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.
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.