Jeani Elbaum

Outsider

I'm just the outsider. 

 

Athleticism, skill and grace are not mine. Those characteristics belong to the insiders. My appreciation has kept me fixated and led to this project. My subjects - the skaters - go along with it kindly enough, but if I went away no one would inquire as to my whereabouts. 

 

The insiders group together for support, but rib at each other like boys who are just turning into young men. Sometimes there is boredom and sameness. Other times there is laughter and excitement. For the insiders that is. I'm an outsider so I'm always just observing. 

 

One of the skaters is my son and all the others are his friends. During their high school years, at various different times, I was "the ride," the provider of food and beverage, said yes to four plus overnight guests on weekends, and given up various computer and TV screens for hours of YouTube skate video watching marathons. 

 

Being the observer has allowed me the opportunity to see the grace, beauty, simplicity, athleticism, dedication, frustration, sweat, tears, anger, desire, and the accomplishment of the insiders, in my own way. 

 

Jeani Elbaum, 2018

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