"Hey, what is that?" Mr. Biddy Martin, walked into my office last January and caught me red handed goofing off, watching digital videos on my computer. When I explained that it was a skateboarding session at the Frosty bowl at Vans skatepark in Houston, first he looked at me like I was nuts. After all, he knows me as a 48 year old business owner, not a punk skater. Then he told me he owned something that kinda' looked like that. He said he had an old pool in his back yard that used to be really nice, but since it wouldn't hold water anymore, it was just an eyesore. Cha ching! I backed up the video so he could get a good look at the trannies and I asked if his pool looked like that. He said "Yea, it's curved like that all the way to the bottom and round". I asked him if some friends and I could come clean it up and ride our skateboards in it. He looked at me with a puzzled smirk and said "If that's what you really want to do, come on over."
So, the next weekend, I got my old friend Jimmy Gonzalez to drive up from Houston and we went to work. Jimmy and I skated pools together back in the '70s. Jimmy was the first person to tell me back in '75 that a new wheel had come out made of urethane. Before that, we were skating steel and clay wheels. I had not skated a pool with Jimmy for over 20 years so that first Biddy Bowl session was priceless. As it turned out, the entire pool is ridable with great transitions all the way to the steps, a cavernous 9' bowl and perfect coping. We have had a dozen or more sessions since then. They have included Dan Wilkes, Craig Johnson, Ron the Ripper, Dusto, Dana Buck, Greg Stubbs and lots of other incredible shredders, too numerous to list. Every time, we have had Biddy's full permission. If he is home while we skate, he pulls up a lawn chair and watches in amazement as my friends do the impossible in his pool. If he leaves, he gives me a key to the house so we can use his restroom. Plus, he has never charged any of us one penny, although he does appreciate a six pack of Coors long necks. I bought his 11 year old son, Drew, a skateboard and we're teaching him how to ride his pool. When we didn't make it out last weekend, Drew called my cell phone Monday and wanted to know why we didn't show. I actually kind of got in trouble for not skating his pool. Unbelievable!
I've taken more than 20 different people over there and not one person has barged his pool or caused any trouble, whatsoever. Biddy actually told me recently that he was impressed by the caliber of people that pool skating attracts. Of course, we do the liability waiver thing and I don't take any kooks out there. Since he has no plans to repair or destroy the pool, this could wind up being a really cool spot for a really long time. "You can't hurt it. Don't worry about the plaster, tiles, or the coping." he said. Since photos and videos of the Biddy sessions are frequently posted on the Texas Poolsharks Website, his pool has become immortalized around the world. Here's to Biddy Martin, the best friend a pool skater ever had.