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01/11/17

Stacy Peralta

He wasn’t the first professional skateboarder
But he was the first to give real substance to the title
And then he found others that he could mentor and encourage
And he formed a Brigade of talent, character and positivity

And as his Brigade did the circuit
Amassing trophies and accolades
He was in their corner — A manager, a coach, a friend
But his dreams went beyond the moment
Into the future

He picked up a video camera and he shone a light
Focusing in on what he valued
And on what he believed in
Fun, creative and expressive skateboarding

And these videos were distributed like contraband
Transmitting secret and vital information
Easily decoded by teenagers who hadn’t yet
had the misfortune of growing up

And through this, his Brigade grew
Out into the backyards and the streets
of little towns and cities all around the world

Searchers all of us
And the search was also our destination

We were skateboarders
And we knew who we were because he had the insight
to frame the very foundation of our identity
And he laid that foundation with love and care
And we became better people for it

He wasn’t the first professional skateboarder
But he was the first to give real substance to the title