Eddie Roman: The Lizard Ditch Stall
The Lizard Ditch, somewhere in South Austin. I can say go looking all you want. But the sad truth is, spots that were once destination locations are now on Apple Maps and it’s not in my business to control the free flow of information. Let’s just say, it’s South Austin, on what used to be the peripheries of Austin.
Since it first appeared in Freestylin’ Magazine in November of 1988, I had wanted to go ride its pristine concrete waves and potentially wallride off one of the nearby fences. That was before I got old and came to the realization that riding someone’s property (and potentially breaking it) isn’t something I want to be doing in my late 40s.
Ironically enough, I lived here before this time and never went. It always got put on the back burner and I let it be. But this past January, I finally made it there. And it looked nothing like it did in the magazines. Unlike California spots that still look virtually the same as they did 30 years ago, Austin spots are prone to hot, hot summers and unexpectedly cold winters. It can also go from bone dry to flooded in no time. So take note: Weather still does what it’s supposed to do.
Erode. Discolor. Reshape.
But the concrete of old still remains in place and is still ride-able, even after 30 plus years of heat and storms. In fact, it’s become even more of a de facto skatepark than it used to be, perhaps because it’s slightly off the beaten path. And then there is the power box. In 1988, Eddie Roman stalled it. Then Sandy Carson did it in the early 2000s. And maybe a few other people have stepped to it since then. It’s large, far back from the bank and a commitment and a half of a rollback.
It’s also one of those things that made me think Eddie Roman wasn’t thinking on the same plane of existence as the rest of the people he was surrounded by during his BMX years. I already kinda knew/suspected that, but I didn’t expect to get extreme verification in Austin, Texas.