June 3, 2005. The day was charged with an excitement unlike any other because today was the day my dad was taking my sisters and I to the opening day of Lords of Dogtown. A movie about “skateboarding back in his day” was how he described it. I was peeking through the curtain of fourteen years of age. I was just absolutely stoked to be going to the movies with my dad who up to this point was actively involved in my life, teaching me to ride a bike, and soon he would start teaching me how to drive. A driver of some sort most of his life, my dad always was a dreamer and it was one thing I admired about him. He saw things through child-like eyes despite the fact that I was his first born, and he was my father.
Yet, that movie awoke a fire in me that has yet to be extinguished. Not only did that movie entertain me and strengthen my bond with my dad but it caused me to relate to skateboarders on a whole other level. I saw the way they were rejected from popular society (even in the Dogtown era) and how what started out as a niche became a movement. As someone who was rejected by the popular kids most of my life, I empathized with that commonality: being true to yourself no matter who approves of you, and it’s why I ended up falling in love with skateboarding altogether.
Fast forward to October 2005, my dad heard a radio advertisement for this event called the Dew Tour and one of the professional athletes named in the ad was fifteen year old skateboarding heartthrob Ryan Sheckler. My dad heard that and he said, let’s go on a family trip to Orlando and see this guy skate in person. There we were, October 15, 2015, sitting in the hot sun, establishing a good old fashioned Florida sunburn and I was wondering when Ryan was going to make an appearance. Finally, after walking in and out of the festivities, hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare breed of teenage boy. None of the boys at my school were as driven and ambitious as Ryan was when he skated, and I couldn’t help but admire that about him. It also helped that he was cute; we finally stood next to the skate course because they announced the prelims were about to start for skateboard park.
All of a sudden, I was just about to turn to my dad and ask him if he’d seen Ryan, when out from under the skateboard park course crawled out right in front of the barricade where we stood, none other than Ryan himself. My dad instantly knew it was him, and yelled out, “Hey!” to Ryan. Yet, Ryan just nodded at him before looking over at me, and he kept his eyes on me as he walked up the embankment to get to the top of the ramp. I was floored. Was he really looking at me and not looking away? This young Phenom. Throughout the rest of the event, my mom kept nudging me and telling me Ryan kept looking at me.
Overall, that first Dew Tour experience was a fangirl experience like no other. Thanks to my dad’s courageous “Hey,” I wrote Ryan a fan letter and we corresponded regularly over the next six or so years. I went on to star in a movie alongside Ryan (Street Dreams), have his mom set up a private meet and greet at the hotel because she recognized me, and Ryan even had the chance to meet my dog Geniveve on March 6, 2011.
Yet, it never would have happened at all, if my heavenly Father never set it up for my dad and I to bond over the sport of skateboarding, Lords of Dogtown, or even had my father hear that late night radio ad while long-haul truck driving. It’s something that is unforgettable an experience like that and it’s all thanks to my dad.
24 year old witty writer/poet/blogger.
The Smart Cookie.
I tend to see the best in people.
Hoping to defend the media’s greatest targets when I become a publicist.
Saint Leo University graduate.
Child of the One True King.
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