JT Murphy Eatontown Skate Park
Photo Ken Salerno (you know the guy that takes pics that end up in THRASHER!)
Wanted to put together a cool post about JT for along time. I remember him freestyle skating in the flat bottom of the ramp while people were putting on or taking off their pads before or after some session. Corn was the only one I knew who had a freestyle board other then JT and other then Corn and Weep I dont know anyone who could get a grip on one of those things…(but we all secretly tried). Corn has an entire skate Demo on film that he (JT) did at Watchung Hills Regional (skate academy) High School in 85 or so. During which Jt even managed to drag Tom Groholski (who was there to watch) out onto the gym floor and do some kinda boneless over him..a true showman. Someday we will stream the whole thing here for people to see. jason
We grew up in a small beach town in NJ. We street skated daily like a religion. We spend countless hours on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights in search of anything to ride. At that time, most of the surf shops in our area were just that, surf shops and the skating in the small town was getting a little tired.
A new shop had opened up over the bridge in Toms River and there was an abandoned lot next to it. The shop sold skateboards, hosted skate demos, and had a place to skate. That was our new hang. One weekend day it was business as usual at the launch ramp and parking blocks when two guys approached us. They were from the newly formed Eastern Skateboard Association. It was Art Gracey and JT Murphy, inviting us to the first contest in Kearny, NJ.
The ESA went on to support and organize many contest through NJ and the east. At the same time, skating in the northeast was getting huge. There was a lot attention coming from NYC with the news of a new skate crew called SHUT skates. The ESA provided another platform for exposure for these and other emerging skaters. JT worked as a bio-chemist or something tricky like that in the daytime and spend his weekends and free time volunteering his efforts promoting East Coast Skateboarding.
Over the years I had come to appreciate him as one of my dearest friends. Both he and his wife, Donna, were about the coolest adopted siblings any wayward skater could ask for. They had these great halloween parties where we got to mix with a while different crowd. It was my first association with older people who respected skateboarding and never viewed it as a form of public destruction. We were always welcomed. They turned me on to more great music, food and life than they could have known.
I will always consider JT as one of the most influential people of my youth. There are few things I do, to this day, that didn’t begin because of JT Murphy.
This is what reporter Jean François VIBERT had to say about JT Murphy
Check it out.
If anyone would like to add to this post please feel free to email me.