The Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square is world famous,
that's for sure. But, is it the renown choir? Is it the Tiffany
stained windows? Is it the 120-year-old spires? Well, maybe.
But to a lot of young people, it's the velvety smooth pavement.
It's the low, brown sandstone steps. It's the wheelchair ramps
and metal railings.
"We're just trying to skateboard and we get hassled."
They say, those young people on boards with wheels, which is
one of the fastest-growing sports in America, with its own clothing,
language and music, too. Plus, with its own damage to municipal
property, too. But in that skateboarding is not unlike bicycling,
running, motorcycles, cars, and you-name-it. The skateboarder's
"natural terrain" involves standout structures and
public places meant for something else. But, like everyone else,
skateboarders utilize what's available. "Kids don't see
the world in the same way that adults do. The see a beautiful
marble ledge as being a great thing to jump off," states
Fran Edwards, director of Transworld Skateboard Magazine.
The Trinity Church is an amazing natural terrain for skateboarding.
The streets of Newport are also outstanding. Boston Public Library's
steps are awesome and irresistible, as are the steps of the government
buildings in Washington, D.C. and Montpelier, VT. Of the 200
private skateboard parks that opened all but two are closed in
fear of personal injury suits. But now skateboarding is being
reborn as a street sport. But public skateboard parks are on
the rise, at the same time that many towns try to ban skateboarding.
But trying to control skateboarders has been compared to "organizing
earthworms," They like to do their thing in public areas,
and skateboarding does draw a crowd. "The girls really like
it." one said, smiling.
But as these kids grow up, they abandon the skateboard for girls
and cars ("It's hard to make out on a skateboard.) Some
states have passed laws exempting municipalities from law suits
and the mecca of the sport is of course California. And with
all of the bruises, broken bones, head injuries, broken fingers
and road burned skin, many states are starting to treat the sport
as a "at your own risk" activity like surfing and spelunking.
But it keeps growing anyway.
But remember that not everyone looks at the world exactly as
you do. And when you're so busy telling everyone how it really
is, remember the thrill of rolling down a forty-step granite
stairway with all the talent and enjoyment you can muster in
the rush of adrenalin and laughter and the sheer happiness of
youth. And, hey look, over there someone is coming out of the
church after a service, solemn and sublime, in the peacefulness
It's not always about you. Sometimes it's about life.
Maybe it's always about life.
Varied, individual, satisfying life.
Try to remember. It's our differences that make it all interesting.