I still remember that day in 2001 so clearly. I was working with the International Network for Flatland freestyle Skateboarding (INFFS). I am sure everyone remembers INFFS, Flatline and Flatline Online. I was amazed how it progressed. I started to fax and mail out info. Then came the internet and I learned how to make web pages. And one day I receive an email with a logotype saying WFSA (World Freestyle Skateboard Association). It was from someone called Bob. I was like “Why and who is this kid trying to start an association like that?” He can’t have any experience… And I knew there were freestylers out there called Bob and I thought it might be one of them, but I knew too little about them. I thought: “this is no good”, so I replied and asked questions and came with ideas, trying to be very kind and thoughtful. I think the plan was that the kid had to understand that you can’t just start an association like that but better help me out with the INFFS. I also emailed Dan Gesmer who helped me a lot with the INFFS. He also came with ideas and suggestions. Bob didn’t have much plans for WFSA, he was merely putting an idea or having a vision. But suddenly without even knowing it, through the exchange of ideas, Bob, me and Dan had founded the WFSA… It came natural.
|Bob Staton arriving in Los Angeles, he took the train from San Diego and met up with me.
I also very soon found out who this Bob was. It was Bob Staton, who had suppported some of my Swedish freestyle friends, and whom I met in 1982 when I visited Santa Barbara. He took me, Per Holknekt and Shane Rouse to Powell and we met George Powell himself. Then we went skateboarding at a very small place, a round place with a wall and a garden. Then we had dinner and I stayed the weekend at Bob’s place and had an American breakfast with pancakes.
I was very happy to connect with Bob again and also to connect again to his wonderful family.
Bob never wanted the WFSA to replace the INFFS, but as I did not have time to work with both, I soon realised we did not need INFFS any longer. I think he was very careful not having WFSA to replace the INFFS that I had worked with since 1995, just to show respect to me. But I insisted.
We had almost daily email contact and also by phone once in a while. I made sure to meet up with him each time I went to CA, and he was so very caring to make sure I had the best of times while being there. We made it into a vacation and to help make freestyle grow.
Last year he wanted to be less involved with the WFSA due to his health issue. But he never stopped coming with ideas and suggestions. The last communication I had with him was right before he was going to the hospital again, for what would become for the last time. He told me that he was in a bad shape and expected to live no longer than 8 weeks. For me, “nothing is over until it is over”, so I did not buy into that and told him that I believe in miracles. We had been discussing some philosophical matters but I am not sure about his view on what happens after this life. But for me personally I believe we are all pure consciousness at the core of our being, and that we are spirits that take on human forms. What I know about this comes from the eastern Vedanta philosophy, where also meditation and hatha yoga come from. Bob asked me a few months ago about meditation and yoga and I gave him some tips and advices. We once discussed things like how it is in the middle of the universe, and where all lights go that come close to a black hole. So, with my interest in eastern philosophy and what I have discussed with Bob, I would not be surprised if he is now investigating it…
P.S. Meeting Bob at the San Fransisco contest in 2000 was very inspirational. He talked to me like a true sports coach, and it felt great!