RIP Jeff Grosso
I’ve posted this one before and I’ll probably post it again. As always when friends die we examine them, and I always realize that the people who pass will be missed because of how they made us feel about ourselves. I had ups and downs with Jeff over the years, but he always made me feel good about myself and we connected over skateboarding, but also over our shared love of music and the same bands. Connecting is easy when you’re young. I was 18 and he 17 when this photo was taken Summer 85. By the time he came to Woodward in 1992 he was already a hilariously harsh critic and vibe-thrower.
Today Kristy Brauch reminded me of the time everyone went on a horseback ride and Chuck Wampler fell off his horse at a gallop. Grosso never stopped laughing and poking fun, making us practically fall off our horses laughing—at least one young lady peed her saddle. Grosso led the posse back to camp, refusing to stop the horses for Chuck, who then got lost in the woods for six hours. After worry set in, Jeff was leading the charge to look for Chuck when he walked in. Grosso was the first to give a big hug and welcome back, first to get the story, + then, of course, the first to start right in on Chuck’s dumb ass for falling off and getting lost in the first place. He made sure Chuck knew he was loved, and then let him know he thought Chuck could do better.
Jeff was at my house for his 40th birthday, skating, and I’ll never forget him pulling up shirt, rubbing his belly and loudly declaring “this is 40, baby, what do you got to say about it?”
Later, as I got involved with USA Skateboarding and recently the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, we had some amazing—and sometimes tough—discussions that I’ll cherish and laugh about the rest of my life. Even when he disagreed with what I was doing, he still took the time to call and talk about it. He gave his time and his love. Is there anything that makes us feel better? And that’s why I’ll miss him. Each time we lose a friend or hero from our community, it makes me remember to tell those still living how important they are. Give ‘em the flowers while they’re still alive to smell ‘em.Mark Waters – 2019