Here is a glimpse back in time that perfectly captures the pool skating culture from 17 years ago in 1999, before social media at the birth of the blog. Photos are small and low res which was cutting edge at the time, but the words are timeless. Colin Choy was (and is) one of the most rabid pool skaters of the AZ scene. Choy dropped off the grid years ago with no social media presence whatsoever. Those who have skated with Colin know the sheer gnarliness of the dude and few are lucky enough today to run into him. Animal Choy. Have you seen him?
Words and photos by Colin Choy
It was a Sunday morning about 2 years ago and I was itching to skate. I remember it like it was yesterday. I write this now in hopes of waking up some of you to seize the moment and never take a good thing for granted. I pondered the spots that were going at the time and all seemed good to go. Truth is, it didn’t matter where I skated, just when, the sooner the better. A couple of phone calls later, and the ball was rolling. Word over the wire was the Buckeye Bowl wouldn’t last another day and it was time to say good bye…
At three in the afternoon I picked up Jimmy and we headed for the pool. I knew others would hear of the news but I was surprised to see thirty-plus followers paying their last respects. Randy Colvin and his telephone prowess made sure that everyone knew of Buckeye’s impending doom.
After a year’s worth of sessions, the lines were dialed in like a smooth talking Frenchman. Everyone knew just where to touch her to make her quiver one last time. Jimmy and I jumped in mid session and proceeded to deliver the last rites. Highlights include Dan Lowe’s B-side boneless ones and nose picks, Benny’s lien to tails and layback airs, and Jimmy’s sick B-side air to disasters.
After an hour or so, a pickup truck rolled up with a couch and a keg in the back. Boys, it jest don’t git any better ‘n this! Too bad the beer was from the night before, flat and warm. Oh well, free beer is still the best beer, thanks guys. The session continued in the heated snake pit as Buckeye’s tattered porceline lip continued to accept rough goodbye kisses from our wood, wheels, and steel.
Buckeye Bowl was one of those rare treats that Arizona pool demons see only once in a great while. A capsule with tile coping and decent trannies made Buckeye a gem founded by Jimmy Moore on one of his daily work jaunts checking meters behind houses. Unbeknownst to its former owners, Buckeye’s final year of existence was giving pure joy to everyone who rode her, well, almost everyone. I’m sure the dude who sacrificed a couple of gallons of blood to Buckeye didn’t get much joy out of the air-evac ride to the e-room (you know who you are).
Sitting alone in the midst of some cotton fields and another house converted into a truck driving school, the pool was in an ideal, non-bust location. The house that once sheltered dwellers from the desert harshness was dozed and for a period of time, half of the house sat in the deep end of the pool interrupting the skate festivities for a few months. In the spring of ‘97, she was unearthed and skated once again. Word spread like greased monkeys and with the new Phoenix skatepark open just around the corner, sessions became a daily zoo. Soon, Buckeye became a household word, and many began to take her for granted. Let this be a lesson to all of those who did, Buckeye is gone forever.
Jimmy and I headed for home, both with different emotions. Jimmy felt disappointed as he was one of those who took her for granted. I, on the other hand, left fully satisfied having skated that pool as often as I could knowing that she wouldn’t last forever. Neither of us will dwell on it too much, though, for many pools have come and gone over the years, and without a doubt, another will replace Buckeye. But her charm will not soon be forgotten as pool skating is a dynamic endeavor and few pools have all the right combinations for perfection. Buckeye came awfully close…As the sun’s final twilight faded behind the carnivorous Cat backhoes that sat waiting eagerly to tear her apart, the session began to fade as well. The nighttime chill began to rise from the cotton fields and it was time to bid farewell. A few who just couldn’t let her go, attempted to skate aided by headlights of vehicles strategically pointed into the bowl and consequently, right into the eyes of the oncoming skaters when they came off the face wall, kinda like highway deer. Poor souls.