402: And then there was Greg Colescott….. En-Jay’s finest and more Barn ramp history

Greg Colescott

Greg Colescott Frontside air at his ramp in NJ

Jason Oliva

Soooo…and then there was Greg, why is this man so important? Why do a large percentage of us owe a debt of gratitude to him? I will let Dr. Jay henry explain why Greg Colescott is our cultural patient zero. Greg is one more person in a chain that I know I have to thank for inspiring a life less ordinary.

(…also I have some amazing photos from gregs ramp to post so everyone should know a bit about the place.)

Go grab Jay the whisky in the brown bottle, curl up in front of the fire and he will tell us all a story.

Jay Henry Avatar

The Beginning of It All  (or “I’m starting to get sick of prequels but if the shoe fits wear it”)
“The Barn Ramp, where id it all come from?” A childish question but not a question a child would ask. Where did the Barn get it’s not so humble beginnings from, and why is Jay Henry such an absolute enigma of the not so modern day skate scene you wonder (yes, you were wondering that)? All joking aside, I thought since this is the House of Steam site, and I had already posted the first picture ever taken there then it would be prudent to step back for one second and point out the man responsible for it all. The history can be easily traced back to one single man for whom I give credit for the existence of the BARN RAMP, as well as so many aspects of my current life. Who is the great man you ask? His name is GREG COLESCOTT. Let’s go back to high school in Basking Ridge NJ circa 81. The year is 1981 (oh yeah, already covered that) and it’s the beginning of a new school year (I think, sounds good at least) and Jay Henry is a teenager (yeah all you little kids weren’t even born yet!) living a meaningless boring life with no end in sight. I walked into class one day, sat in my assigned desk and on the heater unit I saw a magazine, and its name was Thrasher. I can totally still remember Neil Blender doing an Andrecht handplant at the Big O, and I thought “My God, what kind of voodoo skating is this demon performing?!?!?” I found out somehow that the magazine belong to a one Greg Colesott who had just moved to our town from California (poor bastard, lucky me). I talked to Greg about skating and he took over. Let me just explain that Greg Colescott was hands down one the most ambitious, motivated, let’s make this happen kind of guy that I have ever met. I think that he felt that if he was going to make it in this town, then he would have to make this town provide him with everything that a good ole Cali boy needed; skate boarding, punk rock and a good time, which we currently had none (It really should be pointed out at this point that I lived 45 minutes from Cherry Hill Skatepark, 45 minutes from Tom Groholski, Jim Murphy, and I was totally clueless. In steps Greg). The first thing he did was to tell me how we would build a quarter pipe, but we had to make a half pipe next. This half pipe would soon be layered in 7 layers of plywood that would end up being the barn. He got us started on the quarter pipe, talked to other kids form school, got them over the house to skate and starting teaching us tricks. I had an Ampul double kick aluminum skateboard with ACS 430 trucks and Road Rider wheels. Greg didn’t even ask, told me I had to get a new board. He ordered me (without even consulting) a Salba Bevel, Indy 169s and Blackheart wheels. Next he found a half pipe that someone was giving away in another town and found a way to transport it to our house (how he found this stuff, I have no idea) The ramp was severely kinked on one side but we used it any. THAT KINK IS WHAT NECESSITATED SO MANY LAYERS, AND WHY THE BARN EXISTS TODAY. The next thing he did was to scroll around the left side of the FM dial (The Replacements did a song called “Left of the Dial” incidentally which referred to the band always and only being played on College Radio) and found the East Orange college radio station which played punk rock and new wave for 2 hours once a week(REAL new wave, not that wimpy crap that some people thinks is new wave). How he found that station I will never know. The next thing he did was start teaching me how to skate, and what tricks I needed to learn. Then he found Tom Groholski’s ramp, then met Jim Murphy. As I stated previously, Greg was a real go getter that was not going to let anything stop him from getting what he wanted. He started looking in the local papers to find punk shows in NY and upper NJ. I went to CBGB’s with Greg for the first and only time to see MDC. I saw Dead Kennedys, DOA, SSD Control, amongst other bands at my first punk show at the Beacon Theater. I saw Gang Green warm up for the Misfits at the Polaski Club in Jersey City. Greg moved back to Cali (I think) but now lives in NC and skates at a skatepark there with my boy Denny who runs Coalition Skateboards. (http://www.myspace.com/coalitionskateboards) I just wanted to write this tedious story to tell everyone who to thank for what we had, have, and to let you know where you’re all from.
Jay Henry

9 thoughts on “402: And then there was Greg Colescott….. En-Jay’s finest and more Barn ramp history

  1. Jeff

    Holy shit. That guy was such an inspiration in my life. He introduced me to Jay- took me to Tom G’s ramp- took me to see the Circle Jerks. All while I was in 8th grade. In a junior high punk rock world of no, that guy was a giant yes.
    He’s the first person I ever saw do an air over coping (at Jays) He’d grab board at the flat bottom and jerk em over the top. Blew my mind.
    Great article Jay-

  2. bernie o'dowd

    One time we went to PA with Tom G and we had to leave early ‘cuz Greg aka “Gluey” “Had a gig with the toads.” I also can’t remember if it was him or jay that had fashioned their rails into a lapper of sorts. they were screwed into the deck and then ran up to the axels. i remember fakie ollie hang ups re entered like butter. and one last note. check out the recaps on the kneepads. Looks like cut out buckets. Ha, the 80′s!

  3. Greg Colescott

    Hey you guys. Too funny, my daughter google’d me and this stuff came up. We skate on and off but my knees are thrashed from motocross. You can search me on myspace and talk to me through there. We have all our pictures posted of our motocross.

    email me at: ondagas@nc.rr.com

    We’re gonna start skating more because my right knee is starting to feel better. blew it out on a triple three months ago. We just skate now and then over in cary. Motocross just takes up so much time right now. Jay shoot me an email ! Like to catch up.


  4. DennisK

    Great story Jay. The first time I went to your house and saw your ramp, you said, “that needs to go in the Barn.” At that point you became the “let’s make this happen kind of guy.” And just as Greg pushed you, you pushed us. The level of talent that the Barn Ramp attracted was legendary. Excellent experiences and memories. I thank you all. Dennis.

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