Up to that point she had spent her adult life climbing up to manic summits and descending down into dark valleys. But none of us knew how dark and confused those valleys had become.
Of course, when my Stepfather text messaged me with a frantic three exclamation points, “John. Call home NOW!!!”, I knew that something crazy had to have gone down, but nothing can prepare you for the total disembowelment that news like that arrives with.
Katrina had been outwardly happy, fun-loving, hard-working and loved by her friends. But somehow she’d been swept to a point where she just couldn’t see that at all anymore. As a little girl she was a talented figure skater and had even got back into that and horse riding in the months prior to her last day. That had all faded away, and looking back it had faded away with an alarming velocity.
In the turbulent months that followed Katrina’s death, my cousin, Liam, changed his life path and got a job working with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). They’re a non-profit in Scotland who provide suicide outreach, education, and mental-health support to all who need it. They Can always use more cash and rely on a variety of funding sources, like this Just Giving campaign I set up. Of course, fundraising begins with the word, “fun”, so to encourage some donations I’ve decided to ride my bicycle to the Oregon Coast and relearn Egg Plants. I haven’t done an Egg Plant in at least 8 years, so we’ll see how that goes. Please support the cause and wish me luck. I will need it.
Sometimes, when my cat jumps into a cardboard box I’ll quickly shut the lid and carefully carry the whole special package to another part of the house. I’ll set it down, open it up and he’ll pop his head up and look around at his new surroundings.
“You went in the teleportation module!” I’ll announce, grinning at my furry friend.
The cat will stare me down with his piercing feline eyes.
“You reckless bastard” his little cat expression says. “You did not take adequate clean room precautions!” he reprimands. “There could have been a fly in here and our DNA could have got all jumbled up together! What the hell were you thinking?”
He’s right. It is dangerous.
This is why the latest Following video is the best so far. Virtuoso sidewalk surfer and solid friend of the bird Kyle Leeper already knew about the perils of teleportation yet he forged ahead all the same.
Here’s how it came to be: I transported my life to Portland to wallow in the misery of a northwestern winter. My departure from Southern California of course left a gaping hole but instead of getting depressed about what was gone Kyle got sparked on all that remained; smart Kyle. Joe Pease and him blasted around the streets of San Diego fearlessly hyperlinking between spots with little regard for the inherent hazards. If the results of their efforts don’t make you want to skate then we can be of no further help to you. Good day.
Stereo Skateboards pro, Kyle Leeper, lives in Carlsbad, California, with his wife, his son, his fish, 2 dogs and another baby on the way. Below we discuss 7 profound topics including sponsorship deals, human reproduction, this video project and generally being stoked.
When’s the 2nd child due?
Due right around the same time date as my first son was born, late August. Damn! So you guys must get horny right around the same time of year.
Yup, right around December I’m ready to go! Well, it gets cold.
Yeah, these harsh Carlsbad winters get pretty gnarly.
At some point during the summer of 2012 Div called me up.
“John!” He said.
“Will you film me and Tom [Remillard] fur AntiHero?”
“I can try.” I told him.
We met down at Washington Street to get a couple of clips and see where that led us but Div couldn’t make it. He’d thrown his back out troweling concrete for too many days straight. Ideally we’d have filmed a shitload of random skate clips and sent them to Deluxe where they’d have stirred them into something unmistakeably AntiHero but I get these ideas where I’m psyched on old Powell videos and…
Well, this is the first thing Tom and I did while we were waiting for Div to heal up. It was originally the techno bonus of a short called HITAROCK. Obviously it’s not all one line but if you’ve ever seen Tom skating WSVT you may be like me in thinking that this dream line is not that farfetched. We feel it does a decent job of showcasing the ferocious concrete contours of one of the best renegade park projects in the world.
Jake is from Eugene, Oregon.
He lives in Portland, Oregon.
He is the inventor of D3PO.
He’s down to rip in the streets whenever possible.
Jake worked on the Following video project with the shakier of 2 existing Predatory Bird camera operators (me).
Jake and this camera operator spent quite some time searching the streets for just the right bin. Many were rejected before we eventually found the one by the tramlines.
Jake would like to thank Krooked for flowing him the boards skated throughout.
Joe Pease is currently employed as the video manager at Transworld Skateboarding. He grew up in the town of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Australia, where he progressed as a skater alongside such Aussie luminaries as Jake Duncome and Shane Cross. The Predatory Bird recently worked with Joe on a short, sweet part and caught up with him about such subjects as; black hoodies, police profiling, watching Shane progress as a driven young man in single-minded pursuit of his dreams and getting banned from Matt Mumford by Matt Mumford.
Tell us about being profiled by the Police.
Both times I figured I’d shave my head, no guard, so my hair was pretty short. I drive a Civic that has a little bit of, um, sun damage.