I want to preface this by saying that I don’t know why this happened or who decided it should happen. It seems like a mean Grinch like thing to do, but maybe that’s because I don’t know the facts. I DID want to stop and ask to the two guys lounging against their official trucks in the lot adjacent to the bulldozer demolishing the skate park what the facts were. However, I also wanted to go back home and get my phone to take a video. Plus Gids, upon seeing his favorite place being destroyed, was furiously screaming out every expletive he learned during his stint in public school as a kindergartner and first grader. So I rolled up the windows, cranked up the radio, and drove past. By the time we got back they were leaving. Behind Hanapepe airport is a no-mans land, chock full of abandoned vehicles, and furniture items over 3 feet.
The transfer station at the beginning of the road only accepts small garbage- if you want to dump larger things you have to go to the landfill in Kekaha. Upon realizing this a lot of people just drive off into the boonies behind the airport and dump their bed mattresses, bathtubs, and sofas there where they slowly fall apart until a brushfire burns them, or somebody hauls them out and torches them in a beach bonfire.
In the middle of all that is two concrete lots, one of them a community built skate park. I came across it a few years ago. (I will try to find more pictures of the old artwork the octopus is one of my all time favorite graffitis.) I loved it!(My sister with her son in the baby carrier while Gids and Rossi run around, April 2016.)
(Gids at the “Boneyard” April 2016)
I have two boys who are with me almost all the time (my son and his best friend) along with my daughter, and this was a place where they could go crazy and be wild.
Or just relax.
It was created and sculpted and had boundaries to keep them safe while also giving them this wild sense of freedom like they were living their lives on the edge. It wasn’t indoors with a booth selling helmets and knee pads, I didn’t have to sign a waiver saying we wouldn’t sue anyone if they got hurt, and I didn’t have to holler at them to behave nicely to others and take turns or give the right of way, because the only ones there were us and the blazing hot sun. That’s how it was meant to be. A place for kids to freely be themselves.
For me, for this area full of abandoned unwanted things, to have something like this in it, was nothing short of amazing. It touched my heart and was an a oasis of, “People still care.” in a desert of apathy. There wasn’t just sculpted bumps and ramps for kids to ride over, there was art, bold and vibrant, cleverly crafted art. Art mixed with messages that conveyed the vision of its creators.4 The Keiki (children)(Can you see the giant Aloha?)
And it got bulldozed.
I understand if they are trying to develop the area or do a cleanup, but the bulldozer and government trucks doing that had to pass by numerous other dump sites full of things nobody cared about, and so if they’re doing some sort of clean up in the area why did they start with something that was really cool? Something made for kids that a lot of time and effort was put into? And is the after really better than the before?
If anybody out there knows who made the skate park, or why it was demolished, I’d love to hear about it.
I want to end this with a name imprinted in the concrete at the skate park.
He passed away on December 3, 2013 in a car crash in Koloa. Aside from his obituary, and the paddle outs his friends did for him in Hawaii and Florida, I wasn’t able to find out anything about him. However, A memory of him lived in this place and it shouldn’t be forgotten.
Thank You so much for checking out my blog today- I’m really bummed about what happened, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a place that has meant so much to me with a reader like YOU!!!