Be nice to old people: Part 2 (Grandma disses street skaters!)

Grandma Jean Berlin donates $200,000 to Englewood Florida Skate park

In an article titled Granny’s donation fuels funding for skate park, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Jean Berlin has donated $200,000 to an Englewood Florida skate park fundraising effort, helping to fulfill a long time dream she shared with her late husband. No only is she Oyster Creek Skate Park’s largest benefactor, she’s also topped the previous record private donation (that we know of), which was a mere $161,000 in stock. As well it should, the donation has made her a local celebrity with skaters, earning her a spot as a judge in a contest. She mentioned she wasn’t really qualified, but it didn’t matter since nobody landed on their feet anyway. Sounds like kickflip syndrome to me! She also stopped the contest to chastise an entrant for dropping the F-Bomb. Speaking of grandmothers, Have you seen the AARP commercial with a Buzzcocks soundtrack?

You have to wonder whether people of a certain age ever get annoyed by being labeled as a Granny, or Grandpa just because their offspring have had offspring of their own. I guess it makes a better headline than “Retired person donates a buttload of money to skate park.” Maybe that level of contribution is automatically called “Granny” since they have funny little names for the level of donations:

“Grind Rail” $10,000,
“Kick Flip” $5,000
“Ollie” $2,500
“Nose Slide” $1,000
“Grip Tape” $500
“Bearing” $100
“Skater” $50
“Friend” $25

From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:
Photo credit: Staff Photo / Ed Pfueller

ENGLEWOOD — To a tee, Jean Berlin fits the profile of an Englewood resident: She is a 72-year-old Ohio native who attends church every Sunday and bingo two nights a week. But the newest passion of this muffin-baking grandma has made her the unlikely champion of the town’s adolescent minority: Berlin wants to bring a nearly $900,000 state-of-the-art skate park to Englewood. She has helped pay for this dream with a $200,000 donation from her retirement fund, making her by far the largest donor to the J.M. Berlin/Rotary skate park, which will be built in the soon-to-be Oyster Creek Regional Park.

We’re going to have this skate park come hell or high water,” said Berlin, whose 15-year-old grandson is avid about the sport and whose children used to skate.

Check out her confrontation with a foul mouthed contest entrant. I hope someone got this on video! Also of note is her comment about nobody landing their tricks. She’s got a pretty good sense of humor.

Berlin’s donation and drive have made her a bit of a rock star among the young skaters, who gave her a standing ovation at a recent park design meeting.

At a recent skateboarding contest, Berlin served as a judge, even though she has been slow to learn the complex vocabulary of skateboarding tricks. “It didn’t make any difference; they didn’t land on their feet anyhow.”

At the same contest, Berlin stopped the action because one participant used the “F-word” and tossed his board in frustration.

She gathered the skaters and told them, “We weren’t going to tolerate that kind of behavior.”

She instructed them that a sport is just a game and should be taken with a grain of salt. “I was on a bowling team; I was called the ‘gutter cleaner.'”

Ah, old people and skateboards… always funny.

Speaking of old people, here’s that advert for the AARP featuring the Buzzcocks singing “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.” The producer must not have noticed the inherent sarcasm in that little dittie. It’s a little surreal, but after their auditory appearance in that Toyota commercial, nothing surprises me anymore.

1 Comment

  1. Life’s the illusion, love is the dream.

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