Monday, June 23, 2008

Tim Story

Hey Pete, Bud Stratford here. I saw the post at Skull and Bones about your documentary. I guess you're looking for stories about Tim [Brauch]? I've got one.
As I'm writing this, I'm looking up, and to my left, at a b&w photo of Tim. It's autographed, and it says on the bottom, "Keep on skating!!" I got it from Tim at a demo at Nu-Wave Sports in Laconia, NH, oh, I forget the year. It was right about when he and Salman started Este, as they were up for an Este tour. I'm old, and my memory fails me these days. But, it wasn't long after Este started, I rememebr that very clearly. Because, I hadn't really heard of it yet, so it kinda surprised me, y'know...?
Nu-Wave had a small street course, and a mini ramp- indoors. I think they ran late that day, because it was an hour or so after the demo was supposed to begin, and I was skating the mini ramp by myself. I heard someone on the platform go like, "Yeah!" in the middle of my run. When I got up there, I looked over at who had Yeah'd me, and it was Tim! I damn near died, because I sucked and all (still do), but I got a Yeah from Tim Brauch.
So, we ended up talking a little bit between runs- he musta mistaken me for one of the hot locals or something- and, at some point, he pointed down beside the ramp, and asked me if anyone had ever transferred between the mini, and the funbox in the street course before. I said I didn't know fersure, but as far as I knew, noone had. I was fairly certain of that one, because the funbox was about 8 feet away, diagonally, with the guardrail around the mini's platform, a huge support pole, and a hubba ledge, all right in the way of the transfer. It basically looked impossible to do, so I figured it was a safe bet that it hadn't actually been done.
Of course, Tim dropped in, and did it I think, second try. Just, somehow made the hop, and threaded his ass right between everything. I remember looking at it, and being like, "Okay- how'd he do that?!" Guess you had to be there.
Anyway, after all that, I kinda wanted an autograph. Just 'cuz. So, he had these printed photos of himself frontside grinding a backyard pool... with the Este logo on it... and, he signed it, just as I described above. That "Keep skating" bit, I thought that was good advice. I still glance at it from time to time, my office is kinda like a skateboard-museum chock full of random stuff. Or, someone will come over, see it, and ask, "Who's that guy?!" Anyway, it's definitely still good advice, some 10, maybe 12 or 15 years later. Every time I see it, I kinda smile a little, because even though I'm pushing 36, I still skate pretty damn often, actually. So, it makes me smile that I actually did it, y'know? I kept at it, even though I still suck. So,it's kind of a like a joke, too... like, I really should have gotten better at it than I did! Har har har! ;)
I remember being really impressed by the dude. I can't forget that part. Definitely, one of the nicest pro skaters I've ever met. To this day, I still work in "the industry", I do consulting for skateboard companies, and I write, sort of an "industry analyst" I suppose. I've met many a pro skater in my time, at ASR and stuff like that, but never anyone as genuinely nice as I remember Tim being that day. "Genuinely nice", I think, is a good term for it. It wasn't a fake, "promotional-dude" kind of nice, or anything like that. He seemed a little more sincere than the average pro skater. It was kinda refreshing. Wish there was more of that around the industry these days...
Anyway, that's my story. I'd guess that you have another 10,000 just like it, but, you know, the post at SnB said you wanted stories, so there ya go. Let me know when the doc is done, I'd love to see it. Thanks- B.

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