It takes a village…
(to let a wife know her husband’s in the hospital)

Aaron eats it in a garage

Late tuesday night I got a call from Chris Stevens, whom I never hang out with and have never given my phone number. Turns out he was bombing a parking garage with some of the Eastside Longboards crew. Our (Eastide) paths almost never cross, except when I’m covering the odd slalom event, which as happened exactly once. Anyway, back at the parking garage, Chris basically met Aaron in the elevator on the way up to bomb the parking garage. Somehow my name got mentioned. On the way down there was a tussle that lead to Aaron colliding with a parked car at speed and blacking out for something like 20 minutes. Maybe there were convulsions? I can’t remember. Chris Stevens’ almost immediate 911 call got the ambulance there quickly and the paramedics left with him. Aaron was only on a first name basis with the guys he was skating with, and nobody had his phone number or knew where he lived. Chris somehow remembered my last name and called 411 to get my number so I could notify his wife, who was very, very grateful to Chris for calling the ambulance and calling me so I could let her know. Who knows how long it would have taken for her to find out otherwise. Aaron had his helmet but was without ID, and was not coherent when he left. Because of Chris’s quick thinking, Aaron’s wife Virginia was able to arrive the hospital as he was being checked in.

[Photo: Unrelated shot of Chris Stevens from Eastside Longboards]

Virginia said it was rough at the hospital for about three hours, but eventually he started coming around to a more lucid state. Aaron only got back from the hospital yesterday. He has a concussion, some numbness on one side of his body, double vision, and he’s still a little out of it. His doctors are hopeful that he will recover fully. I guess with head injuries like that anything is possible. One thing in his favor (thanks again to Chris) is the fact that he got medical attention so quickly.

I think Aaron is a relatively late bloomer when it comes to skateboarding. He tends to use his longboard more for transportation but has recently been exploring beginner’s downhill. I’ve never skated with him, and our interaction has mostly been limited to kid’s birthdays and neighborhood block parties. We say hello and do the “how about that weather?” a couple times a month. Our kids are the same age and my wife hangs out a little with his wife a little bit.

So what’s the point? I guess it’s part plate of shrimp coincidence that Virginia didn’t have to suffer the emotional stress of wondering why her husband wasn’t coming home in the middle of the night, and got the call from a friend instead of from the hospital, or worse, didn’t have to call the hospitals looking for a missing person. besides coincidence, I’d like to think it’s the unusually close knit nature of Portland’s skateboarding scene that is able to bridge different cultures and crews.


  1. Thanks Randy, I just did what anyone would have done. the funniest thing about that photo is that it was in the back of another completely unrelated ambulance.

  2. yaaayy chris. you’re a super hero now.

  3. pkoncrete on October 19, 2007 - Reply

    Quick thinking Chris, way to go. We should all be so lucky to know someone who could have just walked away but didn’t. Make a difference.

  4. billy the kid on October 19, 2007 - Reply

    thank god aaron had his brain bucket on! kudos to chris for fast thinking.

  5. Scary. Good Job Chris!

  6. Robskey on October 22, 2007 - Reply

    Thanks for the post Kilwag, it is true skateboarders are one in this town. Props to Cskate, a link to it all.

  7. I knocked myself unconscious Sunday morning on the sidwalk in Lake O. and all I got was a lecture by the hospital staff…and enough pills to fill several Halloween Pez dispensers.

  8. I’m trick or treating at Brad’s.

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