Transworld Skate & Create II : etnies, Words by: Rob Brink
According to English legend, just outside of Sherwood Forest, where the fog breaks and the mountain breeze carries in the songs of the sparrow, lies a small and curious little village known to the locals as Boxton Square.
As the story goes, eighty-six years ago today, at the stroke of midnight, a great storm came upon Boxton-twenty-three full days and nights of rain and wind and hail fell from the heavens. Tremendous floods engulfed the entire village. Houses, shops, farms and families were destroyed. In the tumultuous aftermath, those who remained built small temporary shelters out of leftover cardboard and metal supports donated from a neighboring town. However, the people of Boxton Square all lived in constant fear of the next great storm. As a result, a unanimous decision was made by the townspeople that a new and permanent village wouldn’t be built until the residents were certain it would not be destroyed by the weather again.
As time passed, fear of another flood remained, but life needed to carry on. So, with the little money they had, the Boxtonians began constructing more of what they needed out of the available cardboard and metal. Small groceries, banks, offices, pubs, roads and trains began popping up. All of this construction occurred during the day, as the locals feared nighttime because that’s when the last devastating storm struck.
But one young lad, named Sean Malto, wasn’t afraid of the night at all. In fact, he preferred it to the muggy, noisy, crowded, busy Boxton days where he rode his skateboard throughout town helping his father-a local postman-deliver packages. He was a happy kid that most everyone in the village knew and liked. And although they could never put a finger on exactly what it was... they always felt he was a wee bit strange.
As dinner was ending and the sun set each evening, Sean would wait for his father to fall asleep. And, as a loud snoring eventually came from the corner of their cardboard home, Sean would quietly grab his skateboard and creep out the back door.
Once outside, while the rest of the town was sleeping, Sean could ride his skateboard through Boxton Square at his leisure. All the spots he would see being built during the day were now his own. There was no hot sun beating on him and the temperature was perfect. The full moon and clear starry skies lit everything up perfectly. There were no people in the way or police to tell him where he could and couldn’t be. The ever-changing and growing Boxton landscape of offered limitless amounts of terrain to be skated on-transition-sided buildings, metal monorail tracks, infinite configurations of ledges and manuals and embankments all just waiting to be sessioned.
But, as with all things in life, there was a catch. The perpetual reconstruction of Boxton Square meant that something that was perfectly skateable one night, may not exist the following evening. In short, when night fell on Boxton Square, it became Sean’s own secret world for the taking. However, taking advantage of it quickly was a must.
Oh... and there’s one more thing. As the story goes, a handful of other skateboarders also sometimes appeared at night in Boxton. No one knows where they came from or where they went once the sun came up. In fact, they were as unpredictable as the terrain was on any given evening. Their names were Kyle Leeper, Mikey Taylor, Tyler Bledsoe and Davis Torgerson.
Some lore depicts them as ghosts of boys lost in the flood. Other stories suggest they were imaginary friends Sean daydreamed up so that he wouldn’t have to skate such a wonderful city alone. Supposedly the five would venture out at night in search of their long lost friends, Ryan Sheckler, Jose Rojo and Devine Calloway, who may have also been victims of the flood... or figments of Sean's vivid and youthful imagination... or even youngsters from a neighboring town who would sneak over to Boxton while their parents were asleep too.
But, in the spirit of any true skateboarder, they did what came natural to them... the group converged on Boxton Square and skated everything it had to offer as if it was the last time they’d ever skate it, or skate together, again.
Frontside ollies on rooftops, disasters on skyscrapers, fakie 5-0s on train tracks, backside tailslides and backside noseblunt slides on footbridges, carves around overpasses, tailslides on rooftops, hardflips and switch heels off of buildings. They took turns leading the way as the others would joyfully follow. They laughed together. They learned new things from one another and helped anyone who would fall down or become injured. All this, and they wouldn’t stop until the sparrows began to chirp… their first reminder that daytime was on the horizon.
And by morning, when the heat of the early sun would dry the morning mist off of the city's surface, the boys were nowhere to be found... except for Sean. By then, he'd be asleep, next to his skateboard, in his cardboard bed as his father was waking up for work.
The people of Boxton Square would be going about their business. Houses and buildings would be moved, rebuilt and taken down. After a few hours of rest Sean would join his dad for a few afternoon deliveries. He would skate about town, keeping his eyes peeled, quietly hoping that his favorite spots from the night before might remain in tact, while also witnessing the birth of new spots that he’d be able to show his friends come nightfall.
Over the years, some have even speculated that all of this was a dream. A dream of a legend that Sean experienced one night in his sleep. Layer upon layer of one young skateboarder's fantasyland, passed on by word of mouth through the generations of those who choose to believe that such a magical world can, and has, existed.
There's a common saying in skateboarding… some of you may have heard it before, but it goes, "Skate today because tomorrow it might rain." And if you've ever wondered where it came from, well... The Legend of Boxton Square might just be the answer. But, like many of skateboarding's other best-kept secrets... you didn't hear it from me.
- Share on Facebook
- Tweet it
- Share on StumbleUpon