Source: Logan News Group
Date: July 28, 2003
Byline: DMB Communications
Skaters Skate LOVE Park Sunday -- Skaters Unaware of Ban?A bright, sunny, and hot Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. Skaters and BMX Bikers peacefully coexist at Dilworth Plaza. Three young Skate Boarders roll across JFK Boulevard and on into LOVE Park. And... they skated!
As they approached the park, I said to myself "they'll carry their boards into the park". I was wrong. Dead wrong. But, these were not three hellians bent on skating the LOVE...rather three young tourists waiting for mom to return from an errand somewhere nearby. But, while they waited...they skated.
And, skate they did. The stairs around the fountain, the fountain edge, the ledges along the fountain and 16th street. It was amazing. Not a blue uniform anywwhere in sight. Along comes mother to retrieve her brood and off they go. Almost...
WAIT...I almost screamed after them. "Don't you know it's Illegal" to skate in here" I asked (Inquiring minds want to know)...they all looked at me as if the sky was falling-and in unison...well, almost...replied "NO". They weren't even aliens, I mean how can anybody not know that it was illegal to skate the LOVE ? Or, I pondered to myself, was that the answer they gave in case I was a cop...you know "Your Honor, I plead Ignorance". But, ignorance is not a defense is it? My dad used to say "Ignorance is bliss". I know these kid's had a sense of bliss, but it was only partly from ignorance...mostly from skating everyone's fave skate spot in the universe.
As I continued on my journey, all I could think of was how good those three must have felt. I imagined them getting home and firing off "I Skated LOVE" essays to the US History web site. They still might.
And you know what else? It seemed like a natural, sunny, Sunday afternoon in the park. People lounging, some in the fountain, some sitting on the ledges some on benches; young and old alike and homeless and wealthy; AND, 3 Skate Boarders; it was like it was meant to be. It was wasn't it? Maybe it will be again. If this was really their "Silent Protest" it screamed at me. It screamed LOUD-Free LOVE Park, and the park screamed skate on me please! These 3 young heroes answered the call and the park felt LOVE.
Now, if only somebody somewhere would show skaters some LOVE and Free the park, it would be a peaceful gesture on their part. But that's where I wake up. The rest of the story is, however, true and I'm proud and grateful to those kid's whoever they are and wherever they may be. SKATE ON!