Loveletter to Jeff Grosso

Posted: April 11, 2020 in Essays and Musings
Tags: ,

Dear Grosso,

I know you don’t start Loveletters to Skateboarding this way, and you’d probably make fun of me for being so formal.  You were never one for frills or euphemisms. Skateboarding is full of hard slams, and you definitely had your share, physically and figuratively.  Very few people can say they went to the “School of Hard Knocks” on Facebook without sounding like a poser, but you definitely went there (and maybe got held back a year or two).

For a while, I didn’t know about your career.  You were just some weird announcer guy who also made Youtube videos.  Those videos though had intriguing content, and pretty soon I realized the wealth of knowledge you held.  I learned about the skate scenes in my town and my grandfather’s homeland.  I learned about all the well-known skaters without the sanitization of mainstream media.  I learned what it meant to be a real skater.

As for your announcing, again your unapologetically raw approach brought energy and a realness—”color commentary” indeed.  I saw the rapport you had with skaters, particularly the women.  In supporting them, I felt like you’re supporting me… even though you’d probably call me a bunch of names I don’t generally approve of for chickening out of certain moves.  Tough love is still love.

Thank you for everything you’ve done for skateboarding.  You were a ripper even after the “end” of your pro career. While your official role might have shifted from pro to commentator and mentor, you were always a skater. Except when you became a father. I’m sharing the “Father and Sons” episode of Loveletters because I think it best embodies you, father and skater.

Ride in Peace Jeff Grosso
April 28, 1968 – March 31, 2020
 

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