Now I haven’t thought about skating in a long time. In high school I had friends who would skate board; but I never got too into the whole scene. Regardless I was aware of where I might find some people or kids skating here in sunny South Florida.
On the weekends and in my spare time I’d go out and look for skaters. Skating is defiantly it’s own subculture that stands out: jeans, baggy T-shirts, long hair and a skate board to say the least. But where to find some?
Not being much of a skater I visited the county parks in South Miami-Dade county where I currently live. Over on the North West part of town there is a fairly large community park near a High School. It has lots of amenities: a field, large pool, playground, basketball court and a gated skate park. In the caged area there are a number of low ramps maybe at most hip high. The one thing that was really missing was skaters; maybe it wasn’t a good time of day. I have to drive by this park maybe four times a week so I figure I’ll eventually catch something going on.
I also spent time down in The Florida Keys were I grew up; it’s only a twenty mile drive from where I live now. When I was a kid I had a number of friends who did the whole skate boarding deal; again the main thing to do would be to go to the skate park. There are two in the Upper Keys: Key Largo Park & Founds Park in Islamorada. So katiealexjackson and I visited both parks. Both were ghost towns; no kids on skate boards.
This whole venture was become disappointing to say the least. Then something made it all come together. While visiting family in Key West I was catching up with a younger cousin of mine who is still in high school. The topic of this article had come up and I probed around to figure out what the deal was with these parks. The skate parks are all county run, the county then picks one person to run the skate park, they sometimes pick one other person to help supervise. If the supervisor isn’t there then skating isn’t allowed. Worst of all school is out; skaters, skating being a largely youth driven culture, are gone for the summer.
Then while leaving my office in Key Largo I see this kid coming down the sidewalk of US 1. I fumble around the back of my car and grab my Lomography Sprocket Rocket, check the shutter speed, then the focus and belt out “Yo bra let me take your picture!”