I put Tyler on the Plan Nine team when he was 10. He was a little red headed ball of energy that absolutely loved skating and was pretty damn good at it. Over the years Tyler became a regular fixture at the park and I got to know his family pretty well. One thing that I always noticed was how great of a relationship he had with his dad, Jeremy. They just seemed like best friends, they loved each other, supported each other and Jeremy really wanted to see Tyler pursue skating so he’d do whatever he could to make sure he had every opportunity available. It’s hard to truly articulate what it was I saw in the two of them but I remember being inspired by their relationship and definitely took note.
About 5 years ago, when I still had the skatepark, Jeremy randomly came to my office to talk to me. He was clearly distraught and choking back tears as he told me they had found a tumor in his chest and he was due for surgery the next week. He wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be but it was serious and he was preparing for the worst. He then told me that he hadn’t told Tyler yet. It was obvious how hard it was going to be for him and in some ways I think he was just practicing on me. But the main the thing he came to tell me that was no matter what happened to him he wanted to make sure Tyler kept skating. He knew the coming years were going to be tough, if the years came at all, and he just wanted to be sure that Tyler continued to do what he loved.
We talked for a bit longer but honestly everything after that was kind of a blur. The situation was heavy and, while I try to offer advice when I can, it was pretty obvious the best thing I could do was listen. He made sure I agreed that no mater what happened to him that I would keep supporting Tyler and his skateboarding. He had the same conversation with my manager Cory that day as well.
What really struck me was what Jeremy wanted to leave behind for his son. It wasn’t money, or wisdom, or family heirlooms, it was opportunity. He made sure that no matter what happened to him Tyler would continue to have the opportunity to do what he loved and see where it could take him.
So now Tyler is 20, living in California and putting everything into skateboarding, and the his dad has been around to see it all.
I took this picture of them just before Thanksgiving of them doing the typical back and forth and just having a good time. I’m glad get to have great people like this in my life.