Thursday, June 28, 2007

Local Sk8tr Boyz & Grrlz Totally Rock the House!

Rock on, skater boys & girls! Our teens & tweens are heck-bent on having a skateboard park built for them, & have made an admirable & well-organized effort towards persuading old farts like me to support this endeavor. These kids stand for hours in front of Safeway asking us to sign petitions, speak up on KGGV (our local radio station), write letters to local authorities & also showed up in major force -- along with their parents & other adult sympathizers -- at last week's RRROC meeting.

Come on, people. Give these kids their gosh-danged skateboard park. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all of the arguments against doing so. Skateboard parks are unsafe, they create legal liabilities, we can't afford to maintain them, etc. But, really, is ANYthing ever safe & free of potential liability? If so, then maybe we should all lock ourselves & our children in our houses & only let them out when it's time for school or Church.

Teens & tweens need a safe, fun place to gather, hang out, & be physically active. They also want to be AWAY from adults & younger children. That's okay, we can help our kids supervise & maintain the park, keep it clean, etc. from afar.

The kids' desire for a skateboard park seems awfully danged wholesome & innocent to me, given the fact that when I was in elementary school back in the 70's, the Junior & Senior High-schoolers were staging massive student walk-outs because they wanted a designated smoking area & soda vending machines! The demands of these kids were met ... by the time I entered my freshman year of high school, we had all sorts of junk food & beverage vending machines & a designated smoking area which was ominously referred to as "the alcove" ... only the "bad" kids hung out in "the alcove."

For pete's sake, STOP dithering & give these kids a freaking break. I've gotten to know several teens & tweens around the neighborhood quite well. Okay, they do often have an annoying habit of calling me "dude" ... they seem to call just about EVERYone "dude." And the older ones do tend to have all these weird tatoos & facial/body piercings. But aside from all that, the so-called "millenials" are -- in general -- a nice generation of kids. I don't like to totally generalize, but hey, why shouldn't I, since so many generations before mine & theirs have so frequently generalized ... They're free-spirited & often can't shove the round pegs of their personalities into the square holes of society, but they are generally creative, hard-working, caring, tolerant, interesting, sometimes opinionated, & almost always seem to look people directly in the eye.

Come ON, baby boomers. You were the ones who raised these kids for pete's sake, & I know that you've put a lot of thought, care & philosophy into this process. In general, you seem to have done a totally fabulous job. Can't you just be trusting & rest on your laurels for a bit?

All these kids want is a skateboard park. Why can't we just trust them & give it to them?

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