Whoaaa back foot, Tom Groholski in his Back yard circa 84 Matt Padulo looking on.
You know you’ve come full circle when you’re listening to Ride The Lightening in your car on the way to Woodward Skatepark with your two young boys in the back seat and your brother next to you telling them the story of the first time you heard the song. (For the record it was a Wednesday night at the Barn, Groholski walked in, popped in the cassette into the player by the door, and jump on the ramp with no pads LONG before it was fashionable.) It must have been the Metallica playing in the car and the 13ft half-pipe they had at Woodward that got me thinking of the The Jersey Devil himself, Tom Groholski, and his freakin monster ramp he had in his backyard. A few minutes poking around some boxes in my attic produced this footage from the one pilgrimage I made to Tom’s with some of the crew from Warren & Watchung.
Tom, Dan Tag, Matt Padulo and Rocky Vertone
If this pic doesn’t capture a moment in time, I don’t know what one does. Tom extending a huge invert while Dan Tag, my brother Matt who must have been around 12 at the time, and Rocky Vertone look on, jaws dropped and speechless. I’m guessing this is probably either March 1984 or 1985. Maybe it was spring break. I remember it was cold and there were still a few last piles of snow around. It’s hard to put into words how TALL that ramp was. It took up the whole backyard and could be seen above some of the roofs in the neighborhood. It was the first huge tranny any of us had ever skated. Tom talks about how it came to his backyard in his Juice Magazine interview a few years ago. Good times.
Classic stuff!! I made the pilgrimage as well, driven by Dan Tag 2 or 3 years later. Tom’s was the tallest, slipperiest and most transparent ramp ever assembled. It made noises that no other ramp could muster. Tom ruled it and it seemed like when he was skating you could see him from across town. All the neighboring houses had boxed seats to view what was transpiring on the ramp. Needless to say I could barely manage to land any trick I knew at the time while Tag and Tom killed it. Normally I always traveled with a camera, not that day though. Nice one Dave, bet you wish you shot a whole roll!!