Burning Down The House With Daryl Angel

Burning Down The House With Daryl Angel

Words By Rory Parker

A small child with a book of matches is a happy child indeed. 

When you’re young, and blessed with innocent stupidity, the flicker of a flame devouring a small pile of brush is magical.  Burning hot and leaving nothing but ashes behind, fire is a catalyst that can turn even the most boring Summer afternoon into a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.  Of course, any kid with a halfway responsible parent knows that playing with fire is a big no- no, but one is never too young to learn life’s most important lesson: if something is taboo, it must be fun.

The one drawback to any kid’s pyromaniacal tendencies is that eventually you’re going to set something on fire you shouldn’t.  If you’re lucky the blaze you start will only devour a small field, or possibly a few classrooms at your elementary school.  A fire like that doesn’t really matter, after all, as long as you don’t get caught or fuck up anything that you, personally, care about, then who the fuck cares.  But, the unlucky firebug runs the risk of burning something they care about.

Switch Backside 180. Photo: Dan Zaslavsky

Daryl Angel, when he was seven years old, set fire to his parents’ home.  It was the result of a typically retarded childhood move, the type that always seems to prompt the old parental, “Just what in the fuck were you thinking?”  He’d built a fort in his backyard, constructed of an old couch and a number of blankets, and decided that a campfire in his cozy little nest would provide an ambience conducive to the type of weirdness little boys get up to alone in the dark.  A struck match alit the small pile of garbage he had provided as fuel, and nature took over from there.

Fire spreads quickly, and in no time at all it had run up the porch and started the roof burning.  All little Daryl Angel could do was watch. By the time the Fire Department arrived the back of the house was pretty well fucked, and though they managed to save the place, I’m sure Daryl Angel had some pretty pressing concerns regarding his future relationship with Mom and Dad.

Backside Smith Grind. Photo: Dan Zaslavsky

I’m not trying to say that his parents hit him, on that I’ve got no real indication one-way or the other.  But, if they did I’d understand.  Not because it would serve any real purpose, burnt is burnt and ain’t nothing gonna change that.  But violence can on occasion, so long as the proper level is used and it doesn’t become a case of postnatal abortion, be a cathartic release that benefits both the attacked and the aggressor.  After all, much better to take a few knocks upside the head from dear ol’ Dad than to be subjected to years of barely repressed hostility and resentment.  Physical wounds heal much more quickly than their psychological counterparts.  Plus, they help build character.

Gap To Nosegrind. Photo: Dan Zaslavsky

Nowadays Daryl Angel still lives at home.  He edits videos in his spare time and rides his skateboard the rest. Growing up in San Jose (a hotbed of skateboarding talent) it was inevitable that Daryl Angel would replace skateboarding with his tendency to burn things down. By and large, he’s just another typical skater, and like most, he is hesitant to tell too much to a stranger who calls him on the telephone.  And that’s too bad, because if I were trying to be a pro skater, I’d be pretty bummed to check out my profile in a mag and have it be as big a piece of shit as this one just was. Daryl’s sponsors are: Ezekiel, DC shoes (Flow), Chocolate, Force Trucks, Bones Bearings, Skateworks Board Shop, Diamond Hardware.

Ollie. Photo: Dan Zaslavsky

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