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Thriving in the Badlands!

This blog captures some of the memories of life in the Badlands of Southern California during the 1970's & 80's. Some youth withered, some floundered, and a precious few thrived.

Michael Leavitt moved to Pomona, California in late 1976 during his 10th-grade year. Opting to attend Ganesha High School he quickly found himself like a fish out of water amongst the majority that knew little about either skateboarding and surfing. In the next few years, he progressed as a skateboarder and found a whole underground community...

Michael Leavitt moved to Pomona, California in late 1976 during his 10th-grade year. Opting to attend Ganesha High School he quickly found himself like a fish out of water amongst the majority that knew little about either skateboarding and surfing. In the next few years, he progressed as a skateboarder and found a whole underground community of other skaters who had the passion and desire to master bank, vertical, and pool skating. This region of Southern California became known as the Badlands and everything revolved around the happenings at the Pipeline Skatepark!

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ISSUE 002 - REAL OR HOAX? - DEVO Visits Pomona Pipe & Pool Co.

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REAL OR HOAX? - DEVO Visits Pomona Pipe & Pool Co. ISSUE 002 - MARCH 22, 2020 - DEVO had a huge influence on the Southern California skateboarding world. Their music was quirky and trailblazing. They incorporated synthesizers and they made the bold prophecy that in the not too distant future there would be music made completely with synthesizers and no guitars. What? No guitars? That was it for me, they were immediately wiped from my radar. Back in the late 1970's, I was busy making and selling "Disco Sucks!" t-shirts created with silk screening equipment in my high school graphics class. I prided myself on my staying true to rock and roll with lots of heavy drums, bass, and guitars. New wave and punk were tolerated, but for me, I wante...
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POMONA 1976 - How Did I Ever Get Here?

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ISSUE 001 - INTRODUCTION - How did I get here? MARCH 21, 2020 - I hated our move to Pomona, California. I was two months into the 10th grade. I had survived three years of Mexican gang-banger torment at Washington Irving Junior High in NE Los Angeles. Irving is positioned just to the NE of Dodger's Stadium where Highland Park, Glassell Park, Atwater, Glendale, and Eagle Rock collide. I had finally graduated and moved on to the predominantly caucasian Eagle Rock High School, and I had felt like I was set free in loving paradise. Being 1976, there was a huge party atmosphere, but my love for skateboarding, surfing, and "Surfer Girls" seemed to allow me to fit right into the student body. That interim summer I had already taken driver's ed at ...
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