One of my crazy past times characters as a teenage tom-girl was in the role of the girl skater, or “Skate Betty” as they called us. While going through storage this weekend I found various stickers, clothing, and skateboard hardware that inspired me to write an article on this past time activity.
Most purchases of the emotionally driven artist seems to go in the direction of graphics, color, and the “Oh I want this now!” approach. Yep, that was the case when I decided to copy the high school skater guys before braces or Homecoming queen transitions, and buy my first skateboard deck complete with truck guards, rails – the whole package. It was one of my first lay-aways and fully supported by my parents who provided protective gear like any good parents would.
We fantasized of half-pipes, getting air, or street skating around the city, and everywhere we looked was an opportunity to just skate over it. It was a bond between me and the guys, or an attempt at getting through those awkward years. Since we were all in art class together it was another creative venture to discuss. I imagined getting air on huge half-pipes but ended up entertaining my solo self in the parking lots of Crisp County. Every rail and parking marker was to be dominated. No curve or slope of concrete unexplored. The Ollie was my undefeated foe, and along with my skating cousins, we would prevail!
Skating and swimming were a huge part of my teen years, just as the existing generation, and I now look on those times with warmth. Collecting was a hobby. I still have my favorite Powell Peralta shirt, probably the softest T ever owned at this point due to so many washings.
Through the eyes of an artist those bright graphics were super alluring. Some of my first skate pieces were painted in lime or pink. There were no rules. The guys wore color too, and that was exciting. A nearby Albany, Georgia store provided for our passions. The small space was tucked back in a shopping center moved into the Albany Mall, an even better place for teens to meet. I don’t know what those guys thought of the skater girl, but I was determined to make a mark.
Alas, time moved on and as graduation approached I sensed our parting and growing up. Braces were expensive and I wanted to keep my new straight teeth in, so as time passed the boards ended up in storage. Energy was devoted to dance and a new phase of life. I had something else to work hard at, so it was ok.
So, onward to the most recent item out of storage. A Jim Thiebaud original deck from the late eighties early nineties. It is not a re-issue, but not the original artwork that caused a cease and desist. I have done a little research here in an article That will help explain the board’s history. The board that I have is for sale in hopes that the right collector will come along. It will be listed on Ebay and can be found here on my profile.
In the meantime, long live the skate Betty!