It was the third street comp event to be held in Ohio. NSI video had made negotiations with Cow Skates to produce a video of the event. Brad Dorfman and his video company called Unreal had had the rights stolen out from under them. I pulled my small white four door compact Corolla into the parking lot of Dorfman's and Vision's warehouse. I got out and entered the building. I went to Everett's office to pick up my plane ticket and some product to give away; stickers, t-shirts, boards and wheels. I was sponsored by Vision and it was good. They were the most popular and most flamboyant and had recently gone big time and stepped into the arena of clothing manufacturing. I didn't care, I mean it's cool to say you don't care, but I guess I sorta did. See I got free shit off this company that was making noise called Life's A Beach, and the dudes in charge of that were straight up. I liked that. But this story is not about clothes. This story is about jewels, precious stones. Not just the fact that they worth a lot of money, that's besides the point, the issue here is over who they rightfully belong to. I entered the building. Walked past the reception and picked up my ticket and a large box as well, I loaded them into the car. Everett told me he would meet up with me at the airport in Ohio, he also said that Paul Schmitt had some custom boards for me and that they were at the screen shop ready to be picked up. "Cool", I said.
I did not know where Rocco was at, besides the clothing being a big change, also Rocco was on his way out and Everett was on the way in. See this was a hard one to understand cause not only did Rocco have a pro model for Sims Skateboards which was a company owned by Brad Dorfman, but Rocco also had a title of team captain, team captain meant he was responsible for organising the pro riders to get to competitions on time, demos, mostly all events, plus making sure they had new equipment. I guess in a very small way part of being team captain dealt with product development! Maybe that is why Everett knew Paul Schmitt who ran the wood shop had the boards completed and that they where at the screeners. When I got to the screen printers I did not just rush back there like I did at the other building. I waited up at the front for some one to come get me and escort me back. This little guy saw me waiting there - "Paul is waiting for you in Dave's office now", I thought this was weird cause Paul is normally never at the screen printers, he just never is. The little guy said "he wants to talk to you", "oh shit" I thought, maybe I was in for it for talking shit, I mean after all that is what I love to do. Maybe for saying his foam core boards bust easy - all you have to do is just look at it!!! The small dude that was about my height but filled out, a full fledged man pointed into Dave's office. Believe it or not Schmitt had on his fucking stupid lab coat. . . "Jesus" I thought as I walked in. "Here, your boards are in the box" Paul said. "Yeah thanks".
I told him meaning that I had no intentions of taking up conversation with him quickly. I lifted the box beneath my arm and began to take off. "Just a sec" he said. I looked at him then I glanced at the box, it said 'custom boards for Gonz', Paul glanced to see if the short dude was gone, he was. Paul closed the door, "listen" he said "I've got a special assignment for you". "Jesus" I thought to myself, is this dude a creep or what? The last time some one said that to me was in Junior High. This dude that had a little girl who was enemies with another little girl - he hired us to go and wreck their party,
Paul could read my facial expressions, and saw that I was turned off by it, then talked and talked and talked until I agreed. Now he told me "J Paul Getty, you know the name?", "funny thing is, yes I do - my buddy Kevin was talking some nonsense about that dude the other night! Saying something about thinking his pet cats where incarnates of old ancestors of his are something?! Is this him?", "Yeah" Paul said, just agreeing with me but not paying attention. "Ha ha ha", he chuckled, "when you got the time to chase down crazy and bizarre beliefs like that, and the money I suppose you do", I guess he was listening! "The man is dead" I said. "Yeah" Paul said "but his family and estate and money live on". What the fuck is this board maker trying to sell me? "Look" he said "the comp in Ohio this weekend". "yeah" I said, "Well the Gettys want some jewels that belong to them, and they think the Mayor and his wife have got them!".
"So you want me to try and get them back?".
I had to open my fucking box of custom boards, I couldn't wait. I had to have something real to see in front of me, 'cause this shit this dude in a lab coat was telling me sounded straight out of the movies. I pulled one board out first, nose looked great - about six and a quarter, just what I asked for, wheelbase looked cool, I pointed the nose of the board down to examine the tail, the width was fine but length was all wrong. Paul did not look worried, he just cooly said that if your nose is that long and you want a big wheelbase, then your gonna have to suffer on the how long your tail is going to be! Shit! Fuck that, you never said anything like that to me. Shit! Paul said that we had the much larger veneers, veneers are another word for plies, like a board might be an eight ply, with each ply the grain is going in a opposite direction making the board stronger, of course with glue and whatever else they use, but let me get on with the story...
So, he bribed me - "do this Getty jewel heist caper for me, and I will get you your board with big wheelbase, long nose and long tail". I sat on it for a few days thinking about it. A/ Should I tell Dorfman that Schmitt was trying to bribe me. B/ Should I tell Paul that he is a pile of crap, as he knows very well that I love a dare, and knowing its his job to supply the riders with boards that they need to be #1. But it was a bit more complex. See the industry was changing very fast. Vert and street guys where on their way out and freestyle was in. Ever since Rodney stole Tony Hawk's vert move and brought it to the flatland, kids wanted to be like Mullen, Hans Lindgren and Per Welinder. If one of those guys needed a custom board it would be whipped up immediately, no big deal. I knew the real reason that Paul was doing this - C/ he new that I could do it, and that I would love it. Plus he knew that something I could use, like a special board, would be far more appreciated then money.
So Lumpy (as us skateboarders on the inside referred to Paul Schmitt) put me in touch with a representative of the Gettys. His name was Joe, I know that was not his name, it was just his name for this project. Joe went through all the details with me letting me know that while the skateboard contest was going on, the Mayor's wife would be there, so me and two other culprits would leave the competition and go to the home of the mayor and retrieve the jewels that the Getty family thought rightfully belonged to them. I had no problem with this and was certain that I could do it. Only thing I was not gonna let Joe know was that I planned on going in on my own. Of course he thought that the details he gave me were quite simple - nobody will be home, we have a man on the inside that will make sure all security devices; cameras and such would be off.
With all my essential information on what to do recorded on a cassette labeled 'Prince Sign ☮ The Times alternate home mix" I drove my crappy white bitch ride as I like to call it, from Sherman Oaks back to Newport listening to the instructions loud. Honestly you will not believe what happened, my slow poke ride and myself get pulled over, yeah I was on the 91 Freeway heading East, the highway patrolman came to the passenger window, I had to lean over the passenger seat and roll down the window manually cause like I said this car was a bitch. I left Joe's voice playing loud over the crappy car's great car system, ha ha, I thought I was being so cute and I knew that I was too. He asked me to lower it, not knowing what the hell I was listening to. When I signed my name to the situation and we both parted ways, my error was illegal lane change.
We arrive in Ohio. The Alva team, the Powell team, Santa Cruz stragglers that travelled alone came in at different times, stragglers, I mean pros, are ams that where sent to the event by a company on their own, with no team manager, or coach, or anybody to get a rental drive them around, check them into hotels, sign them up for practice, these sorts of things. If you did not have someone doing these sorts of things for you then you where a straggler, the name is self explanatory. I was on the Vision team, but I fell into the straggler category, but not totally because some of the things were taken care of for me, while other things I preferred to handle on my own. I checked into the hotel, many of the pros were there. I sat my luggage close to the toilet, I had my earphones on and was listening to Joe's instructions. I heard banging on the wall of my room, I wondered what the hell was happening, also I was thinking would it be better to do this thing alone or should I ask for help from one of the other skaters. When I took off my earphones the banging persisted. I put on a shirt and left my room, leaving the hard lock on so that my room door would not close entirely and I'd be locked out. I tapped quietly next door. Someone was getting high, I could totally smell the weed. Aaron Murray came to the door, "what's up?" he said. "What up" I said, "my room's next door, who is in this room?". He told me, him Scott Oster and Dressen. Oh the DTS team. It was in my mind but i did not verbalise my thoughts, instead I just sort of grinned and said "you're making banging noises on the wall! I'm in the room next door", the slight smile was a common way to show that the banging was not a problem, I just wanted to know what was happening. He let me know that he was the only one in there, I could tell he was zooted. He had a brand new board and was launching from one of the double beds to the corner of the other onto his nose, he was trying to bounce off and land on the carpet smoothly. I joined in, neither of us landed it, we could have though, but the hotel lobby called and asked us to stop. I said "later" and went back to my room. For some odd reason I turned on the television, it was night time, I knew Jerry Springer was not going to happen, so I flicked through my HBO options.
I suddenly realised, I took off my headphones and had set my walkman down next door when we were nose bonking off the bed, holy crap I thought, what if one of them dudes listens to it. Oh no I thought, and even if they did, they would just think damn this fool be into listening to people talk, what's up with that? Ha ha, I did not fret it, but I decided to leave my room and go see how long until the skate course was open to skate. I saw Blender, he was was in a bad mood, so I kept going. I walked to a Frosty Freeze and got a strawberry malt, it was so fuckin' good. This was before In-n-Out went haywire all over our cities in So Cal, so this was an extra treat like Bob's Big Boy or something. When I was finished I was sucking through the straw, the last bits from the corners on the circular edge at the bottom. From the dark I saw the silhouettes of two what looked to be skaters approaching but without boards. It wasn't hard to notice when they got close, I saw that it was Murray and Dressen, "what's up?". Murray handed me back my Walkman with the headphones, "cool thanks" I said, I put the cassette part in my hip sack and had the cord to the earphones running out. They were at the counter now ordering shit, they probably had the munchies. When I pulled on my earphones and tried to press play through the material, I looked over to Eric and Aaron. Aaron started to speak, so I took the headphones off, "nowhere was open to buy batteries, so Oster took out your batteries". "Oh" I said, I was not bummed. When Aaron saw that I was not bothered, he added, referring to Scott Oster, "he said to let you know he'll get you back double when he is able to buy batteries", "cool" I said. On my walk back to the hotel alone, I had time to think. Think about skating, about life, the night, the sky, the moonlight - I realised how young I was and how alive and full of life I felt. I also thought about how lucky I was to be away from my hometown, my city. There was an abandoned hotel, the signs all around the falling apart structure, although dark, said 'danger keep out' and 'private property'. I jumped the gate and took a look around. The pool looked ok, but there was a ton of crap in it, there was no shallow end. This thing was deep all the way around. When I was leaving and about to jump back over the fence, I saw a police car pull into the lot, I thought that I was the only one there, but I was not. The cops' lights were off. I could see clearly the cops were hoping to spook the four dudes that were drinking in a car. It was Dave Hackett, Steve Olson, the other guy I could not make out who he was. One cop was talking to them, he had his flashlight projected on them. It was only by that that they had scared the dudes and by coasting their cruiser up with the motor off. I jumped the fence and did a full loop. I walked up on them like I had no idea what was going on, the interrogating cop's partner asked me to step over to their cruiser. They were spooked by me, as they had spooked them, but I called out to Olson just let the cops know that they where my buddies. I thought it would be a better chance for them to be let off this way since I was clean. No pot, no booze they might have a better chance of being let off, I mean I could drive fine and they would probably be asked to keep the drinking in the bars, night spots and hotel rooms and let me drive them, and they did, but my wide and awake eyes made them a bit nervous. They went through my hipsack and pockets and shit then let me drive them and their rental back to the hotel. They fuckin' followed us, I didn't really give a fuck though, I didn't do anything wrong. When I got up to my room I thought about tomorrow - skating and what it would be like having to leave, commit a burglary and then be back at the contest and skate and make it like nothing happened. When I got back in the room, Johnny Kopp was in there to my surprise - what the fuck?! He told me in a wannabe cool Hawaiian style accent "shoots bruda Everett puts Johnny in dis room me no know it upset you brudda?". I was not upset, but since he said that I was, I had to play the part. I went into the toilet, took off my watch and slept on in it for sure breaking it. I picked it up, looked at how bad I had fucked it up, it wasn't that bad, so I did it some more, but there is only so much damage a rubber sneaker is going to do a watch. So I took the toilet paper off the holder, removed the metal part and used that to bust the plastic. When I got it open, I took off the small hand and was looking at it up close, it was as thin as an eyelash. Get this, and i wasn't even on drugs. I waited in there until Kopp tapped on the door, "you ok?", "yeah" I said, and then came out. I put the toilet paper holder back together and pretended everything was fine, he said if I wanted he would ask Rosecrans to put him in another room, "naw" I said, "it's cool", I lay back on my bed. He was watching a pro tennis match on some sports channel. The phone rang, I picked it up, "hello" I said, the woman at front desk asked for a Mr. Mark Gonzales, "yeah, this is me", she said "you have a guest in the hotel lobby waiting for you". I was not expecting company, so I said "not here", "not here?" the woman asked, waiting for a response. I didn't give her one. I placed the receiver down on top, ending the call. I looked over at J Kopp, he was into the TV, it made me mad and wish I had something that I could be as interested in as him with tennis, "you got any batteries, bro?". I was trying to be goofy and speak his native Hawaiian dialect. He didn't speak, he just got into a rather posh tote sack and gently tossed them over to me. I put them into my Walkman and listened to Joe's voice to understand clearly what I was supposed to do. I listened to the plan about twenty times and fell asleep listening, so possibly more then twenty times.
Morning time next day at the street course, skaters are buzzing around in every direction. I saw Caballero, I saw Hosoi, each were at other ends of the course studying what was going on. I saw Jimmy Scott and wondered if Rodney Cassell would be there. I saw Bill Danforth and he seemed to grip my attention. It was too funny, he set his board up in a blunt position, it took him a good second to get the thing balanced and then stepped away from the board. This was a trick that I had first seen done by the skater Bryce Kanights, it was featured in Thrasher. The skater sets the board up in blunt position, steps at least five feet back then runs at the board, jumping at it and at the same time pulling back and hopefully landing on it and rolling backwards. I watched Bill set his board up and attempt to do this at least three times, each time after he'd set it up another skater would blaze through and bump his balancing board and the whole thing was ruined. I skateboarded around not doing much, just rolling and looking around. Before long, kids started to be let in, admission had begun. My eyes were peeled for the Mayor's wife. When she arrived that would be my cue to go and put all them Joe plans into action. Turning, curving, soul surfing and hitting the lower parts of the obstacles was what I was about. Then a dirty faced kid screamed at me, "Judo off flat!", my head turned, I knew he was screaming at me, I doubled back to where the shout had come from and bumped into Olson, he was doing a long nose wheely. "Sorry" I told him, even though he was still on his board, just his back wheels had hit and his nose wheely was off, but I was completely off my board but some how it was my fault. Wham bang boom! I spotted her easily, she was dressed in white with pale pink trim and a light yellow shawl. I got screamed at once again, it was the same kid, "Mullen gets a higher pop than you off flat, Gonzales", the little fucker was just beside the lady I just mentioned? Then he said "ollie air walk off flat!" he screamed it. "Ron Allen is busting on you, Gonz! You see his ollie judo?". Bill Danforth skated over and posted up just beside the loud mouth and the woman whose house I was soon to burgle.
I was under instructions to leave the place and set things into motion, but for some reason I thought I'd get close to her and see what's up. I thought it wouldn't hurt. Her aids and companions just stood by her as I stood there trying to eavesdrop. The kid that was screaming was now yelling at Ron Allen, "pop walk! "pop walk 50-50 the rail". Danforth who was very near, turned and screamed at the kid. I laughed. The woman pointed to Olson as he rode smoothly towards her. "Him! Him! Him!" she said over and over to the aids. Shit, I need to make something happen. I saw Murray come in, he was with Dressen. I walked up to them to see what their story was. Eric said "I'm pre-qualified, I don't have to skate till later", Murray didn't say shit, he just put his helmet on and hit the course. I was guessing he was not pre-qualified. Eric chilled with me and I asked if he wanted to loan me a hand. "Sure", he said. I think he was thinking along the lines of joining me to go to a JC Penney or Macy's or something for an in-store appearance and autograph session. Then I told him the plan, he was stoned and smiled while at the same time disagreeing with what I was saying. I watched the woman, she was now in a new area of the arena, she was now talking to Olson. Aaron skated up, "sup?", "not much, what happened?" I asked him. He told me Natas bruised his ankle and had dropped out, so I'm now pre-qualified. "I wasn't, it was from me up that was qualified, but now that Natas is out, I'm in, I don't need to skate". "You're psyched", Eric said. I didn't say anything.
The hotel was about a five minute drive, Murray was gonna try and head back. Up walked Scott Oster, he handed me a paper sack with about eight Duracell batteries in it. I was going to drive Murray back, Everett Rosecrans had some how managed to get my name on the rental agreement, and I was ok to drive. As we pulled out, I saw Olson in the parking lot, all finished with his Torger Johnson like skateboard moves. He was talking to the Mayor's wife, I drove past them slow, then explained to Murray what I'd be getting into, he liked it and was down. "Cool" I said, we stopped at the hotel and he burgled the hotel worker's shed and got a nice crow bar, "I'm bringing this", "we don't need nothing like that" I told him, "we have someone on the inside to help things happen", "yeah" he said "just in case". "Ok" I said, then he said "look at me", ok, I looked at him "can you tell if I have something?", "you mean right now?" I asked. "Yeah" he said, "look Mark, look" he said "you can hardly see it's there". "Alright" I said, "if you are bringing something, I am too". Meanwhile in the parking lot, Steve Olson was getting right into the Mayor's wife, the aids that she had arrived with had gone, it was now just her and him. She kept trying to stand on his board, he would talk in a older man's kind of voice. What the fuck am I talking about? Olson was older, but her she was not older, she was quite young, and married to the mayor of Dayton, Ohio. "Don't step on my board" Steve said, she would disobey and continue to do so. This was foreplay for these two. Time had passed and now they where play kissing and saying make believe things to one another. Steve was caught up in the moment, he realised this when he had her inside the arena next to where the calisthenics trainer Barry Zorinski had his camp set up. Olson was going inside her and got in trouble. A security guard almost punched him and was calling him every name in the book. Because Olson was so quick to pull his pants up, the guard thought it less a crime than what it actually was. The two left the venue, not Olson and the fat security guard, but the woman and Olson. Quickly the two rushed out while groping one another and some how managing to get to a suitable location to fuck - it was her home.
The place was empty, no servants or aids, she had released herself completely and was licking his balls. This was ok with Olson but he wanted some too. He had a tight grip on her knee with his left hand, it was all that he could reach without disrupting the great pleasure he was receiving. Finely it was too much, as she sucked on his rod long ways he screamed out "fuck!", he was wanting to rip her fucking pants off of her but he was hardly in a position to do so. "Hoah, hoahhh, hoah" he was pleading with her to stop so he could have his turn at being the aggressor.
Just nearby, if you were not on the floor getting freaky, you would catch the reflection of two people looking in on the house just about to enter. These two silhouettes were me and Murray. We had too climb through an atrium type porch that made the front part of the house seem neither indoors or outdoors. It was here that they had just been getting it on. Aaron climbed in first before I went in, I handed him a fire extinguisher, he was laughing and set it down. I climbed in, "don't laugh" I said, he told me he was not laughing at me but just thought it was funny. We both walked through the house heading to the outside master bedroom servant's toilet. It was supposed to be a small toilet and that it was mainly used for the safe that was inside. We walked past the master bedroom, we both looked at one another with shock being as silent as possible, we knew we had both heard and knew the same thing - someone was home and they were going at it. We got into the small toilet just near master bedroom and opened the safe, the shit went into the sack fast.
Joe had asked me to run tests on the shit to make sure it was legit and the right jewels, but i was only thinking about getting the fuck out of this house. Arron looked at me and gave a hard too comprehend hand signal. I moved close and moved my ear in his direction so he could speak quietly and let me know what was up. Aaron said "whoever it is fucking, they know we are here", "oh yeah?" I said, "yeah" he said "we can go out this way" I said, heading up to the attic. "No" he said and walked passed me straight towards the big room. He pulled out his crowbar and was ready to brandish it to whoever was inside that room. Holy crap, what the fuck, I held tight to the bag containing the jewels and the fire extinguisher. I thought 'you got the goods, get the fuck out leave Murray' but I couldn't, so I rushed to be by his side. The lady rolled over to her husbands side of the bed and was in no time armed with a glock. She got a shot off but stopped abruptly when I sprayed her with the fire hose. "Drop the glock, whore, unless you wanna die". The man she was with asked if he could have a smoke. Well whatever it was we were up to, was going down now. It was a incredible coincidence that it was Olson but he had no idea it was us. Me and Murray picked up her piece and left. We never told Olson. We split the cash we made off the gun, and I delivered the jewels to Joe.
It was fun.
Thanks to Mark Gonzales for blessing us with this amazing story.
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