It was a Sunday afternoon and our gang of friends came together to pay our respects and condolences to a good friend and a great talent we had lost the weekend earlier. We will forever remember the unique style and grace that Markis Rhoden bestowed upon our beloved skatepark. I had visited Markis a month ago (in June) during a trip to Orlando. He told me about his trip to the skatepark of Tampa, Braydenton Park and to many more great skate parks during his stay in Orlando but said “Emerson is my favorite park, nothing compares to it.”

We filmed a short video at John Goodman skatepark while I was there, and after several frustrating tries for him to get a switch front rock’n’roll  during his line, I said “Hey, Just pretend that Mike Stokes is on top of the quarter pipe yelling at you to “Land it dude!! Land it pussy!!””

Markis landed it the very next time and laughed and said that it was the only motivation he needed. He said he imagined both Stokes and Bruce hyping him up.

So Basically, THAT is what it is to be at Emerson skatepark. It is not the metal ramps, the brief squares of smooth ground we have left, or the central location of the park. It is the friends that make Emerson what it is, and Markis totally understood that. That is why the only way we know how to pay tribute to our friend that we lost so tragically is to do the very thing he loved. Skate the park with friends, pay tribute and and say the praise of what a great guy and skateboarder MArkis was. Here are the photos I took at the memorial skate session for Markis Rhoden at Emerson skatepark. Plus some videos created by his friends. #ShredForMarkis.

I was running late to the event that day. Sundays are usually a tough day for me because I usually have some kind of errand to run early afternoons and then around 5pm it’s off to work. Nevertheless, I made it to the park around 3:45 and saw the many cars lining the parking lot on my way in.

The biggest surprise to me is that it was raining in every other part of Jacksonville except  Emerson. Almost as if some divine intervention came through and made the weather stop just for the memorial. Usually it rains at Emerson and nowhere else. I even created meme about it a few years ago (on the right). It was been joked that the metal ramps create a magnetic field that drive the thunderstorms inward.