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02/10/16

Jay Adams: Blue Lake Pool. La Mesa, CA. Early nineties. Photo: Grant Brittain

Jay Adams: Blue Lake Pool. La Mesa, CA. Early nineties. Photo: Grant Brittain

The first time I met Jay Adams
I was living in Huntington Beach, CA.
It was 1990.

I didn’t know who he was.

He came to my house with Tony Roberts.
He said he wanted to meet the kid
who had told the skateboard industry to Fuck Off.

That was me?

He was crouched on the sidewalk,
outside my Lake St. condo —
Like a great warrior, relaxed yet ready.

He eyed me up and down.
I was scrawny, bad skin, shy.

I could tell I didn’t live up to the image.

He looked wild.
Completely untamable.
Dangerous.

I didn’t understand what he wanted,
why he was there.
He made me uncomfortable.

He shook my hand like it meant something.

Later, Tony tried to explain to me who he was,
why he had wanted to meet me.

I didn’t get it.
I didn’t care.

In 2009, I was vacationing with my family
on Oahu.

We traveled to the North Shore to eat
at Cholo’s.

As we were being seated,
I noticed Jay Adams carrying chips and salsa over to our table.

He was a bus boy.

I kept my head down, I didn’t want to be recognized.
I didn’t want him to see me, seeing him.

By this time, I knew all to well who the hell he was
and having him bus our table didn’t live up to the image.

He recognized me.

He crouched down next to my seat —
Like a great warrior, relaxed yet ready.

He told me how much he loved my show DRIVE on Fuel TV
and that what I was doing was in his estimation “the real deal.”

He shook my hand like it meant something.

It did.

It meant something to me.

He went back into the kitchen and came back
with a bowl of guacamole.

He discreetly slid the guacamole onto our table and kept walking
as if busy or distracted by something else.

Jay Adams had just flowed us some guacamole.

It was one of the coolest, most meaningful things that has ever happened to me.