Click to read a marvellous letter originally published in Freeride magazine about 2000.
[DDET Uncle Someone: Granny Bottlechurch]
Dear Granny Bottlechurch,
You asked me to write to you about our new neighbour in the village, well here is the story, verbatim, and recorded from their strange bearded gardener called ‘Dagger’.
“Runs upon the Tyne, oblong ties to go, Big Spence used to keep fit with curry paste smeared under his toenails due to the likely emergence of a tiny Indian parasite known as Eschebone Sandispatticus. As the little bug took hold of his feet, the incessant and agonizing itching could only be relieved through lengthy jogs near water, champion tennis and hockey activities. The big man soon tired of this activity and, after endless meetings with homeotherapists, aromatherapists, reflexologists, osteopaths and many other purveyors of bodily cures, Spence took his pocket money down to Rollermania in Bristol and bought himself a skateboard.
The year was 1989, and the Cotswold Fertiliser Wars were coming to an end. A treaty signed by Hinton and Gales of Southrop and The Victoria Inn of Eastleach ensured a time of permanent peace would return to these battle-scarred hills. Spence maximised his opportunities and quickly learnt the joint trades of street and ramp skating. A visiting fighter pilot at RAF Fairford was overheard saying, “Man, that guy was born to skate ramp!” after witnessing the ex-tennis stars transition skills. And what a true statement it was – defying both the physical laws of gravity and the metaphysical laws of gradual self improvement, Spence staled his fish high above his peers and rivals alike.
SS20 opened its shop in Oxford, and the inhabitants of the Leach Valley Players quickly adopted this retail outlet as an extension of Fairford youth club. Riders with names like Moul and Scamp were befriended and informed of the burgeoning scene within the Coriniums’ catchment area. Evil Kinevel ramps were constructed under the eyes of a thousand owls so that Stretch Limo might practice his stunt work with protection from the elements. School suffered, as it should, only to be enlightened by a short story concocted by some pupils regarding the midnight antics of members of staff.
The next decade saw ramps and decks broken with frequency, Bradford visited for the purposes of culinary and social education, new friends arriving by the quarter, and improvements in every field the handsome young man set his wellies in.
A Penny dropped in on Oxford’s new mini ramp complex and set about a global domination and withdrawal act in 36 months flat. The reverberations would be felt for many years, not least by the Penny’s many associates along the lengthy Thames Valley.
Stretch continued to skill himself up even more, and added a dash of balletic fluency to his trademark sketchiness of previous years. The big man’s media appearances started to flourish, so almost in response, he began a yearly crusade down under to cherish the Southern Hemisphere’s rays, and blemish the South of England’s days with his absence.
Today of course, the old bugger spends his time with a pantry stocked thick with fine wines and meats, a miniramp complex in the grounds of his castle, a motorised satellite dish the size of a meteorite crater, a loving wife and a devoted following amongst Chilford-under-Wychcarve’s younger generation of skate fanatics.
In other words, he’s made it.
To follow in his footsteps, just enter your name as SSPE, and when the final boss appears, type in JONNY B ROCKS before the first rollerblading minions begin their attack.”
Well, Granny, I think you will agree he’s an interesting fellow, although I’m not sure if a single word of that ‘Dagger’ fellow can be relied upon. If you visit in the spring, be sure to bring some Scotch fancies and we can pop round theirs for tea and find out the truth,
Your loving Granddaughter,