Finally, truly, on the road at last. Got the boys up early and left our house at 8:30 a.m. (after double-checking the tie downs) and headed out for Ballmer. Neal and his boys used to live there (well, Catonsville, to be honest), and Neal schooled me on some of the finer points of Charm City’s unique “dialect.” For example, Odenton is pronounced “Odington” (where’d the “g” come from?) and Patapsco is pronounced “Patapsico” (not even gonna try figuring how they came up with that…).
Sandy Hill skate park in Lansdowne, south of Baltimore, is tucked way back into a slightly “lived-in” neighborhood and the Sk8theSt8s crew found it completely abandoned when we rolled up at 10 a.m. And locked up tight. However, none of the signage we could see specifically prohibited us from hopping the fence and using the park. Like any good father, Neal and I realized we had a “teachable moment” staring us square in the face. We directed the boys to proceed until apprehended. They didn’t need to be told twice.
The park itself is a throwback, with a modern “street” style section as well as a serpentine concrete course that Sean said was probably built in the ’70s (which, as far as his 14-year-old self is concerned, happened about 12 seconds after the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock). For me, it was the kinda place I dreamed of when I was still a skater (in the ’70s). Very cool. I even “dropped in” for a “run.” The boys were respectful enough not to heckle me. Now I can hang up my Vans for good. On to Philly.
To follow the whole coast-to-coast, dads-and-sons adventure, check out http://sk8thest8s.cbslocal.com/