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According to the metadata on this file, the first and possibly only "digitally captured" Photographic Memory goes back to 19:28:54 on 07/30/2006 – about 7:30 on a summer Sunday evening in Spain, 2006. Back in those days Ali Boulala had an apartment a stone’s throw from MACBA and at all times of the year you could expect to find a solid pile of Flip heads chilling at Ali's crib, with rent paying resident Flip filmer/TM Ewan Bowman stacking clips for the next Flip video and managing the general mischief the group would get into.
Days would begin once Ewan had successfully herded everyone into Ali's Caddy and we would drive around the towns surrounding Barcelona looking for new spots or trying to find ones that we had seen in photos in Spanish skate magazines. Ali's car was quite a celebrity in itself not only because seeing a white on white '98 Cadillac STS Seville on the streets of Barcelona was comparable to a Snow Leopard sighting in Barbados, but also because the car had featured in Kurt Wimmer's cult classic movie Equilibrium. Seeing the Flip dudes emerging from the Caddy to skate in small Spanish towns was quite a spectacle for the local residents who responded to our presence with equal amounts of delight and scorn. Eric Fletcher, David Gonzales, and Shane Cross were all regulars on the couch at Ali's, all three were ripping but Shane was especially on fire during this trip. He knew that he had been flown out to film with Ewan for the Extremely Sorry video but the only thing that he was taking seriously was sampling every single type of ice cream on offer in Spain, the skate hammers fell with abundance but strictly in the name of fun when the ice cream ran out.
This kinker had sat largely untouched in one of a cluster of small towns 30 minutes south of Barcelona; having pop shove-it nosegrinded the nine stair cheese grater rail, front feebled the twelve stair round silver rail in a line, pole jammed a bike rack off a drop and three sixty flipped out of a brick wedge (all tricks in his Ex Sorry part), about the only spot left in the area that Shane didn't have a trick on was this rail. We had assumed that Shane was going to skate the rail on his own, but when it came time to get down to business, an Argentinean friend we had rolled out there with started rolling up to the rail like he wanted to grind it too. Shane pushed a couple more lackadaisical roll ups when all of a sudden the Argentinean homie ollied his trucks up on the rail a scratched a little bail grind. It seemed like it was about to get awkward but Shane looked at us all from the top of the rail and said words to the effect of, "I guess I'm going to have to grind this right now then,” skated back to his roll up spot and fiftied the rail perfectly. We were all blown away that he had grinded the rail so easily, but it was even more remarkable when Shane decided he felt like his arm did something weird when he landed, (even though the footage looked fine), so he fiftied it again just to be sure. It's still hard to believe all these years later that Shane is no longer with us, his presence is still felt daily, as anyone who had the good fortune of spending any time with Shane with tell you, he was one of a kind and will be forever missed. Rest In Peace, mate.
Words & photo / BARTON