Saturday, January 23, 2010


They Named A Skate Park After Him.

Written by: Larry Bao
Inspired By: Michael Shafer

Elwood, IN

Zach Clark would walk into my house when no one was there and just chill and watch TV. Once in a while he would steal something of ours and not tell us. Mainly food. We picked on him so I guess he was justified.

He would get out of his house and hang around our porch. Zack, Not to be confused with Zach Clark, was a 16 year old that could play the guitar. This Zack's last name was Summer. During summer time, Zack Summer would play his guitar. He'd strum the thing so fast and Zach Clark would sing his throat to oblivion. It was raspy and loud but something told me he could sing. All of it was a joke to Zach. The singing. My brother would mess around with the video camera (he wanted to make movies), and he would film Zach and Zack breaking their wrists, breaking their throats.

After that summer, Zach turned 11 years of age. He kept hanging around a lot often. A LOT often.
"My mom got a mohawk." Zach said.
So that's why he kept sitting on the rocking chair.

His family was white trash. We all knew. He hated his mom and only God knew where his dad was. I would say he was MIA. If Zach Clark showed up once in a while in the summer, I would say he showed up twice in a while in the fall. Still, he would go see his great uncle. Once in a while.
"He's a good guy." Zach would always remark.

We stole Zach's Bike, his only mode of transportation. He didn't get to move. We didn't want him to. His family was relocating because they lost a family member that mattered to the town. We rode the bike around, tearing up the tires and bailing the thing after ramping off a piece of wood. Zach would be behind us, running, trying to save his bike. I liked Zach. He never gave up.
The last jump of the night was crucial. The wood ramp was set by the creek. My brother bet me that I couldn't jump over it.
" Fuck him! I can do this Knievel style." I mumbled to myself.
I Bailed.
Somethings are left to the pros.
The bike flew into the creek, dented to hell. Zach salvaged all he could. He dived into the warm water. It was odd, the fishes swam away from me, but not Zach. The fish must have known something. It was all wrong. It felt wrong. And the creek smelled weird. He ran away with the frame and the tires without saying a word.

My brother later would laugh at me for not making the jump. I didn't care about the jump. Something else was on my mind.
"I hear Zach hung himself." I said.
"Yeah. His great uncle died" My brother said. "He was the only person he cared about."
I was careful to think. I cared to know why Zach hung himself in the kitchen at the age of 11 during fall season.

There's a skate park in Elwood I used to skate everyday. Skating was life. I had no other place to go. I didn't have a car and the second closest skate park was 50 miles away. I'm not going to skate there. The park was called Elwood Skate Park. Very Fitting.
"Holy Shit! Did you hear what happened?" A local boy at the skate park asked me.
"What?" I said.
" Zach Clark took a shit in the middle of the skate park! By the mini ramp! A big pile too!"
Kindly enough, the recreation's renamed the park.
Zach Clark Skate Park. I was never sure if it was before or after Zach's death. Zach Clark Skate Park. Nice and sound.

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