Greetings Fellow Travelers!
It was an overcast day, but the rain had stopped early in the morning so I was surprised to see the red flags indicating the Meadow was closed. I think the Parks Department took advantage of the day to spread fungicide and pesticide so the grass will be healthy this summer. Or something.
I moseyed over to the Bandshell where there was some kind of special event being set up. Fortunately for us, there was enough room for Jamming around the various tables, tents, and moving vans. (not so) Young Daniel, Rob, and Mr. E. Fresh were seizing the day when I got there, and Ivan-TJH, Emma (bearing the Gamboa), Chuck, Mike Heaver, Roger, TedShred and TLC, and Quinn-O rounded out the regulars. Then we got a pleasant surprise: Gary Auerbach, one of our most frequent Guest jammers found his way to our off-season home. It always bodes well when our friend from West Virginia joins us. Gary is a tremendously skilled Freestyler and a leader in the Spread the Jam movement. In fact, he became quite animated when we talked about the fledgling professional Ultimate league, suggesting that the Tribe put together a road trip to Philly for a game. Gotta support anything that increases the public profile of our sport(s)–Plastic People of the World, UNITE!!!!
I moved one of the tables up a bit closer, grabbed a few chairs, and voila—we had a Judges Table. Roger is still recovering from his fractured tibia, Quinn-O is rehabbing from a hip replacement, and my aching back was not up to pounding on the hard concrete. While I did Jam a little bit in street clothes, I spent most of my time watching, heckling, and serving on the committee of between 2 and 69 to make sure the Gamboa landed in the right hands.
Fresh, Joey, and Robbie-Rob really tore it up. There were long stretches of droplessness and they all played seamlessly together. This is a combination that really can be magical. (not so) Young Daniel Jammed with Ivan and Gary for a while, and I broke in with them so I could get my swerve on. Dan hit a crazy combination that included a “Udouchebadonk” kick brush to the delay, to multiple zany moves, to an Instant Gitis seal. The kid is Golden! Gary was his normal Flow-filled self and Ivan matched Daniel Gitis for Gitis. When TedShred and TLC arrived, Mr. Oberhaus with his typically high level of joy said “I Love Playing Here! Some of our best All*Star Thursdays have been at the Bandshell.” The guy is really a blessing to all of us because after he makes that statement, he goes out to prove he was not kidding.
As always, this was a plenty of personnel changes in the Jams. Since I was spending most of my time at the judges’ table, I took my responsibilities seriously. There was plenty of high level play and every Jammer took their shot at making a bid. The Oracle hit a Mons Veneris (UD roll to the delay), a Scarecrow brush pass that Rob sealed with a Scarecrow, and some stuff that was One Step Beyooooond. TedShred was just brilliant nailing a double spinning Gitosis, his patented leg hoop pass, and a couple of amazing plays where he avoided obstacles and people to seal the deal. And then there was Robbie-Rob who wanted it more than the next guy. He was a Gitis Machine, huffing and puffing while crushing his seals off of a variety of sets. He also annihilated a double spinning Scarecrow with a chomp that turned heads. Nice!
Again the choice was rough and tough but after serious consideration, Rob eked out the Gamboa over Mr. Shred and The Oracle. The smile he had upon his face was priceless. Right after that, Roger shared that Peter Laubert was making an All*Star Thursday Guest Jammer appearance the following week. I was very pleased because Peter was my partner at Chipper-Bro’s Aloha Festival Tournament in 2005, the ONLY TIME I ever competed. That was also the trip that inspired me to reach out to Sir Schillz to get him to come to NYC for some o’ dat Noo Yawk Juju. His trip here to our Green Beach made folks pay attention to what was happening at the Manhole, and was the catalyst for the All*Star Thursday Guest Jammer Initiative.
The amount of good times we have had here the sprang from that weekend in Ventura is beyond calculation. Which begs the question…
When are YOU Comin’ Down?!
Peace Out, Yo!