Archive | Scene

The Church of Type


Letterpress Font and Beauty

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



It’s been a long and archaic journey.

For 15 years Kevin Bradley lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, as co-founder of the design studio and letterpress giant Yee-Haw Industries, churning out fine-art prints, commemorative and promotional concert posters, album art and even wedding invitations, using 200-year old equipment in the same tradition as Guttenberg and the original printing press.

Kevin has covered the globe with a range of ephemera and custom typographic fine art prints for a litany of clients. His new company, the Church of Type in Santa Monica, California, represents his newest venture.  In 2013 he moved 30 tons of letterpress equipment across the country to bring his own vision and style to the epicenter of American Culture.

“I am using the old stuff, but I’m making a contemporary print with it,” Bradley says.  His slogan is “Art for the People, Since 1987.”

“I’ve rescued 200 years of beautiful type as well as plates …I always wanted to make a new print with the old stuff.”

He showcases a set of plates with images on metal.  

“In these drawers, I have the entire history of pro wrestling and boxing.  They would develop the photograph on the metal, put a line screen on it, match it with acid, and then they would mount it on wood for printing.  That’s how the newspapers were printed back in the day,” he says with pride.

For 25 years, Bradley has been scouring old barns and basements east of the Mississippi for these rare fonts and types from the 1800s and 1900s.  His business houses one of the most extensive wood and metal type collections in use today: multiple letters and sizes comprising over 1,000 fonts of moveable type and in-house, hand-carved woodblocks, all printed on a 4’x10’ Takach press.

He wants to bring to life the way the world communicated hundreds of years ago, only in a modern way — much like how modern folk musicians keep old songs alive, bringing them to contemporary listeners in new forms and textures.

He considers himself a graphic designer, an illustrator, a painter, print maker, editor, copywriter– even a janitor.  But at the most basic level, he’s a typographer — a last craftsman in a dying profession.

“I’ve got all this type, and I’ve got to figure out how to use it and get people to see it,” Bradley said.

Church of Type is much more than just a printing shop for Bradley; it’s a means of communication that steps into the mythology of man, to the campfire, to that archetypal yearning for the power of the word mixed with the smell of the ink and the wood and the dust.

Across the walls he has a series of original images — robots, dinosaurs, Godzilla.  Each of them is made with letters, which you can see when you look up close.

He’s constantly experimenting every day with the form.

“It’s a repository of the real stuff,” says Bradley.  “It’s my Church of Type.  The word on the page is a powerful thing.  When the power goes out, I will be king.”

~Via Kevin Bradley, LA Weekly, and Vimeo

If you liked this story, you may enjoy our other one, On With the Show


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene, State1 Comment

On With the Show


This is It– The Night of Nights


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s a silver screen, silent film sacred sort of place,
and it’s something out of time.

The Old Town Music Hall began in the 1960′s when two musicians, Bill Coffman and Bill Field, purchased the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ from the Fox West Theater in Long Beach, CA, and installed it in the quaint 188-seat El Segundo State Theater, originally built in 1921.

The “Two Bills” opened their doors in 1968, and to this day the Old Town Music Hall, a treasured cultural landmark and nonprofit organization, continues to entertain audiences with silent and sound films, as well as ragtime, jazz and pipe organ concerts.

All the silver screen films are accompanied live by the Mighty Wurlitzer, just as they were when the silent features were originally released.   

The massive circa-1925 machine messiah wind-powered pipe organ has been meticulously preserved so that silent classics can be experienced with live musical accompaniment, just as they did when they were first shown.  

It’s something you really have to see and hear to believe.

The Mighty Wurlitzer consists of more than 2,600 pipes.  The organ console has four keyboards, 260 switches, and an array of controls and pedals.  From the console, the organist controls the pipes and many percussive instruments, such as a xylophone, marimba, piano, drums, and cymbals.

The entire system is air-powered from a 10-horsepower Spencer Turbine Orgoblo.  This powerful source of wind pressure runs the entire mechanical system and also plays the pipes.  

It’s size and scope are beyond imagination– this is one instrument that can completely floor you if you’ve never seen one in person.  To make things even more interesting (and entertaining) they give audiences a “peek behind the curtain” with every organ performance.  By making each drum, bell, whistle, and special sound effect glow in the dark, audiences can gain a little insight into how this mighty organ actually works.

Needless to say, the old gal requires constant maintenance.

On stage with the organ console is a spectacular 9-foot concert grand piano.  The 92-note Bösendorfer was handmade in Vienna for the Old Town Music Hall in 1974.  The Bösendorfer company has been making pianos since 1828, and is perhaps finest acoustic keyboard instrument made.

But make no mistake.  It’s Hollywood’s films of the Golden Era along with the original musical complement that leave movie buffs in awe.  Charlie Chaplin Clark Gable, Lon Chaney, Judy Garland, Harold Lloyd, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and a host of other celluloid heroes come alive once again for the night when the intimate venue at 140 Richmond Street opens its doors for all to see.

There is nothing more entertaining than witnessing a silent short and experiencing the artistry of the live organ accompaniment, and the entire gig is simply stunning and beautiful taken in all its majestic glory.


~Via Old Town Music Hall, Lost & Found Films,
  Vimeo, and Madeline40

If you liked this story, you may also enjoy our other one, The Church of Type

* * * * * * * * *

‘Old Town’ was produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films.

It’s one in a series of short films that explore the idea of home, or places that function as home – workplaces, hang out spots, etc.

Lost & Found Films want to figure out what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.  They’re always on the lookout for dwellings of all sorts.  If you’ve come across any curious or eccentric homes or other curious places, feel free to send them along to:


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook


Posted in Media, Scene1 Comment

Where Are Your Teens Tonight?


Studying at the Library?  Yeah, Right.


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Our youth now love luxury.

They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and they love chatter in place of exercise.

They no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents and chatter before company; they gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.



We think that only “bad” kids get into trouble.  And that “good” kids never do.

We’ve got news for you.  They all do. 

All kids get into trouble.  They’re risk-takers, seemingly invincible, and yearning to be independent.  The hormones are flaring and they’re out the door to do who knows what.  It’s called fun. Or angst.

A long, long time ago it used to be smoking, getting into a fight, skipping class, smashing mailboxes.  Today, it’s alcohol, drug, and prescription med abuse, sexually acting out, running away, and more risky stuff– like blowing your mind out in a way-too-fast joyriding car or stupidly handling a gun while too high or drunk.

There’s a Beast and We All Feed It, above, is by Jake Bugg,  a 19-year-old singer-songwriter out of working-class Nottingham, England.  His songs paint a vivid, realistic, and sometimes violent picture of fights, drugs, poverty, and heartbreak happening with kids today.

Black Sugar, below, is a flick of a different flavor.  All kids– even those nice quiet middle class white kids living in the ‘burbs in big homes with swimming pools– find themselves on the riskier side of things when you, and they, least expect it.

Don’t kid yourself.  Each one is portrait of what’s happening with kids today. 

Few, if any, survive their teens.  They take love, perseverance, tenacity, sweat, tears, prayers, lighting candles, and the list could go on.

Remember when you were young?


Black Sugar from Hank Friedmann on Vimeo.


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

A Twilight Zone Groundhog Day Love Story of Infinite Possibilities


Need We Say More?

Staff Pick **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Universe is infinite– and so are the options.

A Truncated Story Of Infinity is Director Paul Trillo’s look at the infinite possibilities within our everyday existence.

It’s a bizarre and trippy flick.  As we follow a day in the life of Vincent– otherwise known as Subject X– we find his many variations that exist throughout the universe, and the story slowly begins to fracture into different threads from there by his following a would-be lover down the street.

It’s a little like the Twilight Zone, A more pathetic Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, and a Love Story story– all intertwined into one mildly insane piece and place.

Carpe Diem.  Or consider the multiple possibilities presented in each moment while keeping your sanity delicately intact.  Are you a person dreaming you are a butterfly?  Or a butterfly dreaming you are a person? 

We dunno.  It’s all too much like a mystery wrapped up in a burrito for us.



Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

A New Life in the Saddle


The Story of Jonathan Field


 Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him participate in synchronized diving.”
        ~Cuthbert Soup, Another Whole Nother Story


His parents introduced him to horses when he was just a year old
and he’s been around them ever since.

Growing up in the rural community of Bradner, British Columbia, Jonathan Field spent many evenings and weekends with his family and friends spending time with their horses.  In a helmet and jodhpurs riding his small buckskin quarterhorse named ’Wee Mite Buck’ he jumped everything, raced friends, and competed in the local 4H club.

At the age of 13, a trip to a cattle branding with his family changed Jonathan’s focus, spurring him toward another path with horses.  He was determined to be a cowboy.

For four seasons Jonathan worked at the historic Quilchena Cattle Company, one of the largest operating cattle ranches in Canada.  Living the cowboy life he rode the range by day and nestled in a cow camp at night, driving cows and branding calves come rain, snow or shine.  Each day was spent in the saddle.  A  teenaged-Jonathan could imagine nothing better.

In 1995 Jonathan’s family hosted a horsemanship demonstration at their ranch.  A cocky, brash young cowboy, Jonathan wasn’t prepared for what awaited him there.  The demonstrator was Pat Parelli; the legendary ’horse whisperer’ and trainer.   Witnessing the sensitive relationship between Pat and his horses turned Jonathan’s world upside down.  It opened his eyes to the unique possibility that one could have a special bond with horses.

Life so often shifts unexpectedly, and Jonathan decided to pursue a stable future with his family’s water well drilling company.  However, a well-drilling accident in the bush, 20 minutes from the nearest town, changed everything.

A 500-pound steel casing fell from 20 feet in the air after the supporting chain failed, landing on Jonathan’s arm.  Crushing and amputating all but the skin on his left wrist, he barely made it to the hospital as he witnessed the enormous loss of blood along the way.  Nearly succumbing to blood loss and shock during the ten hours of travel by plane and ambulance, Jonathan knew his horse career days were all but over.

Four doctors at Vancouver General Hospital decided to attempt the reattachment and rebuilding of Jonathan’s hand and wrist.  After a remarkable surgery, Jonathan awoke in a haze at the hospital’s Plastics and Burns Unit, uncertain of his future.

The doctors performed a miracle reattaching tendons, aligning bones and transplanting nerves in a surgery that wasn’t possible four years earlier.  The doctors phenomenally performed the technical work.  The real test, however, was that the future mobility of Jonathan’s hand would be entirely up to his own determination and attitude toward healing.

During the months of physical therapy and pain management that followed, Jonathan’s resilience and recovery were continually tested.  It played out on a day by day basis, continually marked by frustrating setbacks and delays.  At times it seemed as if it all were going nowhere.

His healing was arduously slow and painful.  He experienced phantom pains.  At times his hand and fingers would go numb, feeling no sensation or movement at all.  He struggled with post traumatic stress, recurring nightmares, and terrifying flashbacks.  He remembered the blood gushing out of his arm for hours on end on the long trip to the hospital.  It was a trauma that played endlessly in his head, over and over.

Struggling with the realities of his future and feeling sorry for what he had lost, Jonathan was about to encounter the one thing he needed most moving his life forward:  he listened to a good friend.

Late one night while working on his stretching exercises and martial arts conditioning with friend and Judo expert, Osamu Kasahara, their talk turned to Jonathan’s accident.

Osamu sensed Jonathan’s struggle and presented him with one of the most powerful thoughts he had ever heard.  

He said to Jonathan proddingly, “You have two choices: to suffer …or to heal.”

The reality of those simple words hit Jonathan like a rock.  Osamu had gently forced him to consider that the future was literally in his hands;  Jonathan would be the ultimate master of his own destiny.  It was an epiphany. 

Jonathan thought long and carefully and came to his decision.  He would turn a horrible situation around and heal; he would be a better and stronger person because of  the accident– instead of worse.

Jonathan will be the first to admit that prior to the accident he was neither a patient nor sympathetic man.  Had he been faced with a another friend in a similar situation, Jonathan’s reaction would have been different.  It would have been more along the lines of “Get over it,” “Cowboy up” or “It’s all in your head.”   That’s the cowboy way.

It’s often a different story when you’re the one who’s living in the saddle.  If not for Jonathan’s decision to heal, he would neither be as sympathetic as he is today nor the compassionate teacher for others.

The path of personal growth was a long journey for Jonathan.  It was one marked by difficult turning points and significant milestone markers along the way. 

A huge contributor towards his sensitivity and empathy, Jonathan now works and mentors both fearful horses and worried people in his new career.

It took a terrible accident and painful months of recovery to begin a journey that would change Jonathan forever, leading him to a new life with horses and a different perspective on life overall.


~Via Jonathan, Vimeo, Salazar

For Shannon Miranda, the Sampson & the Ellett families, 
and Navajo Trails Ranch


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Features, Media, Scene1 Comment

Guardians of the Temple


Burning Man and Meaning

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s fairly simple, actually. 

Life is precious.  Life is short.  Life should be a celebration. 

And your temple of sacred space for the celebration and reflection of life is anywhere and everywhere.

Since 2002, the Guardians have held an integral role at the Temple of Burning Man.

68,000 people from all over the world turned out for the radical arts event set in the remote Black Rock Desert of Nevada.  They came, they heard, they saw, and they burned.  For some, it was one big party.  For others, self-expression and freedom.  And for a few, a place for self-reflection and insight.

The Guardians, however, have remained largely invisible; holding space and place from the mysterious shadows of the playa.

Until now.



Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments

Your Mind is Not Your Own


Anywhere the Eye Can See

Lies an Iconic Consumer Image


Award-Winning Short Video



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s not yours and your mind is not your own.

Guy Trefler set out to flex his graphic design muscles and convey the message that nothing is original.

In Not Mine, a creative visual exploration of how everything’s been inspired by something else, we can see how our brain is implanted with millions of casted images throughout our life.

In a true whirlwind of brand names, logos, iconic imagery and memorable products, we’re made to realize that everything inspired something else at some point or the other.  It’s a fallacy to assume that anything is original anymore, but that doesn’t mean old ideas and concepts can’t be recombined, reconfigured, and reinterpreted to create something new and exciting.

Not Mine was created using a series of 469 images from Google’s image banks, which Trefler playfully labels as ‘not mine’ at the end of the film– showing a full breakdown of all the shots in the short.

His film reminds us how much and how often icons and images are thrust upon us.

Marketers and advertisers try their hardest to reach people while they’re watching TV or reading newspapers or magazines.  But consumers’ viewing and reading habits are so scattershot now that many advertisers say the best way to reach time-pressed consumers is to try to catch their eye at literally every turn.

And it has become ubiquitous. 

Researchers estimate a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with 5,000 today.  About half of the people surveyed in one study said they thought marketing and advertising today was overblown and out of control.

Expect more saturation on the horizon.  Old-fashioned billboards are now being converted to digital screens, and they’re considered to be the next big thing coming.  They allow advertisers to change messages frequently from remote computers, timing their pitches to sales events or the hour of the day.  

People can expect to see more of them not only along highways, but also in stores, gyms, gas stations, elevators, doctors’ offices and on the sides of buildings, marketing executives say.

It’s frightening to realize just how many images, advertisements, jingles, and worthless bits of subliminal garbage fill up the useless space in our heads like pieces of flotsam and jetsam.

Our brain cells could be put to so much better use if they were simply free of the clutter, conditioning, and the distraction being forced upon us without our consent, much less our conscious awareness.



Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

It’s Nappy-Poo Time!


Many Children Were Harmed
in the Making of This Video




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Chris Capel is a writer/director who describes himself
as passionate, creative and pine-scented.

He used to animate talking animals at DreamWorks Feature Animation for a living, but says he strives to one day be a big time director so he can just sit in a chair and tell people what to do.

He loves to write as well and is driven to tell entertaining and engaging offbeat humor stories of any level or size to whoever will pay attention. 

His Naptime! infomercial above is his all time dank favorite, following in the true Griswold family tradition.

Getting the intended twisted emotional response from his audience is considered by Chris to be the ultimate high.  Black tar heroin runs a close second.

Chris lives in Valencia with a cat, two rabbits and his wife Lindsey, who is an aspiring animal hoarder.

Thanks for your help getting our Sunday family snooze on, Chris.

* * * * * * * *


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Bringing Water and Life to Others



World Vision’s Zambia Water Project

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Greed is not good. 

Humanity, distribution, and the delivering of resources are good.

More children die from diseases caused by unsafe water than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.  1,600 children die every day from diarrhea because they lack something as simple as clean water.

Scarce, dirty water locks people into poverty.  Clean water not only gives life, it makes it possible for kids to attend school, for families to provide adequate nutrition, and for communities to prosper outside of poverty.

The current World Vision Water Project in Zambia  hopes to dramatically change life in four communities in desperate need.  The project is part of their overall goal to provide clean, safe water to one million new people this year.

50 percent of rural Zambians lack access to clean water, and 1 out of every 12 children die before the age of 5.

The World Vision project includes 133 new and rehabilitated water points, 1600 sanitation facilities, and 117 communities and schools trained in hygiene.  With the formation of 117 local water committees, Zambia will be equipped to maintain the water points and pay for its own repairs, helping to ensure clean water lasts for generations to come.

Clean water transforms entire communities for generations.  Without clean water, all else fails.  It’s a given necessity for progress and humanity.

We can solve the global water crisis within our lifetime.  For the first time in history, we have the technology, resources, and the distribution to bring clean water to every child on the planet.

The World Vision Organization is reaching more people with clean drinking water than any other non-governmental agency– an amazing one person every 30 seconds.  They believe they can provide clean water to an additional 5 million people in the next 3 years.

That may sound impossible– yet it’s already here, it’s happening, and the mission is entirely possible.

And yes, you can help.


~Via World Vision, Keith Rivers, Vimeo, and YouTube


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Environment, Media, Scene0 Comments

Urban Surfing



Let the Fun Times Roll

A Soon-To-Be Viral Video


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Devin Supertramp’s team has put it’s own twist on surfing 
for what they call “Urban Surfing.” 

They hit the wicked streets of San Francisco to create what looks like a giant slip ‘n slide.  After laying down some plastic and spraying on a bit of water and adding a few toys, they started the fun rolling.

We like the idea that just about anyone can do this.  It’s an instant urban park slip ‘n slide, a gathering of kids who like to slip, surf, skate, and slide, courtesy of your local fire hydrant and whatever tunes you might have available on hand. 

Oh, it probably takes a lot of plastic, a city permit,  liability insurance and some porta-potties, too.  You know how San Francisco goes. 

And kids really can have too much fun.  Slip and slides have always been fairly notorious for more than a few falls, twisted legs, broken elbows and dented chins.  Nothing says Summer fun quite like tequila shooters and lost teeth.  Fortunately youth these days are very malleable.

We only hope they know the Golden State of Cali is headlong into a drought.  Perhaps taking their plastic sand pails and filling them up, they watered down some thirsty urban trees while munching down some Bear Naked Granola before catching the next performance of
Beach Blanket Babylon.

Slip on.

* * * * * * * * *

Film by Devin Graham. 

Shot in San Francisco using the Canon RED Dragon, Phantom Miro, Canon 5D Mark III,
and GoPRO Hero3+ with Goscope poles, and a Glidecam HD 4000.

The music is ‘Hang Out’ by Radical Something.

Below is the interesting Behind-the Scenes In ‘n Out Takes for you camera junkies:




Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook


Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?


Self-Judgment and Worth:

A Woman’s Perspective


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


63 women were asked what they see when they look in the mirror.   
Their answers were surprising.

When I Look in the Mirror is a powerful behind-the-scenes exploration of each woman’s thoughts and insights as they take a deep look into the mirror and reflect on themselves and their experiences.

Dozens of interviews were conducted over the course of twelve days to cultivate this collection of voices.  From cancer survivors to a bullied middle school student, each woman’s answer is indicative of her unique life experiences.

Through interviews, vérité filming, and impromptu reflections, this short documentary from Everdream Pictures’ Kristelle Laroche and Ben Mullinkosson deeply explores female self-images, self-judgments, and ultimately, worth and self-love.

Everyone has their own individual beauty.  And no one can ever take that away from you.

* * * * * * * * *


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments



Life Goes On Against the Odds 

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Bill is fifty-two years old.

Sporting an unruly mountain man beard and chain smoking
Camel straights, he delivers pizza on a bike in Brooklyn.

Over the course of several shifts, filmmakers Christopher K. Walker and Michael Beach Nichol’s Delivery unveils an intriguing portrait of a man rushing through life and getting the food to your door while it’s still “hot and fresh” through the Big Apple’s crowded streets and back alleyways. 

And he works hard.

A local legend known for his fierce determination and deliverance to the job and his bicycle, Bill’s been through a hard and weathered life.  At the end of his shift he’ll often look for a place to sleep on a friend’s couch. 

His family and apartment are long gone; his future is limited.  Yet everyday he comes to work, making another hard-earned dollar through sheer perseverence.

Riding the City’s streets as a courier and pizza delivery guy for 30 years, Bill has no regrets.  As long as he can continue to ride his bike, he’s relatively happy. 

“The day I can no longer ride a bike better be the day I’m fucking dead,” he says.

To note, filmmakers Christopher K. Walker and Michael Beach Nichol run a documentary production company called No Weather Productions located in Brooklyn, NY.  Michael shoots and Chris edits. 

Sometimes they switch that up.


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Growing Up Bayou


Everyone is Happy to Give


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



At 82, Anna Mae Doucet sounds deeply comfortable
with herself and her life.

Doucet is a Cajun.

“I wouldn’t want to be anything else but a Cajun.  I’m happy.  I’m a very happy person,” she said. “Maybe the happiest person in the world.”

On a morning last spring, she sat across a small table from her doting great-granddaughter, Elise.

Doucet is a country girl, having lived along Louisiana’s Bayou Lafourche for 75 years. 

She is Elise’s “Mommee,” the matriarch of a family extending five generations, including 10 great-great-grandchildren who still live in the twists and turns of bayou country.

Growing up in Golden Meadow, Doucet and her six siblings wintered four months a year in the marsh where the rhythms of trapping annually consumed their father.  Then it was back on the bayou to fish and trawl for shrimp.

At home they grew vegetables, picked citrus and peaches, and cared for chickens and two cows. When people baked, they automatically shared a bit with neighbors.

They had no car, Doucet said. Nor, it seemed, did anyone else.  They were poor but she or her neighbors didn’t know it.  They had enough; or as she saw it, they had plenty.  Sometimes the clothes were hand-me-downs; sometimes the bathwater was shared among siblings.

There was no washing machine, dryer or dishwasher.  The labor was hard, but there was also leisure time. Neighbors looked out for another, kept up after each other’s children, and helped one another when needed.  Things—and food—were shared when someone needed it.  Everyone seemed happy to give.  It was a way of life.

They were a community; a tight-knit community, loving of each other and understandably wary of the world outside and its strangers they didn’t know.  There was no crime, no drugs, and to their point of view, no poverty, either.  Rich in relationships, they felt blessed.

“We still had a lot of time to visit, because we had no television,” Doucet explained.  “Wherever you wanted to go, you’d walk.  And you had people sitting on the porches, and everybody wanted to know everybody.  So we’d never get to where we were going to, too early.  Because Momma knew everybody, we’d stop and talk at the friends, you know?”

In time, Anna Mae met and married a fine young Cajun man. He had served in the Navy, came home from World War II and settled with Anna Mae in Golden Meadow to work as a marine engineer for the shrimpers.

In their 52 years together, they lost two children, but raised two more.

Life was hard.  There were struggles.  Little money.  New things wanting to be bought from far away.  Keeping clothes clean and shoes for the children in good stead.  Getting to school could be difficult depending on the weather, impending storms, and the boat-taxi ride to the schoolhouse 45 minutes away.

When hard times came, they moved for a few years to Brownsville Texas, where some other families from the bayou country moved to follow the shrimp.

After their return there was another family move, when they arranged to have their house in Golden Meadow jacked up, trucked to the bayou, and barged 10 or 12 miles upstream to Cut Off, where it sits today.  Old traditions and community roots die hard in this part of the country.

Doucet explained they wanted the safety of being a few extra miles inland during hurricane season.  She remembered riding out Hurricane Betsy in a schoolhouse in Raceland in 1965.  A tornado hit the place, blew out the windows, and hurled glass at the evacuees huddled inside, she said. 

The children were terrified but the adults had weathered many storms like this before.  There was safety among themselves, and with others in number.  And when all else failed, they always had their faith to rely upon.

Elise asked her Mommee some questions.

Does she believe in God?


Do you pray?


In English or French?

“Sometimes both.”

“And I’m your favorite, right?” teases Elise.

“Oh yeah,” replies Doucet, sweetly.

Then, thinking for a moment, she wisely adds…

“All of you are precious.  Whoever faces me is my favorite at that time.”


~Via New Orleans News, The Golden Age and Woodkid,
Vimeo, Jeremy Love and Zuda Comics


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments



Finding Identity


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Eri Hayward was born and raised in Utah County, Utah.

Coming from a conservative Mormon background, she was raised in the LDS Church and even went to Mormon private school – but something wasn’t adding up.

Eri was born a boy and it was a slow, painful journey for her to recognize she is transgender.

Friends at OHO Media met with Eri and her close-knit, supportive family this summer, just before she flew to Thailand for sexual reassignment surgery. 

A guest speaker at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University, Eri regularly talks about being a transgendered Mormon woman and reconciling her religion, personal beliefs, and one’s life experiences.

A sensitive portrait of a controversial subject, TransMormon was the winner of the Artistic Vision Award at the 2014 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, winner of the 2014 Utah Short Film of the Year Award, and the chosen Vimeo Staff Pick seen here.


If you liked this story, you might enjoy our other piece:  The Unusual Journey of Robina Asti.


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene3 Comments

Ballet Meets Robotics


A Strange and Perfect Union

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Ballet and robotics have come together in a bizarre
and beautiful way.

Although it seems contradictory, it turns out ballet and robotics have a rather remarkable chemistry. The practiced precision of the dancers and the highly controlled movement of the robot make for a strangely harmonious and completely original take on the classical art form.

Or so it seems, judging from filmmaker Tarik Abdel-Gawad’s film adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca Da Rimini ballet, seen above and below.

Described as “an experiment designed to synchronize dance choreography with robotic motion,” the film introduces San Francisco Ballet stars Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada as they perform highly perfected and precise steps to a massive robot-controlled moving camera designed to track and dance with them across the stage.

The close-up shots, tight and intimate, naturally fit with Tchaikovsky’s expressive and dramatic symphonic adaptation of Dante’s classic story– where Francesca and her
lover are eternally damned to Hell. 

“The film itself brings the viewer closer to a ballet performance than is possible on a stage.  Using a robot allows the camera to be choreographed– as well as the dancers– achieving spectacular shots designed specifically for the performance.  The end result is a film that makes viewers feel they’re in the room dancing with the performers,” Abdel-Gawad said.

It’s hard to argue with such a statement because the result is
spectacular and unique, upfront and personal.

Abdel-Gawad gracefully sums up the project as a breakthrough process that “demonstrated that it was possible to synchronize robotic motion with extremely complex athletic choreography.”

We see it as an innovation that will soon be taking root in Hollywood film production, especially as 3-D imaging and Matrix-like scenes evolve further.

Below is the very interesting behind-the-scenes look of how director Abdel-Gawad brought the whole enchilada together.

~Via Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Vimeo, Outer Places


Ballet Meets Robotics from Francesca Da Rimini Film on Vimeo.


If you liked the robotic element of this story,
you’ll really like our other fantastic piece here.


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Going All the Way


‘Roll the Dice’

Award-Winning Video

–and a ’Toon


Words by Charles Bukowski

Film by Willem Martinot
Narrated by Tom O’Bedlam

Game of Thrones by Zen Pencils



“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.”

Jack London


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Poetry0 Comments

Beat the Drum Slowly


A Dark & Haunted Poem


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Deco tower, rainbow fountain showers
Crystal columns, silver tabloid entry
The celebrity cemetery

A faded trail of a golden age
that flickered out into celluloid ashes
phantasms fantastic.

Outran the avalanche
Outran the avalanche
Outran the avalanche

To the cameras rolling

We beat the Drum slowly

The family jewels, the swimming pool
yards marked by emerald coffins
we heard crimes often and softly
A mystery mist, new systems shift
things recognized from television channels
nostalgia signals, unscrambled.

Outran the avalanche
Outran the avalanche

Outran the avalanche
To the cameras rolling

We beat the Drum slowly

 * * * * * * * * *

Dark, haunted, surreal and vacant. 
Shades of the arid West, a funeral march, Jim Morrison, an empty LA night.
Melancholy and society lost. 
Yeah, we liked it.

~Via Timber Timbre from their album ‘Hot Dreams’


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Music, Poetry0 Comments

The Faked Star Wars Footage Going Viral



Don’t Believe Everything You See



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Be one with the Farce.

It is an obvious hoax.  And at the same time, it’s a pretty impressive one.

A YouTube video titled Leaked Star Wars Episode VII Filmset Footage! has been viewed more than 3.5 million times– despite the fact that only a very small child would believe it was real.

The description claims:

“Looks like the Story of Star Wars plays on Earth too in the next episode.

I took these pictures on my Flight back from the States to Germany at the Frankfurt Airport.  

Seems like the biggest German airport plays a key role as an imperial starport in the new episode — there have just been imperial forces at the scene.”


The impression is reinforced further by implanted signs and superimposed real objects, shaky camerawork, and some arbitrary zooming in and out by the “photographer”.

But that definitely didn’t happen as the minute-long video shows Germany’s Frankfurt airport taken over by the forces of the Imperial army.

Walking AT-AT tanks plod along the runways, TIE fighters hover and take off, and the film’s familiar Storm Troopers stand guard at the perimeter fences.

In the final and perhaps most ridiculous shot, we pan up to see an obscured Death Star hazily looming over the city.

Who made it and why? 

No one is really sure.  The YouTube user uploading it using the common German name of “Frank Wunderlich” has never posted before or since.  

Could he be a front for a piece of subtle viral marketing?  Unlikely, says Philip Dobree, CEO of Jellyfish Pictures, a visual effects company.

“It definitely wouldn’t have been leaked by the makers of the film.  It’s not good enough, and there’s no reason for Disney to put out something of that quality,” Dobree said.  

The film is also not due out in theaters until December 2015.

Dobree estimates the fake footage must have taken about two weeks to complete, or more if the maker animated the walking tanks by himself.

“I’m guessing this is a fan that has just been playing around.  It is someone who is into visual effects and who has gotten hold of various models of Star Wars vehicles,” Dobree said.  

“It’s just a fan mucking about.”

Regardless, it’s a nice piece of CGI work.  Fake, but fun.

~Via Google News, Youtube, and Frank Wunderlich– whoever he is.



Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

The Nonstop Flow-Motion of Barcelona


Unique Visuals and Photography

Make for a Stellar Film Trip


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Staying home in Humboldt this summer?

Take a short two-minute trip to Barcelona!

In few other cities is it possible to walk from spectacular location to spectacular location.  Barcelona is one beautiful, cosmopolitan place; a photographer’s dream.

Photographer Rob Whitworth had a fantastic time adventuring around Barcelona’s winding streets making his ‘flow-motion’ film, a very fast moving Vimeo Staff Pick that’s unlike anything we’ve seen.

You get the easy end of the traveling camera stick here.  Rob reminds us that while his film is short, it took a lot of manpower to get it done.

How much effort?  Try 363 total hours of work. 

Yowza.  Let’s review the numbers:

There were 75 hours of logistics and travel.  31 hours scouting and finding the locations. Another 78 hours shooting film and 179 more spent in post-production hours.  Altogether, Rob compiled 26,014 raw camera files for a whopping 817 gigabytes of data.

And it took more than a few cameras and gear. 

How much do you ask?  Well, for you camera buffs out there, let’s try:

A Nikon camera D800 DSLR, a Nikon D7100 DSLR, another Nikon D7100 DSLR, and lastly, his favorite  Nikon model, a D3200 DSLR.  We guess Rob is a Nikon kind of guy? 

To note, he also used a wide arrangement of at least six special zooms, fisheyes, wide lenses and filters ranging from 10.5mm to 200mm.

For those having been to Barcelona, you will recognize the familiar locales Rob shot of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Gran Teater del Liceu, Sagrada Familia, Museu D’Historia De Barcelona, Palau de la Música, and the Santa Maria del Pi, among others.

Nice job, Rob. 

We hope you were able to enjoy the rest of what Barcelona has to offer– all the fine wine, sunshine, fashion, art and architecture, pretty ladies dressed to the heels, and the other beautiful things Spain has in store for everyone;  that is, when you weren’t glued behind the lens bringing us these wonderful and spectacular images.

If you like Rob Whitworth’s work, you might also like the other fast-motion Vimeo Staff Pick film he did, This is Shanghai.


~Courtesy of Rob Whitworth and Vimeo


Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Mad Max’s Road Warriors—With a Twist


Leave it Up to Those Aussie Bashers




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


We like the Aussie style of doing things. 
They’re a tough bunch.  And it’s oh so…

The NSW Variety Bash is Australia’s biggest motoring event, raising
more than a million dollars in August each year for kids in need.

It’s 110 weird, wacky, old and tricked-out vehicles run through 2,750
miles of Outback Hell and back. 

The 380 colorful characters who participate provide a unique spectacle akin to a circus caravan for the 17 towns that they visit along the way of New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

Given that the Bash criteria are that the vehicles must be pre-1974, the colorful convoy is truly something out of a Mad Max movie– but with a charitable cause in hand.

In the video above you’ll spot a spectacular array of vehicles spanning three decades from 1959 to 1974: cars, ambulances, buses and fire trucks.

The oldest car in the fleet is a 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon, while a 1964 ‘Chico Roll’ themed Wolseley 2480 MK2 proved to be the most enduring by having survived 25 previous rough and tumble Bash events.

Other classic cars hitting the road are two Rancheros, 32 Fords, 36 Holdens, some minis, a Volkswagen Beetle, Ramblers, two Chevy Bel Airs, an Austin, a ‘74 Ford F100 Ambulance, and 12 rugged, dirty and dust ridden rag-tag Mercedes.

They rock, roll, rattle and hum into the towns hosting them.  The Bashers deliver much needed resources like sporting equipment, play equipment or special needs/medical equipment along the way to the local schools they visit. 

Schools kids put on events.  Beer, games, Aussie camaraderie and celebration pour forth in great fanfare.  Hotels get into the act sponsoring their locales and favorite vehicles. 

In short, it’s one big party and a hella good time playing
Road Warrior along the dusty ruts of the Outback.  While
there are few real rules, blatant cheating and bribery are encouraged.  Please check your weapons at the door.

To take part in the Bash costs a tax deductible donation of $8,500 to Variety, the children’s charity.  Any amount raised above this may be used for the purpose of bribing and corrupting officials during the event.

Bashers travel in the guises of cowboys, hippies, mermaids, Indians, ladybugs, Smurfs, Shrek, the Flintstones, and Batman and Robin. 

The oldest basher is 80-year-young Beryl Driver; set to complete her 15th Bash dressed as a Mermaid and in her appropriately sea-themed 1963 EH Holden.  We said they were a tough bunch.

The Bash is not a race or a rally as much as it is a hellacious drive in the Outback with fellow like-minded fun raisers.  They drive the miles for the smiles; travelling to parts of Australia they wouldn’t normally see, ramshackling their vintage vehicles to all heck, driving like a bat outta hell, and at the same time raising money to support kids in need. 

Yeah, sounds like fun.  We like the Aussie style of getting things done. 

Since the first Bash began, the event has raised in excess of $115 million with who-knows-how-many miles piled on and cruisers wrecked. 

Someone should tell our local big money cannabis weed farmers of Southern Humboldt to put their jacked up 4X4s to a similarly good use and charitable cause.

~Via Vimeo, NSW Variety Bash,
and Australasian Paint and Panel


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt– and beyond.

Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments

Slip ‘N Slide Cliff Side



One Slick Ride to the Bottom of the Chasm


**Viral VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Yeah, it looks fun alright. 

Sun, water, scantily clad bodies, and a whole lotta height.

Ooh La La.  Finally.   A slip and slide extreme sport for sober, trained, mature adults. 
Like that would ever happen in real life.

Director Devin Graham released an online video garnering 3.5 million views in the past two weeks that features young kids sliding off a 50-foot cliff and landing in water in Utah.  The only thing is, the kids here are supposedly trained professionals. 

We think.

The participants take good advantage of the high drop by performing some twists and flips on the way down, but running a makeshift water slide all day in a dry, isolated location has its challenges.

A behind-the-scenes video (seen below) shows how the crew perched themselves on the cliff to record the slides.  There were a few issues with lack of water so they used environmentally friendly dish soap to ensure they could make it down the slide.  Judging from the scum gathering at the center of the pool, we’re not sure how ‘environmentally friendly it was.

Though it appears fun, it’s not appropriate for everyone who lives near large cliffs.

The stunts performed in this video were done by trained professionals and under the supervision of professionals; we insist that you do not try this at home,” the director warns in the video’s description.

Good idea.  Our day isn’t complete unless we suffer a mild concussion and completely blow out the family jewels.  And lay off the sauce unless you really want to knock yourself silly.  Or having to upchuck and enjoy your lunch and those Long Island Teas twice.

Still, it does look hella fun, doesn’t it?



Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Posted in Media, Scene1 Comment

Alone Again… Naturally


Keeping Body and Soul Together
Assuming Others’ Identities


Cannes Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Charles makes his very sad life happier.  By assuming the identities of others.

After his wife leaves him, Charles begins to assume the identities of strangers at a local coffee shop to avoid being alone.  All with the simple wave of the hand and a few well-placed half truths. 

It all works out for the best in the end.  Sort of.

A New Man, directed by Hughes William Thompson and supported by the Kevin Spacey Foundation, was based on the short story Healthy Start by Etgar Keret.  

A beautifully crafted and compelling short film, A New Man gained numerous accolades and the winner of the 2014 Cannes Lions Young Director Award in France.  It has aired at  number of festivals and was particularly well-received at the Academy-qualifying Palm Springs ShortFest in California and the NY Shorts Fest. 

Thompson himself is a young director, writer, and photographer living in New York with a flair for offbeat characters, surreal subjects, and a natural sense of wry humor in his films. 

We hope you like his unusual piece as much as we did.



Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

The Man Who Turned Paper Into Pixels


Claude Shannon:  Founding Father
of the Digital Age


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


He’s the man you never heard of, but should have. 

He was more important to our digital age than the familiar names of  Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. 

He was responsible for what we know today as the digital revolution.  If you’re reading this, you have him to thank.  He’s the guy who started it all.

Claude Elwood Shannon saw the change that no one saw coming:  the idea that we could take a book, a painting or a song, and send it through cables and wires or even thin air to the other end of the world– and it would be identical on the other side.  And that was back in 1948.

How did we make such a mind bending transition into the digital world?  And how does it work?  It turns out it was all based on Shannon’s concept that is surprisingly beautiful in its simplicity.  

The short video above tells us what that idea is in a nutshell,
and about the man who figured it all out.

Considered the founding father of electronic communications age, Claude Shannon was a mathematical engineer whose work on technical and engineering problems in the communications industry laid the groundwork for both the computer industry and telecommunications.

After he noticed the similarity between Boolean algebra and the telephone switching circuits, Shannon applied the principles to electrical systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1940.

While working at Bell Laboratories in 1942, he formulated a theory explaining the communication of information and worked on the problem of efficiently transmitting information. Shannon’s profound mathematical theory of communication— binary code– was the climax of his mathematical and engineering investigations.

The concept of entropy– a degree of uncertainty– was an important feature of Shannon’s theory, which he demonstrated to be equivalent to a shortage of the information contained in a message.

The entire science of information theory grew out of one electrifying paper that Shannon published in 1948, when he was a 32-years-old.

Shannon showed how the once-vague notion of information could be defined and quantified with absolute precision.  He demonstrated the essential unity of all information media, pointing out that text, telephone signals,
radio waves, pictures, film and every other mode of communication could be encoded in the universal language of binary digits, or bits– a term that his groundbreaking article was the first to use in print. 

In short, Shannon saw the move from analog information to
a digital one, and with great vision and clarity.

Shannon laid forth the idea that once information became digital, it could be transmitted without error. This was a breathtaking conceptual leap that led directly to such familiar and robust objects as computers, modems, CDs, MP3s, and even HDTV.  Without Shannon, computers and computer science could have been very different.

Shannon made many more discoveries and received a slew of prestigious awards, citations, honorary degrees and plaques, including the Nobel Prize, that filled an entire room of his house. 

He didn’t care to publish much, had a great sense of humor, and invented a mathematical model for juggling, a juggling unicycle, a device for solving Rubik’s Cubes, a chess playing machine that spit out wry comments along with its moves, a 600 foot stair lift to take his kids down to the lake, and a mechanical mouse capable of using stored information and artificial intelligence for navigating mazes and considered to be the first artificial learning device ever
created.  And that’s the short list.

Almost as important, as an MIT professor, Shannon taught scores of the nation’s brightest students his theories and applications of communication, electric relays, circuits and switches, and applied engineering and electrical mathematics.  His students revered him, and in turn, futhered his ideas by creating and  developing scores of the digital inventions and devices we use and enjoy today.

By1985, however, he and his wife began to notice certain lapses and eccentricities in his behavior.

He would go for a drive and forget how to get home.  In 1992, when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers was preparing to publish his collected papers, Shannon was disturbed to realize that he couldn’t remember writing many of them.  

By mid-1993, with his condition becoming apparent to everyone, the family confirmed what many had begun to suspect.  The once-brilliant genius, inventor, and renowned professor Claude Shannon had Alzheimer’s disease.  Later that year, his family reluctantly placed him in a nursing home.

Claude Shannon, the founding father of the information age and the digital revolution, died in 2001.


A fascinating man, his bio can be found at the New York University site here.

Curious?  You can read more about him here or in the Wikipedia entry here.

Even more interested?  Spend a few minutes on this lively piece in Technology Review.

Super interested?  Find out more in this very personal account.

 * * * * * * * * *


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.


Posted in Media, National, Scene0 Comments

Follow Your Fears


And Hold Onto Your Dreams

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Instead of trying to eliminate problems or avoid fears, run towards them.  They’re your first stepping stones
to greatness.

Consider Brad O’Neal.

O’Neal always had the dream since the age of 12 to be the first person to jump from level ground and off a ramp with his dirt bike– and then base jump on the way down as his bike crashed to the terra firma below.

That’s scary stuff for a 12-year-old.  But for O’Neal, it’s all about holding onto your childhood dreams when you encounter what seem to be impossible obstacles.

Now 26, he made the attempt becoming the first person to jump a motorcycle high enough to parachute from.  He built the ramp and completed the jump you see here– and successfully walked away from it safe and sound. 

He also set a world record by doing so, jumping 150 feet into the air before tossing out his chute.

Creating the dream was a beautiful struggle filled with much planning and many unexpected hurdles.  For O’Neal, he poured his heart out without hesitation and put everything on the line to make it happen.  

Witnessing his jump and describing the process reminds us that obstacles
don’t exist to stop you;  they only test how badly you want it.

Have fun …or die.


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Meet the Hoverboard in Real Life


Skating Above Air & Water




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s as awesome as it sounds.

If you have ever seen the second or third movies in the classic Back to the Future movie trilogy, then you know how cool the idea of a Hoverboard is.  

If you haven’t, the idea is simple.  It’s like a skateboard without wheels, allowing the rider to almost magically hover above the surface.

Devin Graham, a popular YouTube personality known for his extreme sports videos, got his hands on the slick water-based hoverboard in Cancun, Mexico.  Created by Zapata Racing, the hoverboard uses a 59-foot hose attached to a watercraft and can surprisingly jam up to heart-pounding speeds of 23 mph.

There have been various attempts over the years to create a Hoverboard, but nothing happened that was of any real use until now.  While it isn’t quite the same as in the movies, the water Hoverboard shown in this video grabbing a whopping 2.5 million views over the past two weeks is about as good as it comes for the time being.

We’re still waiting for a real-life air Hoverboard to hit the streets near us sometime soon.

Below is the behind-the-scenes look of how Devin made this video:



Devin would want us to include this for your extreme sport curiousity: 

Sponsoring the filming and production, Rocky Mountain Flyboard is the largest Flyboard operation in the US, selling Hoverboards, Flyboards, parts & accessories.  They have a Business Quick Start package for people who want to open a business and get up and running fast.

If you’re down in Mexico, check out AquAXtreme for Flyboard rentals in Cancun.  You can try one out and they’re the ones who hooked up Devin’s team with the equipment and logistics for the making of the viral video here.

Happy Hovering.

* * * * * * * * *


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Building Choppers: Born Free and Born Again


Tom Fugle’s Story

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



People build all kinds of things for as many reasons. 
But what’s the obsession about motorcycles?

If you ever had one, you would know.  The graceful beauty of the bike.  The roar of the engine, the ride of the road, the wind and world and a breath of timelessness whipping into your face and soul.  The independent freedom and motion and glide, the power and carefree excitement.  The mundane reality of an otherwise humdrum life turned upside down, making the spirit come alive feeling real and present. 

Although Tom Fugle isn’t a household name regarding choppers, his bikes and general way of life have been going on for well over four decades.  A living legend starting with his first builds in the early ’60s, it’s evident Tom was one of the first
and true pioneers of custom Harley motorcycles.

Working to complete his customized chopper for the Born Free motorcycle show, the 72-year-old long-time bike builder truly loves what he does, telling about his lifelong passion for choppers in the above video by Scott Pommier. 

After years of toiling in relative obscurity and near poverty, Tom’s work is finally getting some of the recognition it deserves, and after lovingly building customized bikes for a long, long time.

Tom is all about the love of old motorcycles, and like-minded individuals having a good time tinkering away in their own machine shops rebuilding the old bikes of the past– with the meditative art of creating new ones from the inspirations springing forth.


…For CJ Bowling and fellow bikers, with love and appreciation.
    Via Vimeo, Street Chopper, and Inner View


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Living on the Edge


Simply Do the Best You Can Do

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Thomas Bennett is a deeply personal documentary with a universal message about how we approach life.

Director Nathan Honnold’s captivating short film is a touching portrait of a man we’re probably more apt to ignoring.  Providing an insight into the Thomas’ life and mind, we take a journey through his upbringing, his collections, his home and his health.

Honnold described the film in his own words:

“Diversity is very important to me as a filmmaker, as long as the same thread weaves the stories together.

I have a fascination with “underdog” characters, certain characters who aren’t expected to succeed and live on the fringes of society.  When approaching a new filmmaking endeavor, the first thing is the struggling empathetic character, and then the world built around it.

I came to know Thomas through his voice.

One day while walking through the park with my camera, I heard a voice singing hymns through the trees.  As I followed the voice I found myself face to face with Thomas Bennett.  Immediately I knew I had found my character.

After he was done singing he informed me that he had already won an Emmy and an Oscar.  He told me being in a movie was one of his favorite things in the world and at that moment I knew we met for a reason.

Working on the film with Thomas was a great way to build our friendship.  We shot for about a year.

Every week during production I would bring my camera and let Thomas decide where he wanted to go.  Since Thomas doesn’t have a car, I would pick him up and we were able to visit faraway places that he had not been to in years.  The film became a documentation of our weekly hangouts.

There were certainly moments during production when I had conflicts between being a friend and being a filmmaker.  Those moments mainly happened when Thomas was having health issues.  Being a friend and a filmmaker in moments like those caused questions of exploitation and ethics, but I had to push through and still capture the moment.

The last time I saw Thomas Bennett was 2 days ago.

We still see each other often, and try to hang out each week. Currently his pin, and trophy collection is larger than ever, and he has a new award from the film winning the Atlanta Film Festival.

We still hang out at McDonalds and he orders the Big Mac, his favorite food, while proudly wearing tiaras and medals.

I hope after watching Thomas Bennett people see persons around them in a different way. Instead of overlooking someone, think about their story.

The last words Thomas speaks in the film are what I want people to walk away with:  “I just do the best I can.”

This is ultimately the best we can do.  And if Thomas is making
it work, anyone can.”

~Via Vimeo, Nathan Honnold, Thomas Bennett, Director’s Notes


Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Who Are You?


Portraits of Gods and Beasts


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Remi Chapeaublanc is quite the rugged individualist.

He’s the French photographer who set out solo to traverse Mongolia astride a motorcycle for 17,000 miles, carting camera equipment along with his food, tent, and toothbrush to go find himself amid the primitive wilderness.

The renowned photographer stumbled upon a wild and sparsely inhabited place where men and animals are mutually dependent on each other for survival.  He returned back to his native Paris four months later, capturing many unique and wonderful images.

Chapeaublanc is known for distilling an enigmatic environment down to the basic two fundamentals:  its people and its animals.  His raw portraits, made outside the studio, leave the viewer to judge the man, the animal, and the divine.

By exploring their rugged visual relationship, Chapeaublanc marries portraiture with documentary to create striking images that are so beautiful, so sparse, so real, you’ll swear you can still hear the wind whistling through the barren Mongol wilderness.


Gods & Beasts — English teaser from Remi Chapeaublanc // LeCrapo on Vimeo.


We suggest seeing these two videos on your large-screen settings.


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.


Posted in Features, Media, Scene1 Comment

The Hands We’re Given


Putting Them to Good Use

Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



“How true Daddy’s words were when he said:  all children must look after their own upbringing.

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”

~Anne Frank


As we grow older, we will discover that we have two hands:  one for helping ourself, the other for helping others.

The familiar story of Matthew 25:14-28 is of the master who gives three different servants an opportunity for using their hands.  It’s a short parable about good stewardship and investment.

Each servant in the story is given a specific amount of money called talents.

The first servant is given five talents.  The second servant is given two talents.  The third servant is given one talent.  Jesus says in telling the story that the master gave each servant an amount of talents based on their ability.

The first two servants invest their talents wisely.  They double their investment.  The third servant, however, chooses to bury and hide their talent out of fear. 

The master praises the first two servants for being useful with what was given to them.  They used their talents as tools.  However, the master is harsh with the third servant who chose to not put his single talent to good use with his own head and hands.

It’s a reminder of sorts:  we’ve all been given our two hands to use as talents;  one to receive with, and the other to give with.  Material things can be lost and stolen, burn and rust and decay, but no one can ever take those hands away.

If you want to see a change for the better, take those everyday things into your own precious hands and use them wisely.  And it is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

The world is a very different place for us to live in now.   We hold in our mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty.  And we simultaneously hold the ability to abolish all forms of human life. 

We need to use our hands—and our heads—wisely, each and every day. 

These are the hands we’re given.  Use them to make a place
worth living in– and showing just where our lives are going to.

* * * * * * * *


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Western Civilization


‘I Want It, I Want It, I Want It . . .’


Vimeo Staff Pick **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Lucas took one of those trips
That Americans of a certain rage

Must take—to find themselves.  In Utah
Lucas found himself marooned

In the wilderness, 50 miles
From society, covered in flop sweat

And Cheetos dust, perched on the roof
Of his teenaged Pinto as it neighed

A swan song.  His cowed cell phone crowed:
Out of range, where seldom is heard

A word.  Should he hike back to Moab
Should he wait for his satellite

To synch or should he scream like Job
And curse the day he was born?

To keep awake he stared at the sun
And sneezed.  After a week, he came to

Believe that snakelets were zagzigging
From his brain to his heart so that

He felt what he thought.  That was enough
To move Lucas from hood to the earth.

He mimed building a fire and cooking
A can of beans.  At dusk, Li Po,

Came down from the foothills, looking
For Keith Moon.  Lucas offered regrets

And faux joe.  They discussed The Who.
Substitute is their best song,” Lucas said.

The poet disagreed:  “Magic Bus
The version Live at Leeds.”

From the arroyo Steve-the-saguaro
Plucked his mesquite ukulele

As he sang, Thank My Lucky Stars
I’m a Black Hole  Lucas joined on

The chorus and Li Po shadow waltzed.
Later, over spirits, Li Po cupped

His ear and whispered, “Do you hear
The hoo-hah of hoof beats?  The great herd

Is here to lead Old Paint to that
Better place ‘where the graceful whooper

Goes gliding along like a handmaid
In a blissful dream.’  Lo siento.”

Then Lucas submitted to gravity.
When the highway patrol found him

He looked like a dried peach.  They emptied
Their canteens over his face until

His skin sprung back, like a Colt pistol,
To the lifelike.  On the bus ride home

Lucas slapped himself silly, chanting:
                                                                           I want it, I want it, I want it . . .

* * * * * * * *

Western Civilization is an animated poem written by
Peter Jay Shippy and Directed/Animated by Alicia Reece.

Peter Jay Shippy is the author of Thieves’ Latin, Alphaville,
and How to Build the Ghost in Your Attic.


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Features, Media, Scene1 Comment

Take On Me


Jeremy Weiss and his Deity Cryptkeeper



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Snow and ice all over your ramps?  No problem.  Just melt it off with a blow torch.

Freeride bike athlete Jeremy Weiss is the young dude who embraces his goonie riding style and keeps doin’ his thing.

A local to Kelowna, British Columbia, he moved to Markham, Ontario in October of 2013 to work on his biking and improve his skills over the winter months.  Jeremy primarily rides the indoor bike park on his Deity Cryptkeeper bike (which is also his sponsor) and has been consistently working on growing his list of tricks, indoors and out.

This videos above and below illustrate just how much Jeremy’s riding has improved over the past few months.

However, no one should ever subject themselves to the shame of running pads on the outside of their jeans. That says geek, not goon.  Regardless, it’s gnarly and the last clip of him squirreling out shows the underscoring humility of Jeremy despite all the accomplishments and trophies he’s earned over the years.

The riding, filming and tunes are gonna draw you into this way sticky wicket edit, so you might as well sit back and take it all in.


Deity: The Chamber from deity on Vimeo.


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

The Illusory Rapture of Woman


Womanhood, Femininity and Grace



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Stephanie Di Giusto’s film is a surrealist reflection on the femininity, assertiveness, and purity of women.

It’s also a love story of sorts.

Reflecting another side of femininity, it’s the stirring truthfulness of mysteriousness and strength with every look and movement that grabbed us. 

The short thread of this tale is tense in parts.  A confident gracefulness battles the frailty throughout.

Looking solemnly inwards, she runs away frightened by her dark double.  Perhaps it’s her mirror reflection, perhaps a sister in dreams.  White horses bolt, a wildness and impatient purity of energy and victory.

There’s the euphoria of flight and graceful movements, released from surface and reality.  The urban environment gives way to the natural.

Light headed, she is at the top of the tree of life, giving herself up to an appeasing sun.  Streaming along to a reflection in the water, she is a sensual rapture winging along to the evolution of all things.

Captivating and sensual, LØV is a unique spirit.  Di Giusto’s beautiful little film embodies a wholly different take altogether, capturing the very feminine and mysterious aura of womanhood that we’ve never seen or experienced before.


 Please share us and follow
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Making Art and Shutting Up


Making a Statement on White Trash


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


“There is a danger in overthinking and over verbalizing.

I can tell you, I know some artists that I really love their work but once they start talking about it, I’m like, shut up.”


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Kim Alsbrooks paints historical pictures and portraits on trash.  Although initially working out of Charleston, Kim now works and lives in Philadelphia.  Her work of important and well-to-do  people back in the day done on throwaway metal garbage has been exhibited in prestigious galleries throughout America, including the National Gallery in Washington DC.

Her style and philosophy of art  is unique.  Anyone can create it.  It can be made from almost anything you can find, she says.

Of her art painted on flattened cans that she calls Whitetrash, she notes:

“The trash is found flat, on the street.  One cannot flatten the trash.  It just doesn’t work.

It must be found so that there are no wrinkles in the middle and the graphic should be well centered.  Then the portraits are found that are complimentary to the particular trash.

Generally I depict miniature portraits from the watercolor on ivory era—the 17th-18th century more or less. The trash is gessoed in the oval shape, an image drawn in graphite, and then painted in oils and varnished.

I began in 2004 while living in Charleston, SC.  My friend, a Women’s history professor, got me thinking about historical biases and I began to consider the fallacies that lay before me.

What’s up with those people painted on ivory?”





 Please share us and follow
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments



A Family on the Brink


Vimeo Staff Pick **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Let’s put it out there.  This isn’t a pleasant feel-good film.

It’s a bit unpleasant and painful.  It cuts to the chase.  It’s reality. 
Families get that way when crisis and frustrations bubble to the

J. Casey Modderno’s short film Disgrace is a look at one family system
in turmoil.

Facing financial uncertainty and stress, a father confronts his teenage son about some items found in his bedroom.

Like many a teenage boy throughout history, Milo has himself a small stash of pornography, however his tastes veer to the more extreme side of sexual interaction.  Disturbed by his son’s prurient interests, Dad’s confrontation with Milo becomes all the more heated– until it boils over.

It’s a timely film of a damaged family.  The family environment is where the true intensity and disturbance originates.

It’s not simply a judgment on Milo’s sexual leanings.  The fact is, there’s a lot going on with the family.  From the financial stresses to the general interaction between the siblings and parents, there are hints that this one moment may be
the final spark that lights the powder keg. 

And if not this, it would have been something else.

This film is an intense experience.  And it’s impressive how up to the acting task everyone is.  Their performances are gritty and real, elevating the film’s intensity in such a way that one gets anxious and emotional just watching.  Presenting a level of engagement that one often hopes for when watching a film, it’s no wonder this harsh little gem garnered numerous film awards at screenings across the country.

In the end, Disgrace is a powerful piece of short film cinema, and a solid acting showpiece by all involved.

There are numerous layers beyond the obvious conflict.  You could run Nature vs. Nurture debates on this one back and forth, making the impact of the film far greater than its 14-minute running time.

The moral of the story? 

Remember when you were young.  Above all, be kind to yourself and your family.  Through thick and thin, good times and bad.


Please share us with others.
And we’d love you to join  us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Still Life


A Powerful Poem of Moments

Award-Winning VIDEO


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


How do we hold a moment?

That is the simple question posed and pondered within Still Life,
an incredible work by Zandrak Production and directed by Charles
Frank and Jake Oleson.

The short film shot in an intriguing guerrilla style blends some insightful prose
with mesmerizing visuals against the Big Apple backdrop of NYC.  Enjoy it on
the biggest screen you have, seeing the still moments come to motion.

After you finish watching you may look at things a little bit differently.  What  
is often ordinary can truly be extraordinary, depending upon the perspective
one takes.

You may even be more than inclined to contemplate the inquiry of the question,
walking the splendid streets of your own city, town, and yes, Humboldt.

* * * * * * * *


Like this article or others?

Please share it with others.
And we’d love you to join  us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Life, Love, and Grace


‘Love Can Happen to Anybody at any Time’




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


“Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. 

Love is like a virus.  It can happen to anybody at any time.”

~Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou had a way of crafting words together with complete grace and courtesy.

Turning thoughtful stories of someone’s life into something that’s relatable, dignified, powerful, and inspirational,  she pursued literary thoughtfulness, social justice, and compassion throughout her life.

She eloquently wrote and spoke about life, love, and living with grace; and she
always did so with a deep and profound sense of place, humility and humanity.

Angelou also wrote about death in her book, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.

“When I think of death and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors,” she wrote in 1993.

“I can accept the idea of the idea of my own demise, but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else. 
I answer the heroic question, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ with, “It is here in my heart and mind and memories.”

Life, Love and Grace.  Maya Angelou’s wise words and spirit will be missed by us all.


Maya Angelou, April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014



Please share with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Fight or Flight …or Whatever


A ‘Vimeo Staff Pick’ Short Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Life has some twisted humor even in the darkest of dark spots.

When Rob Norman’s home was broken into he could have
fought off his attackers or run away.

He chose to do neither.  When the door came down he
gave up completely, striking at the core of who he was.

Hidden somewhere here is the moral of the story.  
We don’t know what it is, but we do know we really
liked this little insightful flick nonetheless.


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Features, Media, Scene0 Comments

Never Give Up


The Story of Matt Tapia

**Award-Winning VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Born 3 months premature and weighing in at a mere 1.5 pounds, doctors only gave Matthew Tapia a 5% chance of

If he were to live, he would be unlikely to speak or walk. 

Matt did live.  And he defied the odds of just about everything.

18 years later, Matt is a senior at Santa Monica High School.  Gregarious and defiant, Matt used his stubbornness and inner strength not only to survive, but to put himself on track to attend UCLA next year and pursue his dream of sports broadcasting.

Heading into his senior year and a huge sports fan, Matt took advantage of an opportunity offered to him by a brave high school coach and some open-minded kids: he joined the football team.

Matt didn’t miss a practice all year.  His indomitable spirit and positive attitude inspired a team in search of an identity.  Rallying around Matt, they made him part of the team.  They hung out with him after school.  They looked out for him.

For a kid who battled continual teasing and bullying, being ostracized, and the stigma of mental illness his whole life, Matt found a band of brothers he could call family.

The team had a winning season and they marched into the 2nd round of the playoffs. 

But this season was more than about winning and losing.  It was about the ability to overcome obstacles and the power of never giving up.


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

The Very First Bungee Jump


You Don’t Have to be Crazy, but it Helps

**Award-Winning Short VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Leave it to those Down Under.

In 1980, with a healthy mix of imagination, a wild and crazy do-or-die attitude, and his roughly remembered memory of Newtonian physics, Chris Sigglekow jumped off a bridge and sailed into the annals of extreme sport history.

Sigglekow was driven to pursue the concept of jumping with elastic ropes with fellow enthusiast AJ Hackett.  Contacting a professor at the Auckland University to assist in the initial laboratory testing of rubber, they established a predictable formula for the manufacturing of the first Bungee Cord and its safe application for base jumping.

Little did Sigglekow and Hackett know that they would start a worldwide phenomenon of fellow thrill seekers taking a similar adrenaline-rushing plunge over rivers, canyons, caves, and from buildings, bridges, helicopters and cranes, on the multiple elastic lines of bungee cords woven together.

‘The Jump’ reveals unearthed footage of the Bungee beginnings and the amazing tale of its unsung Kiwi creator and his historic life-and-death leap of faith over the rail.



Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Pursuing the Meaningful Dream


Life’s Passion Through the Lens

**Award-Winning Short VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


We like inspiring stories about people. 

Everyday people who make something truly extraordinary
of themselves, rising up from adversity and challenge to create
something uniquely special.

Atiba Jefferson is a professional photographer from Colorado Springs, CO.

He discovered photography in high school and quickly developed a passion for the camera.  Since skateboarding was his first love, it naturally became his primary subject and focus in the lens for a meaningful life.

His desire to capture the movement of skateboarding, precisely how he saw it, pushed him to move out west to California– and chase his golden dream of being a photographer.

The Golden State has been good to him.  Atiba now shoots everything from skateboarding to Lakers games to portraits of world-famous musicians and athletes.

This short film gives a glimpse into life’s resiliency and how Atiba, from his first skateboard, humble origins, and with the help of his friends, achieved his dream of becoming a professional photographer.

* * * * * * * *


Please share us with others.
We’d love to have you with us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Of Bad Blood and Banjos


A Different Take on Slayer



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


In the video above, Rob Scallon totally crushes heavy metal band Slayer’s hit song Raining Blood.

By plucking on a banjo.  

The YouTube sensation knocked us out before with his superb guitar skills, playing 30 different songs in one minute.

Since being uploaded Monday, the latest clip has racked up nearly a million views.

Trust us: It’s some mind-blowing stuff done on the country stick. 

Who knew banjos could be so hardcore awesome?

* * * * * * * * * *

~Our hat tip goes out to friend CJ Bowling
& HuffPo.

Please share this and us with others.
We’d love to have you join us
on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

Skating for Peace


Cuba Skate

**Award-Winning VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Sport has the ability to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite in a way little else can.

It speaks to the youth in a language they understand.  Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.  It is an instrument for peace.

-Nelson Mandela


It’s a movement in motion.

In a country where a sport that represented social rebellion was unlikely to be tolerated, a small group of skaters created their own gear with whatever materials they could find– and started a small revolution.

Traffic is a playground.  Darting between smog-choked ’58 Chevys, Havana’s sidewalk surfers are both fluid and elusive, emerging long enough for passersby to catch a glimpse before dissipating into the waves of afternoon haze.

But, in the land of baseball, rum, and Castro (in that order), spotting these mercurial figures isn’t as hard as it used to be.  They are present more than ever, attached to four rackety wheels clattering over rutted pavement and ruptured sidewalks.

They are the faces of a sport on the rise:  the newest generation of Cuban skateboarders.

While skateboarding has been in Cuba for over three decades it has remained underground during the touchy political climate of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Around the world, the sport has always represented a level of social rebellion.  Its attitude wasn’t tolerated during the era that saw Castro tighten his political grip to keep his nation afloat.  

This was the atmosphere when Che Alejandro Pando Napoles began
skateboarding at age 10.

“I’ve been skating for 30 years,” says Napoles, a popular Havana tattoo artist and considered one of the founding members of skating in Cuba.  “In the beginning it was very difficult because there weren’t many materials…. No one had anything to skate with so they’d just invent things—boards, wheels, those kind of things.”

Slowly these little ingenuities birthed a small skate culture, and skaters like Che, as his boarding brethren know him, took to the streets of Havana.

They adopted the mantra, Patinar o Muerte (skate or die)—a clever play on Che Guevara’s famous call, Patria o Muerte (homeland or death)—and started hitting the small ledges, stair sets, and concrete structures around the city, and trying their hands at amateur filming.

Welcoming anyone wanting to skate, the pack frequented a public square that featured three small ledges and some park benches.  The spot, at the corner of the capital city’s 23 and G avenues, became a gathering spot for skaters and the namesake of Godfather Che’s 23yG posse.

“I began skating because one day I came here to 23rd and G and saw a lot of people skating, Che, and others,” says 23yG member Carlos Yandri, 17.   “I liked it, and ever since, skating has been part of my life.”

With the influence of the 23yG squad, the sport continued to gain a foothold on the island.  In the mid-2000s the crew built a skate park in Havana, the first in all of Cuba.

Though it could hardly be considered anything but graffiti on concrete with a few handrails and ramps, the park represented a major step forward for a community that for many years had been entirely invisible.

“I like to go to the skate park with my friends,” says skater Orlando Rosales. “We share tricks and skate styles with each other.”

But despite the increased interest, the most daunting fact remains: Cubans have no domestic access to skate gear.

While at first glance skaters dress and act much like their American and European counterparts, a closer look reveals ripped, blown-out footwear and boards sporting fault-line cracks patched with old bumper stickers.  Some even forego footwear altogether, sacrificing comfort and economy for a little more grip.

The recent relaxation of borders and an influx of tourists have helped.  The situation brings in a slow trickle of skate supplies from the outside world but Che describes the aid as, “just a small drop in a big ocean.”

Organizations like American-born Cuba Skate and its parent organization, Skating for Peace, along with private contributors like pro skaters Ryan Sheckler and Bob Burnquist, have landed boards and supplies in Cuba.

But the process is difficult.  

According to Che, packages must be small to get through strict Cuban customs offices, so there is no chance of delivering the mass supply of goods needed by skaters in the Caribbean nation.

Still, the sport has made inroads on the island.  For one, it no longer sits in the shadows.  The skate culture is young, vibrant and full of energy.  In many ways skaters embody the Cuban mentality: adapting to less-than-ideal conditions, and skating on whatever they have and wherever they can.

“SK8,” as it’s commonly referenced, has become engrained in the nation’s sport culture, a necessary place for the sport’s survival into the future. 

And it has a mission.  Cuba Skate says on their Facebook page:

We are Americans and Cubans.  We are skaters, surfers, and BMXers.  We are brothers who love and support each other in every facet of life.  

We will change the relations for the better between our two countries and we will do many other great things.


For many, including 23yG videographer Robert Gomez, a university student, skating is more than just a pastime. 

“If I didn’t skate,” Gomez says like any American youth, “I really don’t know what I’d do.”



Via Skating for Peace/Cuba Skate/Vimeo


Please share this and us with others
and we would love to have you join us
on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Media, Scene0 Comments

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Why labor unions are necessary
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2011 - If you came of age in the past ten years and don't belong to a union or come from a family of union members, chances are most of what you've heard about these labor organizations has been, on balance, negative. Which helps to explain why as late as a decade ago, two thirds of Americans app […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    The United Nations has said almost 24% of Gaza's population have fled their homes....UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told a UN Security Council hearing the total number of displaced people in Gaza now stands at 440,000. That includes 240,000 people who have sought refuge in UN shelters.1451 Palestinians, 59 Israelis DeadCoreLogic, a California compan […]
  • California's drought worsens
    Richard Brenneman - While all of the state remains in a condition of Severe Drought, the latest United States Drought Monitor map reveals a dramatic increase of in the region ranked in the most severe Exceptional Drought category, which now covers 58.4 percent of the Golden State, compared to last week’s 36.5 percent. The critically impacted region now inclu […]
  • Another corporate myth dismantled
    USA Today -  Bosses who yell, threaten and micromanage their way to the top, often at the expense of miserable underlings are all too common in today's workplaces.But the Tony Sopranos and Darth Vaders of popular culture are not the most effective CEOs in the real world, according to a new study from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State Un […]
  • Americans still overwhelmingly negative on a lower drinking age
    Alternet - A newly released Gallup study confirms that Americans on the whole are still very much a conservative bunch when it comes to alcohol. The majority still reject a federal law that would lower the minimum drinking age to 18.  A whopping 74 percent of the 1,013 adults aged 18 or older who were surveyed said they would oppose such legislation, which i […]
  • Corporate money causing civil rights group to go off course on net neutrality
    Huffington Post - The NAACP and several other major civil rights groups have emerged as flashpoints in the debate over net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.More than 40 civil rights groups are supporting broadband providers that oppose strict net neutrality rules. The civil rights groups say they're siding with th […]
  • The People's Party on campaign financing
    How Americans are distanced from both their major parties A majority of likely voters among Democrats (75%), Independents (64%) and Republicans (54%) see the wave of spending by Super PACs this election cycle as “wrong and leads to our elected officials representing the views of wealthy donors.”MORE […]
  • Meanwhile. . .
    The difference between Orwell and HuxleyStudents protesting against North Face Another bomb in DC's school test mania […]
  • How sanctions will really affect Russian oil
    Richard Heinberg, Ecowatch - The New York Times reports that “The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources.” The new sanctions would deny Russia access to western technology needed to access polar oil and deepwater oil, as well as tight oil produced by hydrofracturi […]
  • Action links
    NEWS   Action news   How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU Bad Ass Teachers BOYCOTTS Hobby Lobby IsraelAcademic/Cultural Koch Brothers Nestle Staples Walmart Monsanto Essays Where change really comes from Running out of change The Clinton-Obama-Alinsky myth   Activism […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    If global dumbing is not halted, we may wake up one morning and find that no one in this country knows how to make anything anymore. We may discover our dearest friends and relatives in a catatonic state before the TV and the device won't even be on. When we call for help we may find that 911 has become an endless loop voice mail system from which one c […]
  • Word
    The censorial power is in the people over the government and not in the government over the people -- James Madison […]
  • Bass players
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith, 2003 - Your editor has long held the view - although quietly for fear of being mugged - that one of the earliest signs of America's cultural collapse was the introduction of the disco drum machine. I was, to be sure, a drummer at the time, so the opinion may have been a bit premature and biased. Noneth […]
  • Young news
    Young news Colleges & universities Millenials down on marriage Generation gap Student loans & debt ESSAYS An apology to younger Americans Skull & Bones […]
  • Obamaadmin claims right to force Muslims to become snitches
    Firedog Lake - The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly List after they refused to become government informants in their community.In April, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Creative Law E […]