Timbre #58: I Skate And I Vote

Elections happen a lot here.

Right now, as I push these PVC keys, there’s a kind of humming and whirring in my town that’s got all manner of peoples’ panties in a collective bunch.

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Jason Jessee votes for pressed avocados back in the SST days. Photo: Mark Waters

For a lifetime of Tuesdays, the townfolk here have been expressing their worry—unflappable worry—that once the wrong candidate is elected (funny how they don’t seem to worry as much about the right candidate getting elected), once the wrong legislative bill is passed, once the wrong tax is overridden, a giant sinkhole will engulf the area, knocking down homes, browning manicured lawns, sending children flying headlong into the wrong schools, and possibly summoning Enron’s former board of directors to happily oversee the rebuilding process. Drama abounds.

Maybe the drama is why it seems like elections happen a lot here. Dramatic fallout has an extremely long half-life.

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Alex Perelson sticks a crail into the no zone. Photo: Brian Fick

Anywho, on Election Day, and even sometimes after Election Day, the voters in these parts—and parts all across this great nation of ours—put on their proudest faces, relieved that wrongs have been righted, and adhere to the gluey-backed claim that they have indeed played their role in the democratic process.

“I Voted Today,” their stickers tell us.

Good for you.

I understand the voting awareness rhetoric, but through the eyes of a skateboarder, it’s always seemed sorta silly. Shouting from the rooftops about what we’ve done—skateboarding or not—does not come very easily to us. There are exceptions to this made-up rule, but it’s also the logic skateboarders call on when resisting our own sprawling growth—from yesterday’s backyard beginnings and cable access to today’s booming mall shops and ESPN. And it’s made us skeptical to the point that when we see a skate logo on a shirt, we more than likely look down to the same owner’s shoes surveying for flick holes.

But maybe we’re wrong.

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Dave Carnie easily mushes a smoosh grind into squashed squish. Mush ramp. Photo: Mark Waters

Perhaps there should be a grassroots campaign to promote skater turnout. It does kinda seem like the sessions are smaller lately. And didn’t a couple buddies of yours announce that they’d officially “quit” skating—declaring their retirement from the waxed hood of their Civic or while holding hands with the opposite sex? And when you see a kid dragging an aluminum scooter around by its silly handle, or a sorry, black-booted, in-liner lugging around eight 60-durrometer wheels from the soles of their feet, doesn’t it make you want to ask them, “Why don’t you just get a skateboard?”

Come to think of it, a simple round sticker on our chests could help our cause a bit. Remind the public that we are doing something every day to support our vocation—deliberately forwarding our interests by practicing what we preach—and in doing so turning on new skaters and reminding old ones of the progressive positivity that can only be experienced through skateboarding and skateboarding often.

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Stick it. Photo: Grant Brittain

More skaters means more awareness.

I like it.

So if by apolitically stating to the world “I Skated Today,” you remind your fellow citizens that there are other things going on around them besides partisan bickering and finger-pointing, it’s possible that they may just loosen up a bit and applaud the good things happening around them instead of worrying about the bad things that haven’t yet, and may never, ever happen.

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Raven Tershy skates early and skates often. Photo: Ben Colen

Like I said, elections happen a lot here, but skating happens a lot more.

Let’s celebrate.