Posted by:on October 11th, 2007
The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois has a thoughtful piece titled Once a skater, always a skater and closer to (our) home, The Columbian has another not so thoughtful article titled Just About Everybody Can Go Extreme. These articles are a dime a dozen lately, but there are a couple of items of interest here.
More old guys skating in the papers
Both of these papers have included video coverage as part of the online experience of their articles. The Columbian serves Clark County Washington, just across the river from Portland Oregon. The Columbian doesn’t have the budget to do much, and as a result you get the reporter narrating some footage he probably shot on his home camcorder and had someone put together a short clip in iMovie. It’s got a “Aww-shucks” home town feel and really isn’t worth watching because although the article is about older skaters, they only show kids actually skating. It nice that they tried though, and I’m sure their readers appreciate some of their video coverage.
By contrast, The Daily Herald is out of suburban Chicago, and has a much bigger reading base and budget. Their video coverage is broken up into three different segments and has more of a polished feel that you might see on a human interest segment on TV news. Parts of it are actually quite good. The guys in their 30’s are shown street skating, the guys in their 40’s are shown in the bowls. One funny segment shows a guy getting a warning from a police officer on a Segway no less. Why didn’t he skate away? It doesn’t make any sense until you learn that he is a teacher and would probably face repercussions at work if they found out he was charged with trying to evade arrest. Other parts are not so good. For example, I feel no empathy towards the guy who waited another two years after seeing Dogtown and Z-Boys before picking up his board again.
Grover is mentioned, although not by name, in the Columbian video when they talk about a guy breaking his jaw at the new Vancouver park the week that it opened. Also, Thor Janda who has been known to leave a comment or two here on SnA, is also quoted in the article and video. They say he’s an imposing figure! The video also mentions that Thor has been empowered as an unofficial park steward to help maintain the place and mentor younger skaters. In reality, that means he gets to pick up the kid’s trash and be ignored by them! Rich from EPM also gets quoted in the article. Local skate site OldSchoolSkateboarding.com gets hooked up as well. The Daily Herald has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of our own House of Neil in the video, and you’ll also see an Old Man Army t-shirt prominently displayed.
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