I have a soft spot for skateboarders. Back in the day, I used to skateboard at the Boston Common. People would grumble a bit, but no one called the cops on me or anything. I never bumped into anyone, and I minded my own business. Every once in a while, someone would see me rollin’, but instead of hatin’, they’d ask me if they could give it a go.

Skateboarding wasn’t exactly new back then. I had a friend that lived in Los Angeles for half the year, and in Massachusetts for the rest, and he skateboarded and surfed long before that sort of thing went nationwide. We used his skateboard in our neighborhood, and had many a skinned knee to show for it.

Anyway, I was rolling down a path in the Boston Common, and a man wearing a three-piece, chalk-stripe suit asked me if he could try it. He was wearing, no word of lie, a bowler hat, and carrying a rolled-up umbrella. He stepped on the board and glided serenely down the path, as dignified on wheels as he was walking by. At the bottom of the gentle slope, he deftly stepped off, and he caught the board from rolling away with the hook handle on his brolly. I trotted down to meet him, and he said just one word to me.


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