tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 11: the skateboarding edition

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


“Rodney Mullen – Freestyle Contest Oceanside 1986” on YouTube

This nearly-five minute video shows skater Rodney Mullen in a contest in Mississippi. This was one of his many wins in freestyle contests like this in the 1980s. Mullen is a legendary skater who was originally from Gainesville, Florida.

“Old School History of Skateboarding in Lafayette, UNCUT EDITION,” from 2012

This 10,000-word full version of an article that appeared in The Independent Weekly in 2009 offers a lengthy narrative about skaters in Louisiana from 1970 through 1990. The blog Psyouthern, where the article is posted, has as its subtitle “Deep South Blasting.”

“Skateboarding in Birmingham, Alabama (1995 – 2000)” on YouTube

This three-minute video shot on an old camcorder shows a group of skaters doing tricks, falling down some, and also getting run off by a sheriff’s deputy at the courthouse.

“Early 90s Old School Skating (Atlanta, GA 1990 – 1993)” on YouTube

Similar to the one above: three minutes of skating, this time in Atlanta.

“Old School Skateboard Contest 1987 Greenville, SC” on YouTube

Rather than live video, this is a slide how of pictures from a skate competition that appears to have taken place on a rural two-lane road.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 6

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


The Pope visited the University of South Carolina?, 1987

Apparently Pope John Paul made a stop in Columbia and gave a short speech there. In his opening remarks, he is quoted as saying, “For many months I have looked forward to my visit to South Carolina. It is a great joy for me finally to be here.” Linked above is the Vatican’s transcript of the speech, and here is the New York Times coverage of the event.

A look back at Atlanta in 1978 from ajc.com

This digital photo spread on the Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s website was posted in 2018, on the fortieth anniversary of these photos being taken. Of the twenty-four images, quite a few involve the Braves baseball team, music and bands, or construction.

George Wallace is shot, 1972

There were really two George Wallaces: the guy who the Boomers remember as leading pro-segregation forces in the South in the 1960s and who carried disgruntled whites with him into the ’70s, and the wheelchair-bound politician that Generation X remembers from the 1970s and ’80s. During a presidential campaign rally in Maryland in 1972, Wallace was shot, leaving him paralyzed. Later, the two-term segregationist would morph his image and approach, and gain another two more terms by courting votes from the same black people he opposed earlier in his career.

Judas Priest at Memphis’s Mid-South Coliseum, 1982

When folks think about the South and music, the idea is: country. However, mainstream pop, rock, R&B, and even punk bands played shows all over the South. This is a set list from a Judas Priest show in December 1982. That same year, Memphis hosted Fleetwood Mac, Morris Day and The Time, Rush, and AC/DC.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

An early springtime Deep Southern Gen X sampler, from “the lists”

The section in level:deepsouth called “the lists” is for collecting and sharing articles, sound files, videos, and images from Generation X’s early years in the Deep South and from today. Below is a sampler.

A History of the Swimming Pool Qs 

The band, which was formed in 1978, was on the forefront of New Wave in the Deep South. The Qs opened for The Police and were praised by The Village Voice and MTV’s Kurt Loder.

“Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites, from their self-titled 1986 album

This was the band’s only major hit, though a few other songs did break the Top 100 in the late ’80s. This one went all the way to #2 on the charts in 1987. 

What Haunts Us (documentary, 2018)

This latter-day documentary explores the suicides of six members of the Porter-Gaud School’s class of 1979. The film makes connections among the suicides, the elite school in Charleston, South Carolina,  and one charismatic faculty member who had been sexually abusing students. 


To find out how to contribute to “the lists,” check out the submit page.