Otis “O” Barthoulameu R.I.P.

(1962, February 16, 2023)

O 4 Ever - Ed Templeton 2023
O 4 Ever – Ed Templeton 2023

Emotional day. The memorial / life celebration of the beloved by all *** @otisserie *** One of the finer specimens of human radness on this earth. A unique vintage of which was only minted in his particular era, and the mold has long been broken, so nothing like him can exist again. A denizen born out of the skate and music scene in Southern California’s early 80’s – a permanent couch-tourist who was omnipresent at anything of note happening in those cultures. Fugazi is in LA? O will be backstage. A session is happening late night with Natas and Gonz? O is there shooting photos. You need music for a skate video? You can trade O some product and use a Fluf song. Knock on your door at 2AM? It’s O driving back to SD from a concert in LA and needing a couch to sleep on, but your house is too hot so all the windows need to be opened up.

A true original. When I knew him best he was a near homeless nomad sleeping in his truck or on a network of couches across the skate world. He was mysterious. But he recognized my curiosity and desire to be part of his orbit, and he took me under his wing. My dad had long bailed and he was a sort of father figure. Driving me around to spots and dispensing nuggets of street knowledge and “O-ist” wisdom mixed with hair-raising stories and side-splittingly hilarious anecdotes about pooping. Nobody had more poop euphemisms than O.

So @deannatempleton and I start out on our drive south, both of us silent. I look over at her in her dress and I’m reminded of O showing up at our wedding 31 years ago in a T-shirt, and it transported me back to the early 90’s, Deanna and I haven’t changed but we have to confront the idea that O isn’t here anymore… We both burst into tears. At the memorial we hung about outside watching an endless stream of people who I did not recognize coming to the celebration. It’s amazing how many lives O touched. Thank you @gabsbee for being strong. You nailed it. Love to all of O’s friends. 🎶“A friend is a friend is a – friend is a friend is a – friend is a friend is a FRIEND.” -O.

Ed Templeton

Mister Otis was like a family member to us. All of us. He knew everybody. Spent a lot of time horsin around gigglin with that dude. Gettin gnar. Widdlin. Touchin British hams. Smugglin here, there and everywhere. Barging. How is it possible for a person to be literally everywhere at once? Even though he couldn’t eat anything, we ate a ton of tasty vittels. He loved MMH’s cooking. The ol’ one cheek sneak. He taught Lily and Maddie how to launch Boba. Turned em into tapioca terrorists. We connected with our mutual love for skateboarding, music and art. Our love for each other outgrew all of it. I’m just so sad right now. I can’t imagine our lives without him in it. He was at all the shows. He was there every time we skated. Went to Poods last night. El Pueblo after. Every time I see a Vespa. A nice guitar with too many pedals. 4 bolts in one and 3 in the other. Baseball caps. Corn. I’m not joking. He’s everywhere.

Mike Lohrman

Rest in peace O

When I first met @otisserie he was skating at the Flower St ditch in Santa Ana, CA, 1984. I knew we’d be friends for life. I mean, not many people introduce themselves by name and then follow up with them being a fat fuck… he continued to make me laugh with a rapid barrage of quick wit and random comments…. He made me laugh the rest of the session and every time i saw him from that time onwards.

O was one of the best photographers and I was lucky enough to have him shoot many of my favorite photos back in the 80’s. He’s left such a huge legacy for me and everyone that knew him … whether in skating, music, photography or any endeavor it always came from a place of passion, commitment, gratitude and friendship.

I’m gonna miss you. We’re all gonna miss you. Rest In Peace my friend. We’ll see you on the other side

Don Brown