Hometown Letdown


 Sometime’s I get reckless or hopeful, blinded by the light I convince myself something is perfect. Ignoring common sense and red flags I submerge myself, deaf to the world seeing only what I want to see. If you have nothing, sometimes you settle for anything. It turns out the same everytime, but hey even the worse pool I’ve ever skated was still fun for at least a few moments. That logic works great when pool skating, but best left there for me.

 So the end of December, while cruising the grid I notice a familiar house looking very abandoned. Cars all gone, trash littering the yard christmas lights partially dangling from the roof. It had what looked like a great little amoeba out back, I had even swam in the pool in my adolesence. And dreamt of this day many times. I casually asked some friendlies in the neighborhood if the occupants had moved out, letting me know they had the week before.

 Now I made plenty bad decisions from this point on, full aware though. Still a few days left in the month it would be safe to say, the occupants still had the month to finish out. The house was built in ’84 so its likely the pool was pretty bad as most post 60’s pools are. The water was a little low but fairly clear, and had quite a bit of dirt in the bottom. We don’t drain “swimmers” and this was pretty borderline, but I convinced myself the house was going to remain empty.

 So the next day I leave work early to start pumping the pool out. I back in behind the house unnoticed, set up and start draining. Kevin gets there shortly and starts helping out. The pool was terribly overchlorinated and the walls were covered with film. Scrubbing as we go and draining into a vacant backyard next door. Soon a lady comes out, upset that I am flooding her yard!  I apologize and run the hose out front. At this time I see the people across the street are uneasy and on the phone, I’m ure they are calling the tenants.

 The sun is setting and I am contemplating whether finishing up or calling it a day, when the tenants pull up and block me in. They don’t speak english but I manage to explain to them that I’m here for a realtor to winterize the pool. They start going through the house but keep me blocked in, so I keep draining. Shortly I see a flashlight poking around and no the police have been called out. I tell them the same story, “Alan Gelfand from keller williams sent me out.” Explaining the house is in foreclosure and this is what I do. With my lack of paperwork, but the property in obvious disarray the officer informs me I have to leave. At this point the sun is well set and I would have already be gone if I wasn’t blocked in. So I pack up and head out. Deciding to let it cool down for a few weeks.

 Well January 10th I smoked my knee so have only been keeping an eye on it over the last months. I know of no other serious, pools skaters in the area so I just wait. Recently I noticed some kids hangin around, and knew what they were up to. One day I went to talk to them as they were finishing draining it. Already they had managed to borrow a pump! Which was slower than proper bucketing, but easier. They definately skipped a right of passage as this was their first backyarder. I gave the the run down, and some tips. They did a pretty good jog of cleaning what was a muddy green mess, much better than I did on my first muck pit.

 The pool ended up being pretty terrible. Three feet of vert most of the way around, the box wall was well over vert, steep incline from the shallow all the way to the deep. The two mid pockets look pretty good but just send you flying into a worthless facewall. The wheel marks show that they have had fun with it, so not all is lost. I just keep hoping for a local gem.

Skate and undestroy. Kill Mosquitoes. Keep your pools clean. Save lives from drowning. Keep Rolling. Leave only wheel marks. Take only what you brought.


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