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The Trailer Park  


The Trailer Park

The Trailer Park - Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

The Trailer Park - Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

The Trailer Park - Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

The Trailer Park - Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

The Trailer Park - Andy Malcolm from the outskirts of Merville

Finding the best skate spots always happens in the oddest places. The outskirts of Merville (a town better known as a gas station on the outskirts of Courtenay) is probably the last place anyone would expect to find a great spot. Itís the location of a double wide trailer my friend bought last summer. For those of you who havenít lived in a trailer before, a double wide is pretty big. This place had a nice sized kitchen, big living room, an office with a bar and fireplace, and a centre hallway connecting these areas. Now this is key, all rooms were connected to each other in multiple places and all with linoleum floor. My friend and I moved into the trailer with the intention of renovating the place. The previous owner spent more time dragging his oxygen tank around and smoking two packs a day than he did maintaining the house. Now, what was his name again? Was it Thomas? No, anyway, he died. All his junk was everywhere, the place was water damaged, nicotine stained, had no heat, no water, and there was just a lot of work to be done. Ok, fast forward 3 months. So far we ripped up the linoleum in the living room, put a coat of primer on the fake wood paneling, and cut a hole in the floor (not as a random act of violence, their was water damage). Not a lot of progress, but that was the place, the place that became possibly the most ghetto skate spot ever created.

Ok, the birth of the Trailer Park, no one just decides to turn their house into a skate park, that would be stupid, it had a progression. First, what does every skater do when the winter rains come? They end up standing around the kitchen with their buddies doing stand still tricks. Well thatís what was happening in the trailer when we noticed the tiled fireplace in the living room. So that sparks an all night session that completely cracks and shatters the entire mantle. So no more fireplace skating, but we couldnít go back to standstill in the kitchen. Didnít need to, the next day we set the 5 x 10 sheet of floor board (originally bought to fix the hole in the floor) up as a bank in the living room. Well, as the fix sayís Ďone thing leads to another,í and about a month later the trailer had become a skate park. The bank was against a couch at the back of the living room. On one side a ride on rail went over the fireplace and ended at the bank. That side of the bank ended at the doorway into the kitchen and, therefore, was also a gap. Sketchy landing, though, water damage weakened the floor. The other side of the living room had a stainless steal box about one foot high, five feet long, and two feet wide (the box was an undisclosed object form an undisclosed place). There were two doorways into the living room, although one doorway was more of a big space that connected it to the office and kitchen. So, bank tricks involved entering through one doorway and exiting through the other. A gap trick lead to the kitchen at which point we could skate back into the office or living room and whole combinations of zigzag patterns around the house were possible. This was the Trailer Park.

It may sound like winter heaven, but believe me; the Trailer Park had its problems. A double wide is big for a trailer, but not so big that zigzagging around the house meant a gentle cruise with nice figure eight turns. To put things in perspective, no part of the park had a run up which allowed more than one push, and by one push I mean a two step run and jump on the skateboard. Even then we only had 1 second of set up time. Those gentle figure eight turns were more like derby car turns, which were easy on linoleum, that stuff was like ice! Slippery floors were a little dangerous in the office. It had a wood stove in the middle burning 24/7 (thatís how we heated the trailer) and was not the best thing to do a face plant on. That wasnít the only danger in the Trailer Park. Iíve mentioned the hole in the living room. Eventually called the hole of death (and later called the cat door, but that was in post Trailer Park days), it was situated directly beside the bank and after the box and provided a new challenge for skateboarding. I was unlucky enough to fall into it one night. My feet went through the layer of insulation right to the muddy ground below. All this to think about while trying to avoid wall corners and building supplies. I guess we could have moved the building supplies, or actually used them to renovate the house, but hey, thats life in a skatepark.

It wasnít a perfect place to skate, but that park represented what skateboarding is all about. Using every resource available and not giving a ratís ass about holes, short run ups, or fireplaces. Having a place to drink and skate while watching skate flicks or listening to good tunes. Playing horse and arguing about the rules until 2 in the morning. Arguing about who put the most puncture holes in the walls. Arguing because your roommate keeps skating while youíre trying to work on an assignment thatís due tomorrow. Arguing because, wait, what was I talking about? Anyway, the Trailer Park was great, but all good things must come to an end. I wonít say much about how the Trailer Park ended, accept that my roommate has a very cool girlfriend and Iím happy she lives there now. The skate park has given way for renovations and the place is looking great. Although theirs no box or bank anymore, theirs still a big piece of property, lots of wood, and a bar. To me, that spells good times.

Unfortunately, any new construction ideas are in the hands of my roommate. I now live in an apartment. Instead of skate sessions I have dinner parties. The noise is at a minimum and Iím careful not to scuff up the walls. Productivity is up; fun time is down. However, the lessons of the Trailer Park are not forgotten. The Trailer Park taught me that skateboarding isnít about perfect spots or even perfect abilities. Itís not about horse rules or who put the most damage into the house, itís about moving into a trailer and turning it into a skate park. Maybe if we all did this, weíd live in a better world. Than maybe, just maybe, we could all blah blah blah, and so on, and so on. Until that day, have fun and skate what you can.

Andy Malcolm

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