Vert brigade, jacked germs, and Florida folklore.
Vert brigade, jacked germs, and Florida folklore.
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the unnecessary tale of the holy roller

Rest assured, StrangeLove is in full production swing—slowly but surely, I've seen the screened-pass proof—but in the meantime, I'd like to shine a small spotlight on my contribution to a group art show that is taking place this Friday, August 3, in Eastham, MA.

The theme of the "9-Ply" show was based on and around the Plain Jane '60s plank; or, inspired by the Surf to Skate book published by Gingko Press. Each invited artist was sent a 9-ply blank to get buck-wild with as a canvas. My apples don't fall far from the tree, though, so to say I went "buck-wild" would be a rather gross overstatement; however, the opportunity did fulfill a dream of mine that first began in 2005, when I entertained visions of springboarding off the Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art book with a skateboard company of the very same "Disposable" brand name [1].

My "big idea" was to employ the magical "What if... ?" scenario, where "What if Steve Rocco had owned and operated a skateboard company in 1960s?" So, in the back alleyway of a town on the wrong side of the tracks in my mind, there was an imaginary set of two "era-correct" boards, and I even had a dumb little tag-line for an equally imaginary ad: "'60s style with a '90s vibe!" Yeah, I was really going outside the box on this one.

Anyway, the two boards were to be the "Holy Roller" and a complementary "Hell on Wheels." I semi-sketched up the latter, but that was as far as the dream ever went, because my idea for the company got stymied [2] and then I got hung up on the problem of sourcing out the whole metal wheel aspect of the project (I neglected to mention it earlier, but these were to be sold as "completes" in every '60s respect). As twisted fate would have it, an amazing box of these vintage metal components did show up on eBay (25 pristine sets!), but I was short on funds at the time (possibly memory, too) and never followed through on the auction. Idiot.

Merrily skipping ahead to April 2018, Chris Kelly hit me up about this '60s-inspired show he was curating, and instead of ignoring these requests as per usual [3], I thought, "Hey! I might be able to actually do something!" So I gave him my word of commitment to the show and then proceeded to let the board he sent languish in a box amid a large-scale moving situation and my utterly amazing ability to procrastinate (to be honest, I think I may have actually forgotten about it at one point until Chris hit me up in June and asked when I'd be delivering the final piece). So I finally buckled down, whipped up the "Holy Roller" in the most era-correct style I could muster, and then managed to translate that onto the plank with a great deal of support and guidance from my wife, who is far more fluent in every kind of art that takes place outside the tiny plot I normally reside within and do not stray from—a 00 Rapidograph and 23" x 29" sheet of Strathmore 1-ply Bristol paper, to be perfectly precise.



The final frantic touch was searching for the cheapest possible metal-wheeled plank I could find on eBay, which is getting increasingly harder because every Tom, Dick, and Harry who's seen an episode of Antique Roadshow thinks they've got a 500 hundred-dollar chunk of treasured Americana in their hands. Anyway, I found and won a cheap, beat to shit Roller Derby #10, busted the metal components off, grabbed a drill, and voila—done deal art piece. Woohoo!

This, mind you, was all completely unnecessary information (as forthrightly stated in the title above), but congratulations! You've reached the end. —Sean Cliver


1. A tangent to be tackled at a later idle time and date, no doubt.

2. An extension of the above-mentioned tangent, again to be addressed as stated.

3. Another tangential boil to be lanced when time and insecurities permit.

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