(a continuation of my 6over story)
The year was 1992, summer was over, and I was about to begin the year that would shape the human that I am today....7th grade.
The last 6 years of school had been a breeze; dodgeball and nationball were the daily routine, and my friends and I were the kings of the playground. To us, the transition from elementary to junior high looked as seamless as all the others, but we were oblivious. You see, financial status and zip codes were something that never crossed our minds. It wasn't until the first day of school that I realized--since most of my friends lived in better neighborhoods-- that they were zoned to go to different schools than I was. I was left flying solo in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-ridden school, and I very quickly found out what the totem pole was at my school and where I ranked on it.
Because of the overcrowding, classes were mixed with 7th and 8th graders, and that's where my troubles began. I was a small and lonely white kid in a physical education class that consisted of only 8th graders...Big 8th graders. There were guys in my class with tattoos that were old enough to drive to school and did, if that explains the level of intelligence I was up against. Almost every day, we'd sit on our designated dots on the asphalt for role call, and since my last name was Webber, I was at the back of the pack. As soon as the coach would call my name, he'd turn around and head back to his little office to jack-off while the wolves (usually led by the guy who sat directly in front of me, Raymond Martinez) would turn around, face me, and commence with the kicking of my ass. The more I fought, the more dudes would jump in. I just couldn't win. I was too ashamed to tell my parents so I told the coach--he laughed and called me a pussy. I then told my counselors--they said they would look into it...I was broken.
After a couple months of this routine I finally snapped, and since nobody else would help me and I was going to have to handle it on my own, and I devised a simple plan...Kill Raymond. I was so blinded that I was convinced this was the only solution. And it was going to be so easy, too. I watched grown up movies with my dad all the time, so I knew the most effective way to do it. Right after coach would call my name and scurry away, I was simply going to pull my pocket knife out of my sock, lean over, slice Raymonds throat wide open, and then return to my dot on the hot asphalt and revel in my glory. Game over.
So, the day I decided to put said plan into motion began like any other. I ate breakfast, told my parents I loved them, and walked out the door with an unusual smile because today, it ended. P.E. class started, I changed into my gym clothes, discreetly tucked my knife into my right sock, and prematurely marched to victory. Without a care I waited patiently, almost anxiously, for my name to be called.
Eagerly, I responded, "Here!!"
Then he paused for a second...
"Come up here real quick."
Oh shit...harder than any of those guys had ever hit me, reality had just punched me in the face. "Oh no, did somebody see me sneak the knife into my sock?" I hadn't even thought about the consequence of attempting this or even pulling it off. I went from seeing red to white in a heartbeat as the reality of the situation became very real. My life was flashing before my eyes as I hesitantly walked up to him.
"Go get your shit. You're being moved to another class."
My jaw hit the floor and I nearly passed out...I couldn't comprehend what he was saying. I kept rubbing my eyes, shaking my head like I had just woken from the most intense dream. "Well...what are you waiting for? Get out of here." So I turned and just walked, or better yet, floated back to the locker room, sat there, and began to cry as what had almost just happened finally sank in...
Once I calmed down I got my stuff together and headed to my new classroom. As shy as you could possibly be I walked into the class and sat behind one of only a few guys I had recognized from seeing them skate around school and he says "Do you skate?" Apparently I was wearing a hand-me-down skate shirt from one of my dads friends at work and didn't even realize it but without hesitating I said "Yeah, a little.."
(Now up until this point I didn't identify with any particular group, I just existed. This is going to sound hilarious but my birthday was a week away and up till then the only thing I wanted was a Starter Raiders jacket. All I wanted to do was blend in and go about my life unnoticed. My Aunt had come up on some money from a settlement or something and since my family was broke, decided she was gonna give me $150 to spend on a birthday gift.)
I didn't own a skateboard let alone know any tricks. I really don't know what it was about the siutation that made me say "yeah.." maybe just the flash that I might have someone to interact with, an actual friend. After a couple days of talking to him I realized the Raiders jacket was going to have to wait.....I was going to get a board and I can still remember that day walking into Circle M skateshop and picking it all out..New School-Jason Corbett "Clay Smith Cams" board, Indy trucks and Josh Swindell microdots wheels...
To this day I still look back and wonder what would have been my life if that fateful day had never happened. The past couple weeks I've been feeling real nostalgic and watching old skate videos and just going back in time a little. In one way or another this little piece of wood with some wheels screwed to it has gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life, helped me see the world in an entirely different way than most people on this planet view it. I'm proud and honored to have met some of the most interesting, talented people earth may ever see, traveled and witnessed things 99% of humanity will never know even existed...and its been right underneath their feet the whole time...
I never was or ever will be the best at it but that's what makes it so special, at the core of it there is no checklists, no time frames, no rules, no boundries.
I owe my life to skateboarding, this is the least I could do...