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venicepix | all galleries >> Galleries >> Venice Skateboard Pioneers > 00102 Ali, A Prologue
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00102 Ali, A Prologue

-----In the early seventies when sidewalk surfing had
pretty much petered out, but eutrothane wheels had yet
to be introduced, there was one kid who just wouldn't
give it up. He went EVERYWHERE on his skateboard! He
just never got off. His name was Ali (his real name, but
I always thought it was Ollie since I usually heard it
pronounced with the accent on the first sylable) and
he lived with his mother on the oceanfront walk next
to the Lafayette Restaurant in a storefront with lots
of greenery and potted plants in the window. ( It's
hard to realize now that in those days the great
majority of Venice commercial units were empty and
some were being used as residential. Windward Avenue
was a ghost town. Even the sidewalk cafe was an empty
hulk).I didn't know Ali (though Dennis did) but I
admired his utter devotion to what seemed at he time
to be an utterly hopeless cause,.....I didn't take
pictures then( didn't have a camera) and this one
picture here is of him as an observer at the Marina
Skatepark. He may have played a part in the re-ignited
craze, but I didn't see much of him and my speculation
is that he wanted to move on with his life, I've seen
lots of speculation as to it's origin ,but me, I've
always wondered if the trick was named after the
little guy who seemed to have a skateboard glued to
his feet

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venicepix04-Jul-2012 14:57
Hey Ali.
Nice to hear from you. Was that just a typo or is 'faceboom' the new name they gave it after the IPO busted?
The park in Torrance was Skateboard world, I think:
The really long pipe I remember was at Skatopia which I think was in Upland.
I never got as far a Huntington. I was driving that old red VW 40 hp van and with like 10 guys in it a long trek was a loooooooooong trek.
I can't imagine you would remember me and my partner but you might expect a message from me since there were a coupleof private messages you might want to know about.

Ali 04-Jul-2012 06:17
Hi Deb, yes I remember Pam.
And Dave lives in West LA now. I visited Alan and Jeanette in Hawaii a couple times before he passed away.
Ali 04-Jul-2012 06:10
Hi there, this is Ali. Thanks so much for the picture and kind words. I don't skate much anymore. After having lived all over the world since my Venice day, I currently live in Culver City. That picture was of me standing next to a crush of mine back then named Peggy Bencomo.
I developed a number of skate tricks that Jay Adams used to call 'weird' and 'bold' (70's term).
I used to do no handed arials back then at Marina Skate park, the park in Upland and mainly at that really cool one with the massive long half pipe in Huntington or torrance(?).
I heard that the trick is named after someone called 'Alan Gelfand' around 1977, though I remember starting to do it around 1975. I don't really care. Someone else told me about this history.
At any rate, I loved skateboarding back in the day and was even briefly on the Z-flex team in 77 or 78. My best skate buddy back then was Dennis "Polar Bear" Agnew.
I have some old pics of me skating on my FB page if anybody is interested
CJ 24-Apr-2009 05:03
I cannot believe i just checked into this site for the first time in a year and see that john hands posted on this site!
JOHN HANDS 23-Apr-2009 22:08
Deb 24-Jul-2005 20:15
OMG too much! I have a pic of Ali (I thought it was spelled Ollie too....) right there by the Lafayette, I think I took it in late '74 or something. ( I need to search for it) Ali you used to make me laugh, you were a bright fun kid. Do you remember Dave & Pam? Pam lived in that loft right there and I used to hang out. Jeanete dated and had a son from, oh gosh I cannot remember his name now (very blonde guy and so nice, he died in Hawaii scuba diving?) Sorry sometimes my memory fades in and out with names and faces.....this site helps.
venicepix16-Jul-2005 11:56
I've gotten a message (marked as private) about this guy from one of the regular visitors to this site,and it seems I've been misspelling his name. I really think I should pass on that his name is actually Ali
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