Grid Search – by Ozzie Ausband

Ozzie.... checking

4:00 am. Darkness hid the world away. I rose and looked out of the window. A streetlight glittered coldly across the street. Shadows. The night and darkness held a thousand horrors. I made coffee & thought that someone was probably bleeding in a gutter somewhere. I thought of those that have it all & those forgotten. It’s a crazy world. Society. Respectability. I tried to do it their way. Military service. College. The 9-5. It was an exercise in futility. It was like walking into a round room and trying to piss in a corner…..   round and round and round and….  I live under the radar now. Somehow I don’t mind being gone. The discouraged one. I ate a bit of hummus, bread & drank coffee. It would be dawn soon. I listened to Keith Jarrett and prepared my things. We were going on a grid search at first light.

Cock n Balls

Cock n Balls

Janky Skanky Square Bender


Near Mt. Baldy

cat & fishy

Cat and Fishy

Pool 1

Pool 1

Brandon Wong would be joining me. We would be hooking up with Lance Mountain later around mid day. All was right with the world.  Brandon arrived and we hit the dirty dawn freeway. The sun bled over the nearby ridges. Traffic blew by. Expensive cars gleamed wickedly as the owners piloted them nimbly through traffic. Everyone was in a hurry to go nowhere. We smiled in the darkness as if we knew a secret. I’ve said it before-  “Happiness is an inside job. The greater the outward show, the greater the inward poverty.” We drove a few neighborhoods.

blue haven eggwich

Blue Haven Eggwich

Through the Slats

Pool 2

Pool 3

Rubber gloves?

Yard Sale

Sunset Falldown rocket pocket

Sagging fences, ferocious dogs and broken automobiles greeted our roving eyes. We found a few pools and over the course of the morning, we really didn’t say much to each other. The world is turning into a bad place. It seems to disintegrate before us. More and more–it seems– ignorance & hatred spreads. We finally made our way into a small neighborhood that once glittered as the ‘American Dream’. It was now falling into disarray. Peering over a fence, we spotted a little gem. We knocked. We spoke with the owners. A deal was made. Later on, Lance and a few pool pals arrived. We rode. I looked out into the distance at a nearby freeway. All life moved by in a blur of concrete, chrome & selfishness. “How on earth did I get so jaded?” – I mused. I turned my attention back to the pool. Lance threw down a huge frontside air and everyone yelled. The vibe was light and laughter rose up like smoke. I thought of being a young kid and seeing photographs of Tony, Shogo & Jay riding Dogbowl. I remembered the feeling that skateboarding with my friends always gave me. I remembered why we do what we do. Suddenly, I was no longer thinking about the dirty freeway & the broken world. I was there… poolside with my friends. We were laughing and life was good. Thanks to Brandon Wong for the images. Skate Ozzie 

Lance Mountain

Lance Mountain

Photography: Brandon Wong
Writing: Ozzie Ausband