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I wrote “The Dream” in 1996.

It was my call to arms, my mission statement for the skateboard industry and the skateboard culture that I hoped to help cultivate and participate in. It was the spelling out of the pro-career that I wanted to have and the things that I hoped to accomplish as an active member of the skateboard community.

I took to the road throughout 1996 and 1997 and shared these words with audiences at skate shops, skate parks as well as in restaurants, coffee shops, music clubs, basements and in parking lots all across the United States. Anywhere skaters were willing to gather and hear me out, I went and I spoke and I shared my thoughts, feelings and dreams.

No doubt the skateboard landscape was changing at that time and I felt it was as important as ever to know what role I wanted to play in that change, to define my vision and participate in the dialogue. My focus was then and always has been about fun, expression and creativity through skating. I have always valued the experience of the individual skater over the mass-identity of skateboarding.

It was my dream back in 1996 that skateboarding would be as meaningful to the next generation of skaters as it was to me when I first started out — And that is still my dream and my focus today.

— Mike V

The Dream

I have a dream.
A dream about a better tomorrow.
A dream.
A dream about a better today.

It’s been a long road and a hard ride that’s found me here tonight
but I’ve been unafraid to walk it, talk it, skate it or relate it.
I’ve taken my bumps and bruises, my ups and downs, my ins and outs, all that self doubt
and I’ve spent some long hard nights just trying to figure it out.
There’s been pain, strain, feeling like I’m about to go insane
with it taking all I have inside of me just to maintain.
There’s been pressure, stress and weeks turned into months
sitting around depressed.
I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it, I’ve dealt it and I’ve smelt it
all long the way — Mostly the hard way.
But I’m determined to see this journey through.
It’s all I know — I have to.

I have a dream.

I have a dream and it won’t let me sleep at night.
It doesn’t matter if I have the covers pulled up
and wrapped around me tight, with my head down
on a pillow in the dark of the night, my eyes may
be closed but I’m looking into the light.

I have a dream.

I have a dream.
A vision I can’t ignore.
It’s not something I can just shelf or call unsure
because I’m so sure and I can’t help but feel it’s
what I’m here for.

I have a dream.

In my dream, the skateboard industry is comprised of
companies — People — that care about you and me.
They just don’t want your money and / or your soul —
They want a better life and a better world with every board
that’s sold.

In my dream, young people and their needs and their issues
are understood by their parents, their teachers, by industry and
the city councils of their neighborhoods.

In my dream skateboarding is a vehicle to broaden one’s scope,
to open one’s mind, to set one’s soul afloat. To be a best friend,
or one’s surrogate family — A true companion — A driving force to
keep one living positively is skateboarding in my dream.

In my dream the words: Skate And Create
are printed upon all of those signs that once
told you where you couldn’t skate… In my dream.

In my dream I hear laughter and shouts of joy
coming from the mouths and hearts of skaters everywhere
while skating by.

In my dream skateboarding brings people together and keeps them that way.
That tricks and trends and politics and fashion and all that other shit doesn’t
get in the way is my dream.

In my dream there’s a public built skatepark in every town —
Where young kids, older kids, moms and dads and brothers and sisters can
skate together safe and sound.

In my dream individuality is golden and celebrated
and it’s individuals that make up the whole.
And in my dream we’re all one big happy family
where fun and good times and self expression
and self exploration through skating is the goal.

In my dream there is no quest for Olympic Gold
or need for anything “Extreme”.
Skateboarding ain’t about that shit in my dream.

In my dream I see you standing there with your skateboard at your feet.
That you and that skateboard can change the world isn’t just a dream —
It’s what I believe.

I believe in skateboarding.
I believe in you.

I have a dream.