I have a lot of energy. When I was younger I didn’t really know how to channel it, skateboarding solved a lot of that for me and the vast majority of it went into skateboarding for a large number of years, but even with that outlet I could still get amped up and be that annoying kid that never stopped moving. I was (and pretty much still am) a corn cob from the middle of Illinois. Growing up in a town of less tan 10,000 residents, the world seemed huge for a good long time. Chicago seemed so far away, it was 3 hours north and I pretty much never went there.
Until the early 1990s. I think the following occurred around 1992, but it’s a bit hazy at this point.
I was always, and still am, a big Matt Hensley fan. He proved that anyone could skate street. He seemed approachable and to me appeared as if didn’t care about anything but skating. I could relate to that. He was a purist, using the board to do what needed done with it; skate the streets for the simple reason that it could be done. It needed done. It’s how I felt about skating: it was a direct conduit to myself. I never cared about the fashon or the politics or the brands. It was about the curb, the rail, the gap or the stairs. Nothing else.
When I got that opportunity to go to Chicago all I cared about was going to the sessions skate shop. Hensley worked there and it was new turf for me. Unfortunately, when I got there I was so amped up from being in a car that long I couldn’t contain myself. I was all over that place, being loud and obnoxious and a textbook annoying turd. I knew it, they new it, my friends knew it., but I just couldn’t contain my excitement. I knocked over a big rack of clothing and who of all people should kick me out of the sessions skate shop?
Yup, the I had straight up pissed off the person I wanted to meet. I never even got a chance to talk to him, he ejected me right out of the shop and I had to wait outside while my friends finished up. I saw him at a Flogging Molly show 10 or so years ago but didn’t say anything. Lesson learned all of 20+ years later.
As I tell the story now it seems a bit funny.