Quite a few folks asked me to print this speech I gave at the groundbreaking of the Venice Skatepark. So dig it and thanx!
“More than a quarter century ago I gathered with children of the same ilk partaking in the art of sidewalk surfing, a unique and indigenous activity to pockets of the coastal areas of California.
The Venice Pavilion, it’s concrete walls tables and ramps unintentionally fostered a skate culture unrivaled the world over, producing an unparraled quantity of prodigious talent. It is a matter of record that more professional skateboarders and industry innovators cut their their teeth at the Venice Pavilion. Among them are iconoclasts CRS III, Wes Humpstead, Natus Kaupus, Jay Adams, Dennis Agnew, and Jesse Martinez.
Many skateboarders the world over made it a point to pilgrimage to the skateboard mecca, Venice Ca, and many a skateboard career would be considered incomplete otherwise
The VSA’s mission is to preserve promulgate and promote the great heritage of Venice Surf and Skateboard culture and moreover provide youth with related activities and jobs.
Twenty five years of activism has led to this ground breaking ceremony. I will take this moment to recognize some of the homies that did not live to see this day but their efforts and contributions are not in vain nor gone unnoticed. William Hightower, Pete Stewert, Dillion, Whitey, Mike Smith, and Dennis “Polar Bear” Agnew.
Dennis a classmate at Mark Twain and Venice High Schools will be remembered for his easy going demeanor as well as his incredible skateboarding feats.Polar Bear as Dennis was affectionately known always represented the “V” in skateboard contests as well as heated pool sessions and skateboarding around town. Therefore I propose to name the Venice Skatepark the Dennis Agnew “Polar Bear” Skatepark in Dennis’ honor. I would to take this opportunity as well to recognize and thank a few folks> Heidi Lemmon, eric Britton, Melanie Berry, Pat Barris BMFS, CRS III, Scott Brown, Jesse Martinez, Eric White , Frosty, Kai Ichiyanagi, Mike Bonnen, Craig Boner, Lance Lamond, Kelly and Sam Jackson, Tonan, Skipper, Joe Schmo, and all the VSA members. Thank you!!!