My father came to this country as a youngster, his family escaping the political terror in their native Argentina. He didn’t speak a lick of English. Some of you understand what it’s like to be the "new kid" in town, thus understanding that his assimilation was not easy.
Nevertheless, he taught himself to speak our language by listening to the radio broadcasts of the San Francisco Giants. I’m assuming that once he got a firm grip of the American tongue, he began his rapid development, becoming the brilliant, passionate, and popular person many of you came to love and hate.
At home in The City, he juggled a rocky relationship with his own father. Though they both deeply loved each other, they often fought, and would painfully sustain periods of time without speaking to one another. It was during one of these disputes that his father died of a heart attack. Fausto was 24 years old.
Fausto had to step up and take care of the family. It was also around this time that he would meet the love of his life, my mother, while they both attended classes at San Francisco State University. He worked at a bar, he was a florist, a mechanic, and owned his own bicycle store. None of you probably knew that, because Fausto became “The Don” the day he discovered skateboarding. He loved sports, but skateboarding loved him. No rules, no uniforms, no censorship. He could say “Fuck you”, smoke a joint, and crack a brew. Pops could party.
He was skateboarding’s saving grace. When the industry was in the gutter, he gave it mouth to mouth. When corporate types tried to step, he remained independent. He did it all- publish, promote, market, and to top it off, he was a manufacturer. No made in china crap, he and his partner Eric did it all here in the ghetto of Hunter’s Point, USA. This legacy will never be broken. Made in America motherfuckers!
Yesterday, April 22nd, 2006, I received a phone call from my mom while I was out skating with the homies. My father, my one and only hero, had died of a heart attack. He was riding his bicycle with his best friend, Lin Ho, when his heart stopped beating.
I sped to the hospital to say my final goodbye. Entering the Emergency Room, I still grasped some ignorant fraction of hope that he could be brought back. However, that would be shattered as I entered his room, struck by the sight of my poor mother, kissing his lifeless face, running her fingers through his hair, and whispering into his ear, “My baby, my baby. Fausto, I love you so much. I’ll always love you.” I rushed to my mom’s side, kissing her, then throwing myself onto my father. I’d been robbed of my greatest source of happiness.
As I sit here today, the morning after, struggling to put pen to the paper, I realize that I may live for myself, but I lived for him. All I ever wanted in life was his approval, that Fausto stamp. Hearing him tell me he was proud of me gave me the greatest feeling of child-like bliss. I love you dad. Forever. I still have so much to prove to you. I’m in it until the wheels fall off…
SKATE AND DESTROY