August 12, 2018

'Boondoggle' at 10

There hasn't been a better Twin Cities skateboard video since Boondoggle debuted 10 years ago.

The video, a first offering from a new generation of metro area skaters, premiered at Oak Street Cinema on Aug. 23, 2008. In the decade since it came out three skaters with parts in it have gone pro, one has since passed and the makers of it have continued on making things.

Nearly everyone involved with Boondoggle was at Familia Skateshop for a 10th anniversary party on Aug. 11. One of the pros the video spawned -- Davis Torgerson, its first -- had a commemorative pro model from Real for sale. The board references the brilliantly awkward Boondoggle intro, a remake of the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- the show's namesake, forever stuck in statue form throwing her hat on Nicollet Mall, is the graphic.

The flyer promoted free beer and an hour in the shop was packed with a cohort of skaters that grew up on Boondoggle, or even found the video after they started looking for older metro skate fare. Phil Schwartz, one third of the video's makers, was there with his infant and wife. He'd found the improbably ancient-looking laptop on which the video was edited and the Sony VX-2100 on which he shot it, and had them sitting on the shop display case. A reel of raw footage played on another technological aughts artifact, a tube TV.

Tim Fulton, another member of the video-making trifecta, handed out beers. He shoots video for Real, a part of the strange Minnesota contingency that's infiltrated the company -- three Twin Cities skaters, Torgerson, Jack Olson and Tanner Van Vark are full-on the brand, a historical anomaly for sure, something that can likely be traced to Boondoggle's ascendancy. If a photo on display as a part of the anniversary party is to be believed, Pete Spooner, the third camera operator behind the movie, hasn't aged a day.

As for the talent in the video, David Jaimes had last part, and a reporter can still drum up some ambivalence in him about that fact with simple goading. A favorite photo of Dan Narloch hopping a hydrant downtown was on display, sparking a quick debate about if he put out one of the best Twin Cities video parts at 17 years old. Narloch, whose brother Ben is another skateboard maniac, laid down a motorcycle about a year ago and wrecked his ankle, but said he's better now and is hoping to film a part for an upcoming Calsurf video.

The third pro the video spawned, Pat Gallaher, ate fried chicken on a bench in front of the shoe wall (Tabari Cook was the middle pro for those keeping count). Out back, the preferred bathroom since packs of young women packed the indoors restroom, the old heads talked about old times since the nostalgic theme of celebrating a decade-old video had set in.

Fulton and Spooner agreed that the next video -- several videos by the three have come out since -- should have been called Boondoggle 2. That never happened, but Schwartz did put together a montage -- some more beloved "throwaway" -- that played on a loop in the shop. My mid-30s experience of skateboarding tends to be all tied up with aging and memory. The montage hits nostalgically but also proves this whole skateboard project is ongoing. Midopoly turns 20 next year.

Find the Village Psychic write up on a decade of Boondoggle here.