Before we get into anything, I would be remiss not to mention the recent passing of a true legend in all things cool, Otis ‘O’ Barthoulameu;
Miki described his influence beautifully here;
My friend O. died last night. I wouldn’t be the person I am right now if it weren’t for him. And if it weren’t for a lot of you reading this. I think I’ve told him thank you. In so many ways. And if I didn’t tell you thank you—thank you.
I have so much to be grateful for, and O. was one of them. We met in 1985, when we both joined the @transworldskate mag photo staff. We appeared on the masthead together in the same issue.
I knew of him as a photographer for the punk rock mag Flipside. Shooting bands was something he’d teach me a lot about in the coming years, but at the time I was just a gawky high-school kid and couldn’t get to many shows. He’d change that. I can’t count how many times he got me in to see some of my favorite bands—The Ramones, 45 Grave, TSOL …
A love of skateboarding, punk rock, and photography were just a few of the many things we shared. At that point in my life, I was a typical alienated, self-doubting teenager, but my friend O. was always glad to see me. Always had something encouraging to say. Always made me feel like I mattered. That meant so much to a kid who didn’t share his confidence.
Over the years we skated together, lived together, played music, traveled, shot photos, and shared so many of those moments when you’re just hanging out, time seems to stand still, and conversations just flow. Just bullshitting, having fun, creating, growing. At least I certainly was.
Eventually, I found a direction, headed off to college, the world, life. More recently O. and I would see each other infrequently. But often enough, I think. I’d know a rendezvous was imminent whenever he’d pop into my mind. And within a day or two, on cue, he’d show up. And we’d pick up the bullshit where we left off. One lifelong stream of consciousness. There was always something to laugh about around O. And we always ended our conversations chuckling like the day we met.
O. was a kid at heart, but with the superpower to uplift you and remind you that you’re part of a bigger plan. That you matter. Because you do. But you know that because he’s told you already. And beyond all else, that was his gift. To me. To you. To everyone he touched.
O. is forever.
I don’t know any details, but the one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that the sights and sounds of my life have been so much radder because of him.
In news of ‘I got my Doom vest, and you probably didn’t‘-
There’s a far outside chance that I could squeeze an extra one or two out of the old bean if anyone was super interested.
Real quick- I’m curious if anyone checked in on the most recent ‘(Two) For The Weekend‘?
My friend Forrest turned me onto this feed, and I’m totally addicted;
It’s just so stupidly wholesome, and the dry, subtle sense of humor of the person who does it fits perfectly into my brain meat.
Anyway, moving on… Have any of yinzrs seen this piece from Giant Bicycles featuring Adam, Stephen, and my old buddy Carl?
It makes me miss having a body that doesn’t hurt all of the time.
As I’ve mentioned many times over the last few years, a new pastime I’ve fallen headlong in love with is playing with little trucks in the woods, and wouldn’t you know not so very long after I invested more time and money than I had any business doing into my own Traxxas High Trail K-10, those old so-an-sos ended up releasing what arguably is my favorite looking truck ever;
I’m dying over here.
I’ve never before wished I had any sort of influencer status, but seeing other muckity mucks in the RC world coming home to find these sitting on their porches has me re-thinking my life choices.
If anyone from Traxxas might be reading these words, I’m a pretty big deal with the dirtbag bike set. If it is agreeable to you to engage with a whole new realm of goofballs, please help a brother out. I’ll gladly be your huckleberry.
Oh, and speaking of Downieville, I got an email from Bomber Jon Palmer the other day (if you’ve ever passed through Yuba Expeditions, he was the friendly bespectacled chap who likely made you take a shot), and showed me some stuff he’s been up to;
What a total nerd.
Truth be told, back in 2016 or so when I took a trip to that particular region with my family, we stopped through the shop to say hello, and Jon showed me his trucks. He said after work, they’d go around the corner, get high and drive on a pile of rocks on the side of the road. It was pretty much at that moment I was hooked.
Oh, he emailed me some bike related stuff too;
I got DFL at Stupor Bowl last weekend, first alleycat since Mtn Lion 2009. It’s so much easier with these smart phone things.”
Remember back in the olden times when people would actually email me spits and spurts about what sorts of shenanigans they were getting into in their respective corners of the world, and I would post them up here with marginally humorous observations or responses attached for the consideration of this readership, instead of just randomly sending me the same IG clip of a Bulldog knocking over a pile of rocks that literally 200 other people also forwarded me?
I’d like to go back to that time. Maybe we could even send one another physical mail.
In closing, I would like to direct you to the very newest episode of Revolting;
Have you listened to the Revolting podcast? It’s had its moments, and today, as we engage in conversation about the creative process, and what lights a fire under us to make work in our respective disciplines, it likely won’t be any different.
Maybe one day we’ll have a complete episode that will be nothing but moments.