Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Skate Park Grinds To A Halt: for The Virginian-Pilot

Just like clockwork, every Thursday I always headed to Skate High where I'd meet up with the Dirty Thirty crew. The D30 are a batch of old timers, which in skateboard years means anyone over 30 years old, who would meet on Thursday nights to session at Virginia Beach's only indoor skate park. 


Unfortunately, this past Thursday when I pulled into the parking lot there was a blanket of pitch black darkness in what normally would be a bustling parking lot. Skater Ed, another D30 rider, was sitting in his car alone while reluctantly scanning over the Facebook updates on the Dirty Thirty and Skate High pages. The rumors of the park possibly closing had gone viral in a matter of minutes. 


By Saturday evening the news was confirmed, Skate High was closing for good. Owners Theresa and Dave Koehler-Pfotenhauer posted a message to all of the parks FB fans letting us know that they would hold one last session on Sunday from 1-4. 


I immediately started emailing all the news stations and contacted a photo editor I've worked with at The Virginian-Pilot. It was a calculated effort to get as much media involved as possible. In all honesty, I was and I am, hoping for someone with deep pockets to offer a monetary miracle. 


Sunday my phone rang. The Pilot was short staffed and didn't have any writers or photographers that they could send out to the event. In the end, although I'd much rather have rode with my homies one last time, I ended up working and making some images for the article in Tuesday's paper. 

Special thanks to Martin Smith-Rodden at The Virginian-Pilot for helping behind the scenes in getting the story coverage and especially to Theresa and Dave Koehler-Pfotenhauer for giving all us old timers and young bucks a home away from home. Any party who can help save our sinking ship please contact Skate High at: 757-477-5623









4 comments:

Steve said...

This is really sad to hear since places like this are so few and far between. Not only does this hurt the adults, it hurts the kids too. They need a place to go and skate where it keeps them out of trouble. Fingers crossed that someone can step up and help out or some sort of fundraiser can happen...

RICH-JOSEPH FACUN said...

I agree Steve. Growing up with skateboarding fostered and nurtured my life experience. In fact, my first interest in photography was influenced by my efforts to photograph my friends skating. Had it not been for skateboarding I might have never pursued a career as a photojournalist. Skateboarding offers not only a physical and creative outlet for our youth but also opens doors to many other facets of life.

Bushka Vidal said...

Well Said Rich...Feeling a bit empty today...

Alex Copeland said...

I made some of my longest lasting friendships through growing up in VB & skateboarding with members of the D30 crew. Best of luck to my VB homeboys.