My friend Chris Grosso and I, went up to visit Donny Barley in Rhode Island to see what he has been up to. On the road to meet him, I kept thinking about all the amazing tricks he did in one of the first skate videos I ever saw, Welcome to Hell.
Meeting Donny and listening to his stories gave me a glimpse of how hard it must be to be an athlete trying to stay in the game. Which is a struggle I bet most athletes have. I also learned about how the economy affects skateboarders like him, especially with this inflation of young up-and-coming skaters who are taking the big checks and leaving the forgotten legends in the shadows.
It was pouring the day we went to visit Donny. We saw so many floods that consumed cars which were left abandoned in the middle of roads.
Donny puts on a skate school at this skatepark by his parents house. The money he makes from teaching goes right back to the skate park for future construction. He has already earned around $40,000 for the park.
This is Donny and his parents. They are very supportive of Donny and his skateboarding career. His mom had a few autographs for Donny to sign that local skaters passed on to her.
This is Donny in front of his skate shop in Rhode Island. There is a corporate skate shop in the mall near by that just opened up thats been taking away from his business, so if you find yourself at a Zummies in Rhode Island, then…uhhh…don’t buy anything.
When we were saying our good-byes, Donny told us a with fire in his eyes, that we haven’t seen his last “great” skate part. So be on the look out.