The Spirit of SPoT

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 by Ryan

The Spirit of SPoT

By Ryan T. Clements
December 16, 2001
Twas’ the night before Christmas
As I closed up SPoT.
Not a skateboarder was present
While I swept the lot.

The list of closing duties 
Was just about done.
The crew sessioned earlier;
It was the usual fun.

Off went the lights,
Ending in pitch black.
There was a movement so slight
When I turned and looked back.

To my disbelief,
My eyes did not fail. 
I thought I was dreaming! 
There was a ghost on the rail!

Then Sean Miller, Jeff Phillips, 
Keenan Milton, Phil Shao, and more…
One by one they
Walked through the door.

One was a man
Who got hit by a Jeep
While in SF,
Bombing a hill that was steep.

The other was a grom,
Who held on to my hand.
He died from an illness
After the Make-A-Wish Jam. 

Over came Shao,
“Although I am dead,
I am part of these ramps,”
He smiled and said.

Phil saw I was frightened
And told me not to fear,
“Only now you can see us,
But we are always here.”

Sean explained, 
“Death came as a surprise.
I was just a young man
And did not realize.”

“Heed my advice and 
Skate for fun.
Because you never know 
When it’s the end of your run.”

For years I’ve left
The SPoT at night
And have driven away 
Not feeling quite right.

But this Christmas Eve 
The usual late night noise
Was an after-life session
With our lost boys.

Here’s the lesson I’ve learned 
From our friends that have passed:
Skate and destroy every session
As if it’s your last!

Note: A few years ago, Jake Phelps, the editor of Thrasher, gave me a photo of Phil Shao. I hardly knew who Jake was at the time. He was just some guy that worked for Thrasher as far as I was concerned. Jake instructed me to do something worthwhile with the photo he gave me. I knew Phil had recently passed, but I didn’t quite get it.

Several months later we were rebuilding the pyramid. I ran into my office and grabbed the photo. I informed Schaefer of what Jake instructed me to do. Schaefer was taken; we all had a moment, so to speak. Just so you know, every time you ollie the pyramid, Phil is with you. We pasted a photo of him under the plys and it’s there to this day. Jake, now I get it.