BGPs #2

Keenan Milton – Conversation – Yeah Right

The following testimonial is entirely fictional and based on a brief moment in Skateboarding history.

“He was so charming, such a wonderful smile. I do hope he paid off these loan sharks!”

Mary Kimble, a 75 year old lady from Melbourne remembers her brief encounter the late-great Chocolate Skateboards professional, Keenan Milton.

“I was just popping in to see the Father Green at St. Johns Church, when I ran into a small group of skateboarders riding up and down the pavement by the steps of the church. Even if I was younger than I am today, I don’t think I dared brave crossing their path as they took turns rushing past. But, a young black man stopped his friends and made sure I made it safely up the steps and into church.”

That young black man was Keenan Milton, a professional skateboarder and member of the highly acclaimed Chocolate Skateboards team. Keenan and friends were touring through Australia and his chance encounter with the elderly woman occurred during a brief stint in Melbourne, a city famous for the quality and abundance of street spots. 

“Even though the young man took the initiative to help me, I was drawn to him because he had a wonderful smile and manners. After the formal How do you do’s? I started up a brief conversation with the fellow and his friend who was filming everyone. I told him I didn’t mind being on camera as long as he got my good side. Ha!”

The recently retired Melbourne resident sat on her local council sourcing funds for district schools and recreational activities. Mary was aware that Melbourne hosted an annual skateboard championship contest, the Globe World Cup, and presumed Keenan and friends were taking part. Keenan, however, had a very different story.

“I used to work with youth activities a lot and I knew that Melbourne hosted a great skateboard championship of sorts. I queried the young man to see if he was taking part, but instead he had a most interesting tale. Apparently he was raising money to pay off people in New York. I am a frugal woman and the idea of being pursued by loan sharks sounds most terrible. The young man assured me with a smile that he was handling his business and would cover his debts sooner rather than later which was splendid to hear.”

As a professional skateboarder, Keenan Milton guaranteed his income through performing tricks for sponsors in videos and at demos. Naturally gifted, Keenan was one of an elite few to whom skateboarding was second nature. His powerful yet relaxed style was timeless.

“Even if our encounter was brief, it wasn’t until a year or so later that a couple of teenagers brought the event back to my attention by saying they had seen me in a skateboard video. It turns out, the young black man I spoke with was a very talented individual and popular with the youth. However, it was also with great sadness, that the teenagers informed me of the young man’s passing. Such a shame.”

Due to unconfirmed circumstances, Keenan Milton died during the early hours of 5 July 2001 at a party in Malibu, California. His passing sent a shock through the entire skateboard community and his memory is held in high regard by all that knew him. 

“Even if I hardly knew the young man, I felt it was important to celebrate his memory so I informed Father Green of his untimely passing and he was kind enough to mention him during his Sunday sermons. It is important for people to recognise the good in one another and help each other no matter how far we travel or who we meet along the way. I might not skateboard, especially at my age, but I did so appreciate Keenan’s courtesy. I am sure he will be fondly remembered and continues to do good deeds and tricks in the Lord’s company.”

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