With the hefty thump of a hardbound photo book, an advance copy of Back in the Day landed on my desk in mid-November 2017. I instantly planned to assemble a photo-heavy article in time for the holidays — a loud shout-out to photographer William Sharp, writer Ozzie Ausband, and Berkeley-based publisher Gingko Press.
Then Thanksgiving arrived. Then my friend Jim died in his sleep. (I wept for Jim in the broader confusion of his early departure, but also because I had really wanted to witness the singular stoke in his eyes as he slowly flipped through the book’s 466 pages. You see, as a lifelong skateboarder and a longtime photographer for Santa Barbara’s Powell-Peralta Skateboards, Jim woulda dug it the most.) Then the Thomas Fire came to town, followed by that horrendous debris flow, which buried any well-intentioned goal to return to how things were before.
But this isn’t an excuse-laden apology to Sharp, Ausband, and the kind folks at Gingko. It’s really a short testament to the timeless vibe and sweet power of nostalgia evoked by a collection of color and black-and-white photographs of young innovators blowing up a small region of radical. Plus, for us Santa Barbara–based fanatics, there are shots of Jay Smith, Stacy Peralta, Steve Caballero, and Ray “Bones” Rodriguez, among other Powell-Peralta team riders.