Volume 21 Number 9
Terror Southwest Tour 2003
Story by J.B.
Photos by Brendan Klein
A couple months ago we came upon an RV for dirt cheap, so we rounded up a bunch of friends from all along the coast, got the RV fixed slightly, slapped some false tags on it, and headed over the the mountain pass for ten days in Phoenix, Arizona.
It’s a long story how we actually got the motor home, but here’s the shortened version. Our friends, Mr. X and Mrs. Y, passed it on to us. It’s pretty old—a ’76 Dodge Fireball with a license-plate holder that says “Sexy Senior Citizen.”
At 35 miles per hour, we were having a little trouble getting over the mountains. There were fourteen of us and Chica the dog, so the weight affected our speed. Once we got over the top, though, we started haulin’ ass down the mountain. I heard blast beats.
Our friends Sleazy and Jaycee had just moved to a pretty large and crowded complex in Phoenix that’s gated to keep out all the desert scumbags. Coincidentally, that night an RV full of out-of-town scumbags came through to camp out in their parking lot and terrorize everyone who lived there for a couple days. The residents were a little bummed to say the least.
The next morning we skated the first spot of the trip—Cactus Banks. We had a killer session. Wes Cobb and Mike “CEO” Childress were bustin’ hella flip tricks, yo. CEO would haul ass and do fakie flips and Caballerials into the ditch. Pretty sick. Joe Pino rolled up pushing Mach ten and cracking waist-high ollies into the ditch. He’s pretty much Evel Knievel on a skateboard, just not all jocked out. Chris “FC” Adams and Mike “Dober” Crespino both got injured—down and out in the ditch. We weren’t even an hour into skating. Good session, though.
Sleaze and Jaycee brought us to a couple of new cement parks. The parks out there are pretty fun—free, smooth, lit up at night, and no pads required. There’s good entertainment at most of them, too. I guarantee you’ll see some kids trying their best fly-out manuevers. I saw some roast beefs, two-handed roast beefs, roast beef varial attempts, et cetera. Not a damn benihana, though.
We saw this one chick skating, and we thought she was wearing a thong hiked way up, but it turned out to be a tattoo of a thong hiked way up. She skated pretty fast and aggressively, and she even took out a Rollerblader. We all agreed her name was “Savage.” Some of us were mesmorized by her weathered desert beauty. She was definitely one of the gnarlier locals.
Another night we hit up a park with some flatbars and bowls with metal coping. Sleaze was killing the big bowl. Lots of ‘Bladers at this park. Lots of waxed metal, too. They’d slide down this ledge on their butts and film each other. Real cute. I don’t call wax and plastic moving across metal “grinding.” So anyway, there was this one blaster hip Wes Cobb did head-high methods over. He came back around to do another one and landed on his shoulder. Snap. The shit broke and the session was over.
It was pretty rough for Wes—his first big trip with us, and he was skating tough. Now he had to go back to the bridge he lives under in SD and hang out by himself in his truck with a broken shoulder on his birthday. That’s a lot at once. (Oh yeah, he also got fired from his job when he got back.)
We sent him home with FC and our friend Stephanie who’d followed us out there in her truck. Dober stayed even though he still couldn’t skate.
On Wes’ birthday, we decided to celebrate it for him by going to this dive to play pool and hear some music. I played Creedence for our good friend Wes. I don’t know what kind of agreement was made, but someone weaseled the bartender into giving us free drinks for the whole night. That place was ours. A hole was punched in the ceiling. I’m not sure who did it. Maybe me. Who knows? Glenn told the ownerr it was okay and put some stickers over the hole. After that, he and I socked each other in the face for a while. Pretty fun. Next thing I knew, Chica ran from the RV through the parking lot at full speed past the doorman and jumped onto the pool table where we were playing. The owner came over and said, “All right, you guys can stay, but stop punching holes in the ceiling and keep the dog off the pool table.” Sounded easy.
By the time the Fireball left, the parking lot was a lake of puke and bile. Mike Smolik drove us back to Jaycee and Sleaze’s place because he has a license and isn’t a drinker. When we got there, we found a party waiting for us and things got even crazier. The night wasn’t over for us, but it is for you.
The next morning I looked out of my black eye at the Fireball. The rear was half in the street and the front was up on the curb. Nice parking, Mike. The neighbors were slightly chapped about the parking job and the previous night’s ruckus. “I think they’re in a band,” Pino overheard one woman say that morning.
The park life got old pretty quick. Everyone was sick of big crowds and the lack of cement coping, so we knew it was time to start hunting down some holes. These skaters with a pool in their backyard had heard we were in town and wanted us to stop by.
It was a sick kidney shape with a crazy kink around the whole deep end. The coping was chillin’, though. The pool owners’ Steve and Cressy showed us how they ride and hyped everyone up. They let us get the barbecue going, and we all had a blast.
They kicked it with us a bunch throughout the rest of the trip and took us to all these different holes in Phoenix. One of them happened to be in another skater’s backyard. Now with twenty people in the Fireball this time, along with two dogs, the RV felt pretty cramped. Anyway, we got there and the pool looked really rad—the shallow end was carveable and included a love seat, a light, and a deathbox. It had a crusty old fiberglass surface that kicked up clouds of particles when you skated—it made our eyes sting and lungs feel like we’d smoked a carton of cigs. Calvin, the owner, said something about having to paint the bowl before he moved out, so we said, “F—k, we’ll paint it!” We scraped off some of the fiberglass and painted it for him. He was pretty hyped.
The next night he threw a backyard pool barbecue party. It went nuts. Whitey was there, and Slob and G-Man arrived at the Phoenix airport just in time to make it to the party. G was mildly chugged from the plane ride. Everybody was crushin’ shit in that pool. The heavyweights were in town. Whitey carved so hard this one time his board snapped in half. No joke. Really gnarly session.
The next couple of days were intense. We skated pools, fullpipes, ditches, Big Surf, and Love Bowl. We saw scorpions, got attacked by cacti, celebrated Carter’s birthday, and more stuff I can’t remember. We had one final meal at Whatever Burger and looked back on the trip.
Thanks to Sleaze, Jaycee, and JP, too; Emily, Mikey, Trent, Steve and Cressy, Calvin, Stoney, Nameless for the shirts, and Mr. X. and Mrs. Y.
Slob and G got dropped off at the airport. After that, Joe Pino, Glenn, Justin Hendery, Jamie Weller, Sperm, Mike “Dober” Crespino, FC Adams, Mike Smolik, Mike “CEO” Childress, Carter, Ballatard, Brendan, and Chica all got in the Fireball and made the drive back to Troll Village where they belong. End.