Jason Jessee is a lot of things to a lot of people. He's a son, he's a brother, he's a father, he's a pro skater, he's a biker, he's a friend, he's an artist, he's a clown, he's a boxer, he's a surfer, he's an ocean rower... He's a guy who collects tractors and outboard motors... I could go on and on the bottom line is he's a person who knows how to live!
I first met Jason through skateboarding. I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was '95 and I was with some friends on a road trip visiting California from Colorado. We were in Huntington Beach and we barged in on the Basic bowl. I can't even remember how we found it but we were not invited for sure. I was the first out of our group to peak over the fence. Good news... people are skating. Maybe we can just roll in like we new about the session and were invited.
Once I got in I said hi to some of the skaters waiting in line to skate. Then I started to notice who these guys were. Ricky Styles, Salba, Duane Peters, Remy Stratton, Steve Olson and Jason Jessee! It was heavy to say the least. I was pushed in by Salba and the session was on! Everyone was ripping!
Jason had stayed out of the session for the most part. He was in line but he wasn't getting in. I'd say 30 minutes went by and finally Jason rolls in. Straight to an Invert to fakie. For this of you who skate you know that's not exactly a warm up trick. He looked perfect until his truck was snagged by the coping on the way back in. Fully hung it up and slammed hard. No crying just right back up and back in line. He took a few moments to recover while everyone else skated. Then right back in, straight to the same trick. This time perfect! Then he was done. No more walls were hit, not even on that run. It was a personal battle and he had won.
We skated a while longer and then the session faded and we all went our separate ways. That display of determination and style stuck with me. It would be years before the next time I saw Jason. I've had the privilege to skate with him plenty more times since then. And now I get to call him a friend.
You've all heard the saying "never meet your heroes", they usually let you down. This is one hero of mine that has never let me down. He's a true inspiration and without a doubt the reason I have a Panhead. Thank you Jason Jessee!
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