Let’s start this little historical piece out by letting you know that the Del Mar Skate Ranch was not the best built skatepark of it’s era. Got it?

Bill Bunting

An email from Bill Bunting, 3.1.02

Hi. I think it’s really cool and admirable of you taking on the task of putting up a Del Mar site. Growing up in New Mexico I only got to go to Del Mar once. I was 14 years old, in 9th grade, and it was spring break ’86.

When I got to the park the bowls were filled due to the fact that it had been raining for a few days straight. It was supposed to rain some more so they didn’t have any plans to pump the water out. I don’t think that I would’ve been able to skate anyway because at that time the park was insured by the boy scouts and you had to be a boy scout member or something like that. Does that sound familiar at all? Maybe I was misinformed.

None the less, I was stoked just to see the park. Like seeing a religious shrine or something. Seeing the blue tiles of the key hole was really exciting for me. I mean, when you live in a place like NM, at that time anyway, the shit in the magazines was God-like.

Anyway, it was fun regardless of the bowls being filled. There was a cool little street session going on in the parking lot. Reese Simpson was there along with Bruno Herzog. Those guys were really nice. Tony Janson from that Swedish punk band Slam! was there peddling his stuff. He was a sponsored am at the time by G&S and he had a really cool Neil Blender set up that he was trying to sell along with his band’s records and shirts. He said he needed money to get back home (I don’t know). I bought a 7-inch and a shirt.

Allen Losi showed up and skated around in circles on the tranny part of the freestyle area. He kept dragging his hand in the water and it would shoot up and make it look like he was surfing. He was nice, but kind of image-conscious. Not in a bad way really. Just not in the punk rock way I was used to skaters of the day being. Which is image-conscious also I guess.

That was a cool trip though. Even with the bowls filled, the place had a distinct vibe (I hate that word, vibe; but it did). The locals like Reese and Bruno made it feel that way too. You could tell that the SkateRanch was their home. A total way of life. I was bummed when it got dozed. I can only imagine the sadness they must have felt. At the same time though, think of the memories they must have. Good times.

-Bill Bunting

Del Mar Interviews done via email 2002 by Mark Waters

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