12.14.2004

DC's Toke Team
not sure I can recall what their motto was
but I am sure that they lived it to the fullest


Earlier today I recieved a comment on my BLOG from a skater whose name I did not recognize, he made mention of his association with the TOKE TEAM but I was more on the periferry than at the core of the DC SKATE SCENE so all names were not known to me, many were just faces and reputations. In my mid-teens most of these guys were old enough to buy beer and to an early teen and a late teen there often seems to be a world of difference.

Skateing in the late 70's into the mid 80's was a rebellion not entirely dissimilar to that of the motorcycle of another era. In the metaphor of the skateboard and the motorcycle the Toke Team is the answer to the local chapter of the Hell's Angels.

These guys were....

OUT OF CONTROL!
EXCESS TO THE MAX!
LIVING IN THE MOMENT!

THESE GUYS KNEW HOW TO F--KING RAGE!
the were rad.

My witnessing of their actions was less at the ramp but more in social settings. We shared mutual friends and mutual connections. Sure we may have sessioned the same curb or indoor garage. Where I tended to step back as my "rock-n-rolls," "50/50 grinds," or "bonelesses" were not much to look at unless you were entertained by seeing someone fall on their ass! Most of their legends came from the early days at the Annandale Ramp or at Cedar Crest. I never even saw the Annandale ramp and only stopped by Cedar Crest a few times when I was out riding my mountainbike on the trails at Bull Run State Park.

As I grew older the gap in our ages seemed to grow smaller. I was at the same parties as the Local Tokers; hitting on the same girls while drinking from the same keg. Our musical tastes overlapped and so did our choices in watering holes. Then later our associations began to overlap more and more as many people found messenger work as a good free living lifestyle that offered a decent handful of cash for little commitment. Our social interactions grew even more frequent as we not only attended the same skater based parties but also the showing up at the same courier company to work, hanging in the same urban parks between runs, and staggering about the same parties at night.

Each and every moment of each and every member of the TOKE TEAM was a story. Seemed that SKETCHY was a cloud that hovered over each and everyone of their moves. Had someone had the genius to create a documentary on the day in the life of a Toke Team member it would have blown away any reality TV show that has ever been developed. The group houses these guys lived in and the parties these guys attended would have entertained the world.

hold on
it is after 5PM
I got ta roll
more on this later
bye


back
lets see where I want to take this

The TOKE TEAM was comprised with an ecclectic cast of characters, each having more outlandish personality of the next. SKETCHY would be the operative word when the tales were told. Sketchy and Decadent. These folks most certainly knew how to live. Excess. Total Excess, But at what cost?
Even too much chocolate cake has it list of negative side effects.
So we can only imagine what happened to these guys.
I heard that one of the members of the pack had some sort of reunion gathering....ah to be a fly on the wall for that event would have been a pleasure. A hidden tape recorder would have been enough to write novels. All these guys knew how to live and all of them knew how to tell a story.

In an effort to protect the innocent or at least to save myself from incriminating anyone I do not know well enough to piss off and be forgiven I will go no further. It seems that I would have to name names or tell tales, tales that could only be more believable to use names, dates, and details. I will leave the Tales of the Toke Team to the best seller list....maybe the next time they have a reunion someone will be wise enough to bring a video camera and once the juice and the stories start flowing pull each and everyone aside, alone to get a chance to tell a story or two. It would act as a wonderful oral history as well as have the power a beautiful power to entertain as the antics of the Toke Team most definitely were dangerous, foolish, wild, and crazy.

a post I made about the Toke Team at an earlier point in time that inspired the comment

bethesda created a generation of skaters that were in many ways similar to the Toke Team
there was that same creative cast of characters
many of which were not just skaters but were also artists and musicians (yes, the toke team did more than skate and party....occassionally)
the bethesda skaters just like the toke team grew together and grew closer out of endless decadent experiences, much of which took place in the shadow of the elder statesmen who were and are the toke team
there encounters covered love and hate, sex and violence, life in the moment
they too grew and changed
just as I do not know where the toke team has gone or what each member of the toke team has become
I also do not know what has become of so many of the folks from the b-town crew

2 comments:

ECTT said...

oc bowl reunion 05/20/06....;-)

Anonymous said...

Tobin now lives in Portland Oregon.
It was an honor to get to skate Newberg and Burnside with him. Based on my conversations with him Wiggy is living in Hawaii.