A View from the audience. Made in Venice (the film ) Portland, OR screening.

cowboy-made-inI had been putting off watching Made in Venice. Just for the simple fact it brought up a lot of feelings I had put to rest or I thought I had put to rest. But if I had really put them to rest, why did I avoid watching the film? Well dearest, the producers asked me to introduce the flic in Portland and I agreed. First of all I had to make it to another legendary (and somewhat) infamous skatepark, the one and only Burnside! Once at Burnside I quickly met up with Jay Meer the muralist and a big part of the Burnside leadership. He made quick introductions as handshakes, fist dabs, chest bumps and many other variations of joyful salutations rapidly exchanged.

Japanese Friends

Japanese Friends

I was given the VIP treatment Portland style! A loaner board and BBQ dinner quickly appeared with in seconds as Big Jay broke out fresh salmon and halibut from his recent Alaska fishing trip. Delicious slabs of the fish were quickly doctored with butter, lemon, spices and salts and laid out on the BBQ. The aroma of BBQ, N.W dank, and stale Rainer Beer combined in harmony with the echo of wheels rolling, trucks grinding and shouts of enthusiasm, as I whipped around the concrete playground  making it all perfectly magnificent and just as importantly reminding my why I am a member of the tribe.

Damn! It is good to be back. (can you just hear AC/DC’s Back in Black playing?)

Yeah man I checked out for a good while. Just on another spiritual quest and tangent which is a completely different story, or not. jay-meer

All of a not so sudden a few Japanese folks walked up, observing the action. How do I know they are Japanese you ask. Quite simply, I have studied Japanese language culture and history for decades. I know Japanese like I know the back of my hand or a front side grind. It is just a natural. I welcomed them and made introductions and invited them to the screening. The momentum and anticipation is rising just as the billows of ever present burning marijuana joints.

Curtain time arrived quickly and before I knew it was time to MC and if you know me you know I love to shoot my mouth off. I kept the introduction brief , actually getting a bit emotional as it was 9-11. I also introduced the newly minted Japanese friends in Japanese and English. I did not see any need for German or Spanish.  It turns out two of them are newlyweds. So I let everybody in the theatre know this as they clapped enthusiastically for them and with that the lights dimmed and the flicker of the projector light welcomed me forward to the past.

Sitting in the rear of the theater with Dan and his date, I enjoyed the film reliving from a very unique vantage point, our youthful bygone era of energy and creativity.  In a slum  we used as a canvas, playground, and sports gym. An era that will never be replicated nor duplicated  was a bitter sweet taste for sure.  I really laughed at a lot of it especially at myself and events I had completely forgot about that Jesse and others brought up such as straight up regulating the roller bladers and BMXers. Joey Tran always cracks me up and seeing him larger than life on the silver screen, his mischievous grin smiling out at me is just marvelous, baby. Furthermore viewing the efforts of the dream, into a concrete reality, the toil of many a person unfolding finally  culminating in the magnificent crown jewel of a skatepark is for me surreal. Did this all really take place? It did, it really freaking did!

MCing a VSA event. still from Made in Venice. all rights reserved.

MCing a VSA event. still from Made in Venice. all rights reserved.

As the flic concluded the audience again applauded. Hearing the applause is always very gratifying as an artist and I am truly grateful to all and of course God. As the crowd filed out, I realized I had no longer any anxiety or other feelings other than satisfaction and a great sense of moving forward. Which is a different story, or not.

Shout out to the Venice Boys now in Ptown, Cave Man, Kevin Chabot and Dan Clements (Excel) who made the drive from Eugene OR. Great to see you fellas as well as Santa Rosa ex pat and now Portland local Sean Finnegan. Big thank you to the Burnside locales, Hollywood theatre, Made in Venice production team, the fallen soldiers, those still standing, the many more to follow in our footsteps and of course, Jesus Christ for making it all possible.

See you in the movies or a gig or the funny papers real soon!


2 Responses to “A View from the audience. Made in Venice (the film ) Portland, OR screening.”

  1. Thank you, Ger-I Lewis for all the incredible contributions you have made and continue to make to society, and a special ginormous thank you for getting us the most amazing skatepark in Venice. 100% Respect.

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