Glenn's Old Time Skate Gallery
Glenn waiting to drop in
Endless Summer, 1979
I started skateboarding regularly in Junior High School (around 1974). The local ice arena in Allen Park had some nice cement embankements out back that made perfect skating terrain and we spent just about every day there during our summers. In high school, several of us joined the "Systems" Skateboard Team which was sponsored by Schuman's Schwinn Cyclery in Dearborn, Michigan. Right about that same time (a little before that actually), some parks started to pop up in Michigan. In the greater Detroit area, I remember four of them.
- Redford Skateboard Park - located in Redford, Michigan. This
place was pretty much a disaster from day one. The terrain had to have
been designed by someone who had never been on a board. They charged
by the hour and at the end of each hour, they'd clear everybody off
and charge for the next hour to let you back in. I still remember the
woman's voice over the PA shouting "your hour is over, would you please
clear the track". Thankfully, this place was put out of it's misery
- Skateboard City - located in Warren, Michigan. This was the
first good park. They lacked good vertical terrain but the place was
loaded with some really nice bowls and a couple of excellent snake
runs. After a couple of seasons, some rising competition out of the
east forced revision. I don't remember if ownership changed or not but
the name of the park was changed from Skateboard City to Skateboard
USA and they added two pools. Both pools were very deep and pretty
difficult to ride (not for the faint of heart) but the real experts
seemed to like the challenge. Many a good contest was held here and
during one summer's contest, the park was visited by some of the big
guns from the west like Tony Alva, Fred Blood, and Steve Olson.
- Odyssey - located in Livonia, Michigan. Odyssey was the first
indoor park in southeast Michigan. It was basically a store space in
a strip mall that was gutted and outfitted with a snack bar and a
handful of fiberglass ramps. Some of the ramps were pretty much a joke
but they had two great half pipes. One was only about three feet high
and the other was more like twelve feet high. These were also the first
half pipes I ever rode in that had a flat area in between the two
sides which made for much better pumping and height. This place was
good because we could ride there year round, rain or shine. We had a
- Endless Summer - located in Roseville, Michigan. For us, this
place was always the best park in Michigan. It was the first park that
had a pool. The pool was pretty nasty though with a transition that
would loft you right into space if you weren't careful. They did have
some other great terrain though. They had a huge freestyle area that
was a blast to surf through, a small peanut bowl that was fun, and an
excellent long half pipe. After a season or two, Endless Summer added
a second pool. It was a big kidney pool and turned out to be the best
pool southeast Michigan had seen. It had a beautiful smooth surface
and huge transitions. It turned out to be pretty easy to work the new
pool from side to side and we had a blast there.
Endless Summer was where we did most of our skating. By the time we were making weekly trips out there (about 30 minutes one way), our team had disbanded but several of us still skated together. Matt MacDonald, Tom Demerly, Larry Cepuran, Bob Reedy, Joe Barak, John Thiry, and myself all crammed into Larry's tiny car and headed out there almost every weekend. John usually kept his skating to a minimum and, instead, took a lot of photos. His skate photos are, even today, about the best skate photos I've seen out of southeast Michigan.
Shown below is a sampling of what I could find. Most of the photos I have were taken at Endless Summer. This park had it's share of locals who were much better than we were and ended up being the subjects of many of John's photos. I'm going to try and locate a bunch more. Hopefully from some other parks also.
Click any of the thumbnails below to see the larger version. The first eleven photos were taken by John Thiry in the 1979-1982 time frame. Some photos after that were donated by Gary Coghlin who was also a southeast Michigan skater back then and found this gallery on the web.