In the 1960s, an Air Force medic named Jack Smith made skateboards for kids on his base. Now, a half century later, his son – also Jack Smith – is skateboarding across the country in his father’s honor, raising money for the disease that devastated him.
“It was sad and difficult to watch,” Smith, of Morro Bay, said about his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s. “My dad had a very sharp mind.”
After ceremoniously leaving Morro Bay Thursday, Smith and four other skaters headed to Oregon, where they will officially launch their three-week relay trek to New York City. Smith, who publishes the “Skateboarder’s Journal” and owns the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum, has skateboarded cross-country three times in the past, once to raise money for Lowe syndrome, which claimed the life of his son, Jack, in 2003.
The trip will cover 3,000 miles on a straight shot from Newport, Oregon. A van will follow the team relay.
“You’re going so slow, you see everything,” Smith said.
Smith’s online journal of the trip, with photos, will be featured at sanluisobispo.com.