What he said.
My god, what an amazing set of blows are being universally dished up.
For anyone who’s paid attention, my own personal journey over the course of the last few years has been a spectacular succession of cosmic haymakers, but I was really hoping that things were going to turn around this year. That is of course until this year turned into a walking fever dream for literally all of humanity, which in a strange way made my own odyssey oddly navigable.
But as has come the norm over the past few weeks, we suffered yet another huge blow when at some point during the evening of March 31st, the skateboard world lost a brilliant light with the passing of Jeffery Blaine Grosso;
Even if you might be generally unfamiliar with the fellow, his presence here on the site has been unavoidable with the series he’s done for Vans called Loveletters To Skateboarding.
Admittedly, he’s not been kind to his body over his lifetime, but he’d truly begun righting his ship in recent years, and I will say without pause, that of the three-plus decades I’ve been familiar with him as an individual, the current chapter of his existence was my all time favorite. He was a loving character, who upon our very first meeting a couple of years ago, threw his arms around me like a long lost friend.
Thankfully I just hung out with him and caught up on bits and pieces of life maybe three weeks ago when he was in Oakland shooting an episode of the aforementioned video series, and what a blessing that was. He was unlike any other, and of all the various words I’ve read about him since his departure, those from Kevin Wilkins of The Good Problem resinated most profoundly;
Just heard the terrible news that Jeff Grosso has passed away.
By now you’ve heard it, too.
And, you know, I’m not exaggerating when I say that without him, our weird little world will spin out of balance and it’ll take decades before we stop noticing the sickening wobble of his absence.
Over the course of the last week, I’d actually been talking with Jeff about everything. Not on purpose, of course. I called him out of the blue and asked if he wouldn’t mind putting together a short playlist of songs for The Good Problem. Without hesitation he said yes. Saying yes, he told me, was his new way of doing things. He’d noticed that it made people happier and it made things work smoother.
He was a cynic, a sage, a fly in the ointment, and a historian all rolled into one, and a I’ll lament a lot of aspects of this cat’s absence, but more than anything, I feel like I’m simply going to miss sharing the world with him most of all.
Moving on from things that make us feel sad, to a thing that might put a little wind back into our sails, last week I made the final announcement regarding the silent auction for the artist proof of the MDC print I’d made available;
There was a little bidding war that ramped up momentum, dropped off, and then at the 11th hour, a bidder who will remain unnamed came through with a staggering bid of $420 dollars (because stoner humor is hilarious), which was ultimately outbid by $37.03, ending up with a final bid of $457.03.
It’s a super random figure, I know, but who am I to judge?
Anyway, the winning budder decided to split the donations up a bit with $225.00 going to the United Way of Merced County, and $232.00 going to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation;
Never let it be said that a bike blog douchebag (same diff) can’t help facilitate at least a little bit of good in the world.
Lastly, I will conclude today’s missive with two points of note. The first is that I’d originally mentioned our order for the new Dark Deals AHTBM shirt was supposed to be submitted to the screen printer today.
Well, the screen printer is not in the shop today, nor will they be tomorrow, or likely the day after that, and won’t be at least until the California-wide shelter in place order is lifted. So this means two things- The first being that if you want to get in on the order, go bananas. I’ll be taking orders for these bad boys just as fast as perspective customers can submit them, and the very second the lights are turned back on at their shop, we’ll pull the trigger.
As always, I thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.
Secondly, my emerging adoration for tiny trucks these last few years has been no secret. I don’t understand how they work, I’m barely capable of maintaining my own, and I certainly am too hamfisted to build a truck as flawless as some of the scale truck icons such as ANZAKA, or Headquake. That said, one thing I’ve found that I am pretty good at is making things look crappy, as I’ve proven over the couple of Nerd-Off Challenges I’ve entered;
The only issue being that I obviously need to invest in a new can of spray paint.
Anyway, Scott (who in my opinion was robbed for not winning the second of the aforementioned challenges with this insane entry);
-hit me up with a pack of laser printed water transfer decals about a year or more ago that I had every intention of putting on a new tiny truck body.
The only thing was that I was on my second cab, and first bed, and was super paranoid that I was going to screw it up, thereby wasting not only the $60.00 lexan Chevy body, but the very limited water transfer decals as well, so I just continued using my rapidly degrading body as it was, until a new project began beckoning me;
Well, after three days of cutting, and sanding, and masking, and painting, and furrowing the hell out of my brow through the entirety of it, I’ve emerged marginally victorious;
Can I point out that the second wizard staff actually gets launched into the bumper?
I don’t know why, but these videos make me laugh to the point of crying.
It’s with that, I’m reminded of a quote that as far as I know can be attributed to Benjamin Franklin;
We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
Yeah, like I said…
Seeing that video and the cargo ejecting out of the bed made me smile.
Reminds me of the time I was passed out/blacked out in the back seat of my brother’s 4-runner when he (unintentionally) drove off an unfinished overpass near Aurora, CO. Car went airborne as did its contents. I got buried under metal tool boxes, wrenches, chainsaws, and extra chainsaw blades. Car was fine except for the bent cargo basket where the spare wheel had held on then ejected and rolled into the brush in a slapstick fashion at 1000 MPH.
Fast forward to the next morning where I wake up late for work, panic, run to the shower, and in a hurry take my shirt off. SCREAM. Not remembering the night before, I only see the back of my blood soaked shirt which had scabbed to my back that I had unknowingly pulled off. Apparently the chainsaw chains had fallen on my back followed by the tool boxes. Good times.
Damn, Stevil. “Cooler Launch” is a cinematic masterpiece. Beauty.
first off, the AHTBM Chevy was a master piece but the people have spoken. The new body is RAD , great build. We need these small moments that show we are all still human. I have not lost a skateboard or a wizard staff , as far as I know, but that is exactly what it would look like. My heart goes out to Jeff’s family. He built a huge footprint and now left an expansive void. I will say it again, you will never know, but need to accept Stevil, how important this place you created is.
Total package. Humor, tragedy (impending), wizard staves.
I backed off on this at the last minute – wifey came clean that she’s pregnant. Now every time i look at our child, I’ll see this painting in their eyes rather than on my wall. Make if that what you will. The company i work for shut down our facility a couple weeks later, so I’m unemployed now. Thinking I should have bid higher some more, in true winner fashion – which i know nothing about – and had I won, maybe karma wouldn’t be curb stomping my balls on repeat, though rather unlikely.
Cheers winner person