Category Archives: 1984

537: More Florida: Neil Blender at Kona 1981?

Neil Blender on the ramp at Kona (Florida)

Click the image to view via KonaSkatepark

I found this while I was looking for something else…its cool when that happens. There are a couple more of these via Kona. I will attend to entering them into the archive post haste!


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501: Paul Wisniewski at the Ark circa 1984

Paul Wisiewski 1984

Cool picture from back in the day of Paul Wisniewski from circa 1984 (judging from that lawn chair and the jpeg title which read Paul Wisniewski maybe 1984 at the Ark) Been  meaning to post this one for awhile but I cannot remember who sent it to me…so if you are out there let me know. Also anyone remember The Ark? If so tell us about it.

That is all

Jason Oliva

416: Tom Groholski’s Ramp Contest Day NJ 80’s

Toms-Groholksi's ramp Dietz
Tom Groholski’s Ramp Contest Day NJ Circa the 80’s

Jason Oliva
Gonna be away till next week which means (I miss out on using my Bouncing Souls backstage passes for London…aaaarrrgh..Thanks for getting them for me WIG!) everyone will have to wait to see some serious pics from Tom’s backyard. For those of you who have had an idea of what this abstraction of ramp reality looked like, wait no longer! (or at least till next week) All secrets will be revealed in these Dietz Brutha pics! Also thanks and cheers to all the people who have hit me up over here:

Means a ton!


406: Happy 40ounce WeepStar!!


Weepee right in the middle of it head and shoulders above the rest, rockin the JG Tee and the Barfoot ride…G.O.A.T. Yo!!

Photo Deitz Bruthas
Jay Henry Layback air,  Ben Cornish(Sportin a Craig Johnson),  Chris”Weep” Blank, Steve Mannion(Overkill Sticker! Possible Tommy G hand me down Gator, Rick Holtzman, A Deitz Brutha (Stripey Socks)…Who is watching from the flat?

Jason Oliva
Yar Weep, remember that time we….. maaan that was dope.

Aaahhn, B-E-A-S-T-I-E go!

Drop some love comments all!

405: Jeff Roennings ramp(one of many) NJ mid 80’s: Who’s who?

jeff roennings ramp

Jeff Roennings Backyard mid 80’s

Jason Oliva
I know I have said this before but I am in the process of getting together a shot of all of Jeff’s ramps that scattered the Watchung/Warren NJ landscape in the 80’s. In the meantime I received this pic…so lets do a who’s who? If you are in the pic or can recognize someone post it in the comments:

From left to right(7 Skaters)

1.Weep  (White Helmet)

2.Jeff Roenning  (Yellow Helmet)

3.Rocky Vertone (Red Helmet)

4.Steven Deitz (Dropping in)

5.(red helmet)

6.Bob Losito  (ground)

7.(Far Platform)


So far this is the general consensus 


374: Dave Nunn Circa 84 A typical NJ DRIVEWAY SKATEPARK


Dave Nunn Watchung NJ circa 84

Photo Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva

Here is Dave Nunn a great childhood friend of mine sporting a silver Cab (The early 80’s weapon of choice, I was a Hawk man myself). Dave operated a typical NJ Driveway Skatepark (see also McDowells, Padulo’s, Hanley’s,Pruskowski’s) with a wedge ramp. Dave was obsessed with hand stands (I remember later this day one of these ended badly with a bloodied face) While this was going on David Lackland had an 8 foot wide ramp, The Padulo Brothers and The Mcdowells were building, Tag had an 8 foot wide ramp, Jeff Roenning was building his 2nd or third monster ramp the Barn was up and running, Groholski’s was towering over his neighborhood and there where plenty of ditches to ride. All in Central N-Jay.In a couple years a younger generation would be convinced to join the fray and start building (Klein, Foncek, whoever owned The Girl Ramp)…. It was just a waiting game to grow up  get a car and start hopping around.


215: Mike Vallely first invert at The Barn 1985…Mike Spotte talks about Rodney Smith, Mike V, DJ King Weep and skating in NJ.

Mike Vallely The House of Steam

Mike Vallely circa 85 First Vert Invert The Barn NJ

Photo Mike Spotte

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

How vintage is this!! Thanks MS for this one. Mike V back in the day at The Barn.

Checkout this amazing video of Mike’s Skate career.

  • Notice the Tom Groholski deck he is riding and the amazing footage of Tom’s back yard ramp (only video I have ever seen)
  • Have you forgotten what a crazy good vert rider Mike is.
  • The ollie at the Brooklyn Bridge banks over the divider and onto the off ramp makes me miss NYC and Weep.

You rule Mike!!! Thanks for all you support of The House of Steam!!

..its nice to have a bodyguard.


Now everyone go see REVOLUTION MOTHER…so says The House of Steam:

Revolution Mother the House of Steam

Photo Derek Rinaldi


Mike Spotte here

Ah, I remember that day well. Cold as a witch’s tit in the Barn. I can still recall pulling the trigger on that shot and thinking “holy shit, I think I caught it”! Being the pre-digital days and a grom with no money, it would be a few weeks before I would get the prints back and show them to a psyched Mike V. Not sure if I gave him a copy back then, but I attended one of his demos at Charm City skate park in Baltimore in 2004 and gave him copies of that shot and others. The look on Mike’s face was priceless and similar to the one he had when he pulled off that first vert invert and when he saw the print for the first time.

My introduction to the central jersey skate scene began when I got a job at Freestyle Surf Shop in Woodbridge Center. My manager, Rodney Smith (SHUT Skates!!)set me up with my first rig, Sims Screamer, that I ticked tacked all over the store, house and parking lots every where. From day one, Rodney took me (and others) under his wing. He didn’t care if you couldn’t keep up with him or what tricks you could or couldn’t do, it was “just skate man”, “have fun”. That’s what we did…

One day, Rodney tells us of some ripper groms in Edison that we should go skate with. We roll up to some parking lot across from Tops Appliance and jam with these bros for hours and hours. They all ripped! There was George (G-force) and Mike Dehr, Al, Kevin, Don and of course this skinny blonde kid with shins that were bloody knee to ankle named Mike V. That blonde kid stood out as far as talent goes, but those other guys were no joke. Don (sorry, forget the last name) was sick. He and Mike would go trick for trick while the ‘no ways’ came from the rest of us.

Mike Vallely Noside skate jam

Mike Vallely Noside (Edison NJ) Skate Jam 1986

Photo Derek Rinaldi

Some of the best times (for me) were when we piled into mine and/or Rodney’s cars and would drive to the river banks at Rutgers. After spending hours there, we’d hit some downhill in the close by parking garage before tormenting the crew at Stuff Your Face or the White Rose late night. Every once in a while Murph would come down from his dorm and be joined my Tommy G. and Chuck to session with us at the River Banks. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but when those three joined us groms the excitement level and pure fun of skating elevated to levels unknown.

Many more memories/stories from those days at the Barn, Tommy G’s ramp, Spotte Banks, the Ditch as well as our trip to visit Mike V. in Va. Beach and getting chased by the feared Va. Beach Ninja Gang, that will have to wait for a later day.

Jason, your site rocks! At 40, I am as passionate about skating as I have ever been. I was never the most talented skater, and am not able to get out much with the exception of hitting Lansdowne for an occasional carve, but I love skating to my core and your site has brought back so many memories! Keep it going!

One side note: I never knew Weep while growing up in Jersey during my skating days. It was not until I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to snowboard for a couple of years. I able to hook up with him after Rodney gave me his contact info. DJ King Weep rocked the Valley and was (and still is) loved by so many there. I would stroll into Mountunes where he worked and he’d pass me on to the newest shit to ride to. My best Weep story was when we rode together one day and decided to hit Corbets Couloir early after a nice dumping of 6” the night before. We roll up to the ledge, I hit the goat path with one turn and I’m in. Two turns later in flat light, and I’m on my back head first doing a 40mph dealth slide for 300 yards down the Couloir finally coming to rest in Tensleep Bowl. I sit up, glasses frosted over inside and out, shaking and almost in a panic. Along comes the calm Weep stopping just uphill of me saying “that was sick” and his calm demeanor. Good old King Weep sat there with me for about a half hour (on a sick powder day) until I stopped shaking and was confident enough to stand a make a turn again.

Weep rocks! We rode the rest of the day and for the next two years we laughed about that every time.


Jason Oliva The House of Steam


Killer stuff Spotte!!

Thanks for sharing…Mike Vallely, Rodney Smith, Weeps…all top on our list at The House of Steam.

Be sure to checkout SHUT’s website(cool interview of Rodney by Mike V) and see how Rodney and gang are going to revolutionize skating….again!


This just in!!!!!

  1. Mike V Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 5:25 pm eHouse Of Steam…
    I’m truly honored to be featured here on this site… You guys (Murf, Tom G, Tag, Bernie, Jay, The Kane’s, Rod etc… etc… ) were my heroes. This shit means more to me than most anything else in my skate career… Being acknowledged by the real motherfuckers…No stopping until I’m dead.– Mike V

Speechless…. – Jason O

Backward’s Bernie O’Dowd says watch this video!!

Checkout all the post comments below!!


East Coast Pride by Tom Groholski

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