Friday, March 27, 2009

And they said to kill migs.

The Korean war was the first jet war pitting F86's Sabre's against the Russian made Mig 15. The American Jet jockeys fought over a stretch of real-estate that connected China to Korea, this area was called Mig Alley. To those American pilots that stepped onto the tarmac, there where makeshift signs they passed, "kill a Mig, make mom proud", "Mig alley 200 miles north" and my favorite cryptic message, "And to kill migs."

It's skateboards in Southern California, not jet warfare above the 32nd Parallel. Cutting, sanding, sealing, painting, staining, printing, airbrushing and clear coating. To me it's a flight check before take off. From start to finish your board may have more time then I would charge. I must perform, I must do the work no matter the cost. I don't shoot down migs, I make boards and ship them out. I work hard and long hours. Often enough fall asleep on the couch at work covered in sawdust, my respirator on and fingers ink stained and softly snoring under the glowing orange light of the air compressor I left on that slowly bleeds of air.

And can't sum up the experience, since it's only making skateboards right? Yet if you own one of my boards, my prints you know that the work maybe the finest thing executed. If it wasn't, I'd hang up my hat and go back to wearing a suit. It's hard work, I love it and it's a day in day out test to perform. I identify with giving your all, worst thing that could happen to me is cutting off a thumb, not having my body stitched with Russian made metric bullets above Korea.

And as I sleep the compressor kicks on and I dream I'm flying a Saber jet; the roar of turbine, the uncomfortable airmask is really my paint resporator I was to tired to take off, and in my head I hear the static of radio chatter, "And to Kill Migs...." and it's really the drone of the nightly news.

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