Some Funny And Not-So-Funny Stories From The Aesthetics Tour

The Man-Woman And Her Golf Cart At one of the first schools we skated in Arizona, we were asked to leave by a rather husky man-woman. We started packing up to leave, and the next thing I knew, she had grabbed one of the local’s skateboards. Not that unusual. Then she circled around us like a vulture with her golf cart. Rookie Team Manager Barrett helped me round up my flashes and tripods for a quick getaway.

The local whose board had been confisicated decided he wanted his skateboard back, so he jumped into the golf cart with the husky man-woman and grabbed his board. They began to struggle over the board while she continued to drive and accelerate her cart. They battled it out Indiana Jones-style until she smashed the golf cart into a tree. The local broke free with his skateboard, and the lady lurked like a bitter vulture who’d lost its meal. It was one of the craziest and funniest things I’ve ever seen; I just wish I’d had my camera out.

The Convict And His Caddy Later that same night, we were shooting photos of Rob Welsh at 3:00 a.m. somewhere in Tempe. I had all my gear out¿flashes, camera, light stands, etc. I’ve always been cautious of sketchy areas or being out at night shooting with all my gear, but I thought it was cool because we had a little crew.

Anyway, some homey pulls up in a Caddy with his lady riding shotgun. Homey jumps out of the car and says, “Hey, you got any money? I’m not trying to rob you, but I need some money. I just got out of prison, and they’re trying to send me back in.”

“Sorry,” I said, “don’t have any.”

“Well, what about your friends over there?”

Everyone in the group was sitting on some flat rail 50 feet away. At that moment it seemed more like a couple miles. I replied, “I don’t know, you can ask them.”

“No, you go ask them,” he said.

I kindly declined. He asked me three more times, trying to get me to walk over there so I’d leave my equipment behind. He then gave up, jumped back in his Caddy, and sped off. I was pretty freaked out and was sure he was coming back with a piece.

We shot a few more flicks and got the hell out of there. No one seemed freaked out but me.

The Rookie T.M. Everyone meet Barrett, the rookie team manager (a.k.a. Rookie T.M.). I personally felt bad for this dude¿he’s got a tough job and some difficult people to work with. He’s not only the team babysitter but also a personal punching bag of sorts. Team-manager position requires dealing with all sorts of abuse and stress. Homey ain’t getting paid enough for the work he puts in and the abuse he takes.

Flash-Flood Warnings During the first three days, the team and I skated and shot photos from 2:00 p.m. until five or six in the morning. I was surprised the guys were as amped and motivated as they were. I was tired but stoked. It was good that we put in twelve- to fifteen-hour days the first three, because after that all we had was a lot of driving and rain in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In those few days we had, we pretty much shot the whole article.