04 April 2011


Last week I skated a secret half pipe in the backwaters of Nehalem Oregon, after leaving my friend Slim to surf Seaside. I was trying to learn backside airs, proper style, by grabbing the nose. I was a getting a few decent little ones, then getting cocky, I went to boost a big one. Unfortunately, this secret backwater half pipe Nehalem ramp lacks the necessary vertical to get real air and so I inevitably hung up on the lip and went crashing to the ground.

As I was lying on the flat bottom, thinking I should have gone surfing with Slim, I heared this little voice nearby,

"Well Hello there."

Who says "Well Hello there" in this day and age? I wondered as I contemplated standing up.

I looked up and standing next to me was a pudgy twelve-year-old ish boy that looked like he just stepped out of 1950s television show.

"Hi." I said as I painfully stood up, "What's going on?"

"Oh nothing. Say, I'd never step on one of those things." He chuckled pointing at my skateboard.

"Well, that's probably wise of you." I replied, rubbing my hip.

Getting a good look at him. I could see he was wearing what looked like a homemade pair of jeans, a home made denim shirt, tucked in and buttoned to the neck (of course), a straw hat and black dress shoes that glistened with a polished shine.

As I continued to look him over, I noticed he was checking out the graffiti on the ramp,

"I suck sk8erz cockz 4 free. Call me if you are ovr 18 and undur 30." I almost wanted to shield his innocent eyes from the offending scribble.

"Wow, the kids around here sure do like painting. Shame their spelling is so poorly."

"Yep." I shrugged. "Hey, want to try my board?" I offered and trying to divert the conversation away from cock sucking.

"He he he he he, why surely not he he he he," slapping his thigh he continued his little chuckle, "Oh no, I'm not inclined to welcome injury upon myself today he he he."

The kid seemed nice enough and I didn't want to be rude but I was really feeling those backside airs could take me somewhere special that day, so I got up and started skating again.

Each time I fell he gasped and then when he saw I was not seriously injured, he would chuckle away. Eventually, I took a breather and he was still standing by the side of the ramp, looking at me, smiling.

"You live around here?" I asked.

"Yessir, I do."

"Cool." I nodded. "Go to school?"

"Oh no. I'm home-schooled."

"Oh yeah? Great man, that's cool."

He went on, "And I work on the farm. I might go to agriculture school as I'm going to graduate four years early. I want to learn how to operate heavy machinery."

"That sounds like a fun life, my man."

I was digging this kid. He lived how I often talked about living, off the land in an intentional, sustainable community. Making/ growing as much as they could for their daily existence. He wasn't like other kids I knew of his age. Granted, I mostly work with young people who have been through the ringer but most modern American twelve year olds don't know how to kill a chicken, drive a tractor and sew their own shirts.

"Say, I don't suppose you want a chicken?" He asked.

"Hmm.." I paused.

"Well, I do live in the city but you know what I wouldn't mind my own chicken."

He gave me directions to his family's land and told me to swing by in an hour. They'd surely love to pass on one of the family chickens to my good self.

"Ok. I'll see you in an hour." I said about to drop in and tackle a few more backside airs. "Take it easy."

"He he he he. No, you should be the one taking it easy." He annunciated the last three words as if they were a foreign language and walked off giggling his chubby chuckle.

Well, I got a few satisfactory backside airs but I still wasn't sure if I wanted the chicken or not. Driving 1.5 hours back to Portland with an unknown bird sounded sketchy. There again the prospect of free eggs every day was too appealing. So I went in search of this boy's land. I was sure I had memorized his directions correctly but I ended up driving around the backwaters of Nehalem, Wheeler and Manzanita for half an hour before finally giving up. I ended up at a nearby convenience store, bought a bottle of Sheaf Stout and drank it on the beach near Neahkanie Mountain, instead. As the sun set, the alcohol began to soothe my bruises but I still pondered tomorrow’s inevitable complications.