Skating Henry's Pool Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Skating Henry's Pool

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 by Rob

Words by Ryan Clements

Photos by Mike Derewenko and Rob Meronek
Captions by Rob Meronek

Big Al patched up the drain. Dust off your leopard print Pro Designed knee pads. It's on!
This photo would be much gayer if all these dudes were chilling in a pool filled with water
Levi can't contain his excitement. Clem is trying to ignore him
The coping was immediately marked up by Levi
Seems like Clem's been on the news more than most politicians
Barak left his marks over the light
I bet the news guy wants to ask Levi how his hair got like that
Levi, that's a great looking back crail in the deep end
Lehman made it above ground
Levi - lein to tail
Lehman - frontside disaster
Levi - back crail
Giles is rock and rolling for the 10 o'clock news
Giles almost looks like he's holding on to the ladder on this frontside grind over the light
That's Henry Alava, chief of the Skatepark of Tampa Business team. There's a lot of math and numbers going on in this photo of us. Henry's a Certified Financial Planner and I'm a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. We should both have calculator watches. Henry, thanks for taking a break from the pencil pushing and letting us destroy your pool
Jonathon Mann went right back to ASS packing (Asian Sweat Shop - online order packing) right after slashing it up
Angel Carela went back to shooting product photos for the website after getting this Take a Poop for attempting flip tricks in the deep end. 40-year-old dudes everywhere are offended
I received the first phone call last week. Henry informed me that the pool that I asked about a few years back was finally getting refinished. I explained how this is pretty much all a skateboarder can ask for and that we’re down for whatever it takes to be able to skate it.

Then the phone rang again several times this week along with several texts flying, too. We set up the time – 10am on Thursday morning. The last thing that Henry asked was, “Hey, do you want these guys to knock the coping off so you can get to the top?” You know the answer I gave.

A little background on our friendship...I can’t remember who introduced us, but Henry is yet another great friend of mine and Skatepark that we’ve gotten close to through business relations. In fact, he’s on the Skatepark of Tampa Business Team and handles our health and other benefits.

I’ve always liked the guy and have trusted him in many important decisions behind the scenes at Skatepark, but I think that our friendship has definitely risen to a new level after this morning. I’ll tell you, it takes a special person to invite 12+ skateboarders (not knowing the majority of them) to their home with little idea of what was about to happen.

The posse arrived on the scene a few minutes early, but everyone was geared up and ready to jam. I was a bit nervous at one point considering I had only seen the thing one time and that was three years ago! And it had water in it! What if it sucked? What if I made everyone take time off of work to go on a random wild goose chase and things didn’t pan out?

Come to find out I had nothing to worry about. As we entered the backyard...

It was crazy...the neighbors had kept their kids out of school to watch, some other neighbors trekked over when they heard the noise, there were random kids, grandmas, video cameras, and even the guys working on the pool were drying it off so the session could begin. I really tripped out when Fox 13 News showed up to film and do a story. What?!

I just want to take this time to thank Henry, his lovely wife Gigi, and everyone else that made this session possible. Immediately after we left, the pool guys started with the demolition. That pool had a two-hour skateable life-span and we made the absolute best of it.



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