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Skate Photography Interview With Bart Jones
Name, age, status, employer, hometown? Bartholomew Wilhelm Jones, 28, single, The Skateboard mag son!, Geneva, Illinois.
Let’s start at the very beginning. I want to know what it took to engender you. Tell me about your parents. What kind of people were they, what did they do, how were you made?
Wow!! It’s deep. I do not know. I think my dad was from Plainfield, Illinois, kind of like a cornfield town that’s all big now. He went to a private Catholic school or something, but he’s not like religious or anything, he’s still real. And my mom is from Germany and lived in Israel for a minute when she was a kid too but then I think times were tough there so her family ended up with a boat ride to the States United States and began living in St . Louis I think maybe.. Moving on, dad went to college in St. Louis met my mom, badda boom batta bing, got married and made me.. I wonder if they were on some kind of drug at the time, because I’m pretty fucked up. My mom had a lot of odd jobs over the years from teaching to running an antique store to working in real estate and my dad ran a chain of record stores called Apple Tree Records which was a great time because until I was about 16 my dad could plug in any music for free plus free tickets to just about anything I wish ‘he still has that, but because of Best Buy, a circuit town, places like that; Apple Tree sank. I went with my family to all the stores to close them which sucked but found lots of merchandise. Now my dad runs a Play It Again sport so pretty much my mom and dad go to auctions and yard sales and stock up on used sports equipment so we used to have lots of music in the house, but now it’s sports gear.
Let’s move on to your childhood. Traumatic events that still haunt you today?
I don’t think anything from my childhood still haunts me anyway, but yeah, I had a bunch. I almost blew up our family’s new puppies with a Draino bomb, my babysitter tried to have sex with me once, I don’t know, but yeah, I was definitely a messed up kid, I still am nearly.
What was your very first encounter with skateboarding? When did you know it was going to be a long term relationship?
First meeting, I probably don’t remember, but I know I was super excited when I saw these guys skating on the flat and ollieing over these road barriers at this downtown festival where I lived called “Swedish Days”. All the guys had like two different colored Airwalk shoes with tape on, painter hats, all flared up, I just remember thinking “These guys are bad guys, that’s how I want to be!” Around the same time, I was still excited if I could watch “Skate TV” on Nickelodeon. Obviously totally ignorant of skateboarding, but nonetheless, super hyped. I didn’t start skating until a few years later when a skate shop opened near my house called Rich’s, which is funny to think because the place was such a circus, but I was just skating around the store and to me that was the worst thing ever at the time.
The funniest thing is that one of those guys I saw skating a long time ago at the festival is now my good buddy Steve Davenport, he still skates, he still rocks!! But yeah, I really didn’t know it was going to be a long term relationship…I guess I never really did anything else. When it comes to anything else relatively athletic, I’m full of goonbat panzy steez. I remember when some of the kids in high school were interested in other things like golf, cars, etc. I didn’t really understand. I just remember thinking “don’t you wanna go skating?!” I went through a little phase when I was going to art school, where I wasn’t really into skateboarding, I didn’t know what was really going on, I didn’t see the magazines and the new videos; at that time I was more interested in becoming a “fine artist” but I’m nice about that I guess.
Being from Illinois, what do you think of Barack Obama?
Being totally fried, I don’t really pay attention to that sort of thing, but I’m sure I’m in favor of Obama. I remember when he was running for senator or whatever in Illinois, and there were all these billboards with him, and I said to my dad “look at this guy who looks like everything pimp” and he told me “he’s the man we expect to be the first black president”. Then, in my photojournalism class, I was asked to go and take pictures of Barack’s victory speech. And like any other sucker, I just ate it; Obama just talks to people like that… I don’t even know! Power, I guess, and then just watching all the people be so happy, it was just good vibes all around. And now it’s the same thing again, but all over the country. I’m sure at one time I lived in the same city as Obama. It’s a pretty exciting time, but what do I know…?
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