Monday, January 22, 2007

Missing friend....the end of an era...

My friend Ted Maluchnik started a skateboard club back in 1991 to get kids to come to church. The church became uncomfortable with us skating around the property and asked Ted to disband the group. Instead of sending us away, he left the church, and started a skateboard shop called Streetlevel. Originally it was in an old run down basement in downtown Traverse City. The windows were literally at "street level". As the skate craze grew, died, and grew again, Ted supplied us with high quality equiptment at near wholesale prices.

Fast forward to a new decade. We are all grown up now. I am 30 years old with a two year old. I have a career and can't afford falling on concrete like I could at eighteen(which is why I took up paddling). The loyal skaters that supported Ted have all grown up and moved away. As the years have gown by, more and more big box stores are selling the equiptment. Ted has been fighting a losing battle trying to keep the store going.

A couple weeks ago I drove by Streetlevel, now above ground in a new location, and saw this:

I hate to see stores just close like that. Ted deserved a going away party or something. The guy is amazing. But since I don't have an email for him, and his phones are disconnected, I don't know how he is or what the story was with the shop. He is just gone and I can't seem to find anyone that knows where he went.

Ted, thanks for the years of great service and caring about the kids. I wish I could have kept you in business myself but my days of thrashin' concrete are over. You are great. I hope where ever you are, you are well.

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