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Chapter 30

Uncle John's Web

     Again, JW went his way and I went mine. My adventures were as fun for me as his were for him. I'll get to tell mine later, but right now I'll stick with the anti- gravity thread.

     Before you knew it, JW was producing skateboarding segments for the Blue Torch TV series on Fox Sports channel. Among the seven segments he produced, was the grand opening of the Santa Barbara Skatepark on the beach at the foot of State Street, a culmination of the dreams and efforts of so many people we knew and who we played and worked with.

     His video work expanded into other "anti-gravity" realms of extreme sports: BMX bicycles and "mountain boarding". And then the even more extreme sport of motocross, and motorcycle flights upside-down-no-hands back flips filmed from helicopters, over inconceivable distances.

     Back home in Petaluma, I went back to my regular way of life: building projects all over the San Francisco Bay Area. When I had started working at Powell, I could tell it was going to be a photogenic couple of years. So I always had a good supply of film and as soon as I could afford it, I upgraded to a Canon SLR. I took thousands of photos during those skateboard years, and thereafter pictures of my travels and jobsites, and collected them into physical photo albums. I would pull them out to help tell my stories to whomever; sometimes as a visual resume for new clients, but most the time just to share what life had shown me to friends. I had quite a few of them by the year 2000 including the construction of the Gold Pyramid, the SkateZone, SkateStreet, the last hot tub I ever put together, Carol's stamped concrete driveway, overseas trips to Nepal, Bali, and Costa Rica and two projects that Doug Hechter connected me with: a lavish and tasteful mansion of recycled redwood and the installation of 400-year old doors in a newly created Santa Barbara villa; and a yurt on a mountainside in Big Sur.

     For a project to commemorate the new century, I decided to learn how to make websites and put all my albums online. It's not that hard. I got a book on basic HTML, and an editing program that shows you how what you've coded will display on screen. I scanned some of those photographs I had in the albums and put them up online on my website. Check it out:

     Now that I've written this book, I've got about a thousand more photos that I could use to illustrate the stories. I am publishing the text as an Amazon print-on-demand paperback, and as a Kindle e-reader. These formats won't allow me to publish the quality and quantity of the photos I want. So my current plan is to put these photos up on a new website.

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