't there for him. Then the fear set in on me-that deep feeling of fear. What will Dalton do if he can't skateboard? Should I put his skateboard things away so he isn't tempted or tormented? I decided to decide later.
I needed to know how he did this; he lives on that skateboard, rarely getting a scuff or scrape. So I asked him, "Dalton, what the hell did you do?" And this was his reply: "I tried to get as much speed as possible, and then I approached a funbox and ollied the flat top of it, but when I got to the bottom of the funbox my front foot was on the nose and I leaned forward and flew, landing on both my palms and snapping my left forearm. Everyone was laughing until they realized my arm was broken. A small group of kids from the local skatepark drove me to the hospital to make sure I would get my limp, lifeless arm looked at. By the time Dad got to the hospital and I lifted my arm to show him, it flopped out to a 90-degree angle."
Now let's get back to the question of putting Dalton's skateboards away until his bones heal. I can't do it. I can't deprive him of the one thing he has built his daily life on. The thing I helped him to build his life on and encouraged him to do!
I now realize that the true pain from his broken arm would be if I stopped him from chasing his dreams on his skateboard because of his broken arm.-Jodi (Dalton's mom) and Dalton Klein (as seen from a parent's perspective as well as the kid's), via e-mail
Wait, a second! Could this be possible? A mom who actually wants her son to chase his skateboarding dreams even after breaking his arm? We had to venture out into South Dakota to find you, but you're our Skate Mom Of The Decade. Give this Jamie Thomas pro model to your son-he'll be needing it.

TRASH THE THRASH First of all, thanks! You're an awesome mag. Recently I read Thrasher and I'm about to stop-they trash you all at TWS. Only once (that I've noticed) has the rivalry between you and Thrasher been mentioned in your mag and that was in a "history lesson." Now, I'm sixteen, but this seems a little petty to me on their behalf. So, thank you, TransWorld. We are skaters, and we would rather be pushing and out skating than spending our money to hear them trash you guys. I want to read about skateboarding, so I'm gonna stop whining about that and not buy Thrasher anymore.-Jamie Ahlgrimm, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thrasher talkin' trash? We haven't noticed. But we did notice that time they put a snowboarder on their cover.

JOCK TALK I realized how much crap skaters go through just because we skate instead of trying to be the high school football star or the scorer of the game-winning point in basketball.
I live in a very small wn and high school football is a very big thing here. If you're not a jock, you're most likely not going to be a crowd favorite in this town. My friend Cole got chili thrown in his 'Fro because he skates instead of being a jock. The school did nothing about it, because the guy who threw chili at him was the star of the football team. If it was a skater who'd done that, he would have been kicked out of school or something close to that. I was suspended for skating in the parking lot at school. If it was a couple of jocks playing in the parking lot, the school wouldn't have cared.
Even though my friends and I and other skaters go through this crap just for being who we are instead of being jocks, it doesn't stop us from skateboarding. Skating is a lifestyle for us and it's not going to change.-Chane Knapp, Middletown, California
Jocks think they're tough in high school, but once Org's and Bubba's pathetic football-field dreams have been shattered, you'll find them cryin' in a haystack right back in the barnyard where they came from. In the meantime, if the jocks at your school give you any more problems, let us know and we'll send up Mike V to handle some business.

EMO TO SHEMO I'm a girl and I skate. I buy your magazine, mainly because I like the Nine Frames Per Second spread. I recently took one issue to school and all of my friends were shocked! "You're an emo! What are you doing with a skater magazine?" was shot at me all day. I don't get it. I don't label anyone, because it's a stupid waste of time. Also, I don't get why everyone begins labeling themselves during middle school. It's really not a good thing, because it influences the way you act toward other people. Also, it influences they way you dress and who you make friends with. From a labeler's perspective, it might give them a temporary decision as to who they are, be it "goth" or "prep" or "skater." But from my view, it's stupid and potentially hurtful. Becoming a label defines you, and suddenly it's not you, it's somebody else. Sure, I like stuff that's considered "emo," but I like to skate and joke and not have a giant cloud of sadness over me that is apparently "emo."
I've told my friends point-blank that I am not "emo" or "skater," I am me. I still read TransWorld, I still skate (though not at the moment because I sprained and bruised my ankle), I still listen to any type of rock, and I don't label anybody. Labels are stupid, and they never work out in the end.-Kathy Arnold, McLean, Virgina
Since labels seem to be inevitable, why don't you just play their game and come up with a really cool one for yourself. You could be the girl who gets detentions, always chews gum in class, and sneaks into R-rated movies. Or better yet, tell your friends you're a "shemo"-a skater, a girl, and an emo mixed.

IDAHO? YOU DA HO I live in a small town in Idaho called Kuna. We have a really small skatepark, but every jackass goes there to skate. That's the only good place to skate. The city chip-sealed the streets (when they put rocks on the street and tar them down) out here. The mayor hates skaters or we would have a better skatepark. My friend Zakk and I love skating, but we can't do it that much. He lives in a cul-de-sac with no ramps. We can't have ramps because his mom doesn't want them screwing up her lawn. We lost our skate shop because of the mayor. Zakk is kind of poor, so he has no money at all. He snaps more boards than anyone I know. I have to be careful now, because me parents refuse to buy skate stuff. I haven't gotten a new board in a year and mine's two ollies from snapping. It's B.S.-Kuna sucks for skating.-Jay Thorusen, Kuna, Idaho
Either the mayor really hates you, like you say, or you really hate your mayor. If you're looking for another place to shred, check out page XX and find out how to rally up the troops and get a skatepark (or in your case, a second and better skatepark) built in your town.

TIRED OF TECH Okay, here's the deal. I am bored with seeing wallrides and polejams in skate movies! I don't get it; everybody thinks that nowadays there are too many bangers in every video. Well, I think there are too many of those stupid tech "different" kind of tricks-I'm tired of them, and if there aren't enough stairs/rails in the video, everybody will say the movie sucks. For example, C1RCA's It's Time was, in my opinion, a great movie, but everyone says it was sucky, "because there was too many bangers" and the only good thing was Ramondetta's tre flip with a double flip. I thought all the dudes were good and had solid parts. DVS' Skate More started all this sh-t against bangers. They wanted to film "different" tricks for the kids, but now those dumb tricks are everywhere. People, let's start a riot against all the tech/wallride/polejam tricks! I understand those old-school tricks. They're great.-Joni Ekman, Somero, Finland
When you say "everybody" thinks a certain way, who exactly is "everybody"? 'Cause we have no idea what you're talking about even though the two confused skaters in your middle-of-nowhere town may understand.

KEN-SUCKY I'm fourteen years old and have been skating for about four months now. All I know how to do is ollie. I just wanted to express how much skating and your magazine has done for me. A few weeks ago, I went on a school trip to Washington D.C. and New York City. I was privileged to be able to go with my girlfriend, but she and I got into some trouble when I was caught in her hotel room. Now her parents don't really like the idea of us being a couple, so she may end up changing high schools. I am going to be sent off to Kentucky with my aunt for the rest of the summer. That means a month of pretty much no skating-she lives on a grassy hill. I just had surgery on my toe and I haven't been able to skate. In my time of need, I have your magazine to look at. I look at all the articles to keep me company. I just wanted to let you know that what you guys do is awesome. It's like seeing an old friend when I get each month's issue. Thank you, TWS, and keep shredding.-Aaron Stiles, Las Cruces, New Mexico
TransWorld will be there for you during your stay in Kentucky even though it doesn't sound much better than your hometown in New Mexico. By the way, what the hell were you doing in that hotel room? You're not even old enough to drive.



kay, here's the deal. I am bored with seeing wallrides and polejams in skate movies! I don't get it; everybody thinks that nowadays there are too many bangers in every video. Well, I think there are too many of those stupid tech "different" kind of tricks-I'm tired of them, and if there aren't enough stairs/rails in the video, everybody will say the movie sucks. For example, C1RCA's It's Time was, in my opinion, a great movie, but everyone says it was sucky, "because there was too many bangers" and the only good thing was Ramondetta's tre flip with a double flip. I thought all the dudes were good and had solid parts. DVS' Skate More started all this sh-t against bangers. They wanted to film "different" tricks for the kids, but now those dumb tricks are everywhere. People, let's start a riot against all the tech/wallride/polejam tricks! I understand those old-school tricks. They're great.-Joni Ekman, Somero, Finland
When you say "everybody" thinks a certain way, who exactly is "everybody"? 'Cause we have no idea what you're talking about even though the two confused skaters in your middle-of-nowhere town may understand.

KEN-SUCKY I'm fourteen years old and have been skating for about four months now. All I know how to do is ollie. I just wanted to express how much skating and your magazine has done for me. A few weeks ago, I went on a school trip to Washington D.C. and New York City. I was privileged to be able to go with my girlfriend, but she and I got into some trouble when I was caught in her hotel room. Now her parents don't really like the idea of us being a couple, so she may end up changing high schools. I am going to be sent off to Kentucky with my aunt for the rest of the summer. That means a month of pretty much no skating-she lives on a grassy hill. I just had surgery on my toe and I haven't been able to skate. In my time of need, I have your magazine to look at. I look at all the articles to keep me company. I just wanted to let you know that what you guys do is awesome. It's like seeing an old friend when I get each month's issue. Thank you, TWS, and keep shredding.-Aaron Stiles, Las Cruces, New Mexico
TransWorld will be there for you during your stay in Kentucky even though it doesn't sound much better than your hometown in New Mexico. By the way, what the hell were you doing in that hotel room? You're not even old enough to drive.