May 21, 2016

1970's California Dreamin'

My first skateboard was a small wooden one, which I painted green with an outline of my foot inspired by the hang-ten logo.  The wheels were super fat, not like the clay ones my brother's first board.   I loved that skateboard, and rode it to school, and afterwards rode with my friends around the new developments coming up surrounding the canyons.  This was '75, Rolling Hills Estates, California and I was only about 9 or 10, so I wasn't the cool girl on a skateboard like the girl in the photo above. She was the one I was trying to emulate.  In fact she reminds me of the recess aides, who wore halter tops, wide leg wrap-around pants, puka shells with sun-kissed hair, and a deep tans.

What I didn't know was that while I was up in the hills in the sweet shade of Eucalyptus trees, riding with the girls, carefree and without a worry in the world, there was a whole subculture going on skating down by the Beaches and the valley, taking advantage of California's 1970's drought and empty swimming pools. I'd read about this some time later.

During this time, the photographer Hugh Holland, documented this time beautifully in his album, Locals Only:  California Skateboarding 1975-1978.  His photos capture this moment in time perfectly.  It brings back that feeling, the smell and feel of sun, draught, Eucalyptus and innocence.  

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