Amber Keddy – Girl skater and US Marine Corps
Här har ni en intervju med Amber Keddy från USA, en talangfull skateboardåkare som gjort både det ena och det andra. Amber jobbade i Sverige under juni månad och passade då på att besöka Bryggeriet skatepark några gånger. Hon var grym!
1. Name and age?
My name is Amber Lee Keddy, I am 26 years old.
2. How come you started skateboarding?
I started skateboarding when a little skate shop opened in my small town when I was 14- kids would watch videos in there and skate around town together, and one day when I was close to landing a kickflip on a friend’s board, EJ (who worked at the shop) said, ”why don’t you just get a board”… and so I did. Happier ever since.
3. How often do you skate nowdays?
These days, I skate whenever I can. Sometimes it’s 6 times per week, sometimes only once. The fever- or the madness associated with not wanting to do anything BUT skate- comes and goes. I never ride my board for any forced reasons. I never think of it as anything I should schedule or set aside time for, the desire just comes naturally, and often it’s the only thing that can make me feel right.
4. Tell me little about your trip to Sweden.
My trip to Sweden was epic. It could not have been better. My ”battle buddy” Cunningham and I had wanted to travel and explore somewhere when we got home from Iraq in February, so we chose Sweden. Its’ appeal was in that it was not a usual tourist destination. So we arranged to go ”W.W.O.O.F.ing” (Worldwide Workers On Organic Farms), so that we could have a place to stay and something to do right away when we arrived. We stayed for a couple weeks, met a really great family, built a gordshus (farm house) out of skinned logs, and we learned a little bit about organic farming, permaculture, and alternative eco-friendly building methods in the eco-village we stayed in. On our first weekend in Sweden, we randomly took the train to Malmo, and much to my surprise and great pleasure I met many different skateboarders. They were extremely welcoming and they were inspirational, for there was a goal in the process of being acheived there- Stapelbadds Parken. They showed me where Brygerriet was, and even lent me a board. So we loved Malmo so much we had to return, for the next 2 weekends! We also got to celebrate Midsummers night there. For the rest of our trip, we visited Hamburg for a few days (had a gun pulled on us in the train), Amsterdam for a few days, and spent a week and a half in a glass blowing village near Kosta with another skateboarder girl I know from America.
5. What do you do when you´re not skateboarding? Any work?
My professional life is made up of a few things at the moment. I joined the United States Marine Corps a few years ago and was recently deployed to Iraq. Just before I left for Iraq I had taken the Massachusetts Firefighter’s Exam, and got a high score, so I rank ninth on the list of people to be hired. When I do, I will be the first female firefighter ever in my town. Also for work, I work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and sometimes I do construction (roofing) with my Dad.
6. Explain how you got into military and little about youre experineces in Iraq?
I joined the military one hot day in July, after 9/11 and before anything erupted in Iraq. I had been spending all of my time working, just to get money to go away somewhere and skate. It was a fine life, but at 23 I decided I had to do something a little bit responsible, especially if I ever wanted to afford college. My unit was deployed to Iraq in August, 2004. From those miserable 129 degree Fahrenheit days in August until mid-December, I worked with my regular platoon doing construction on an air base, called Al Asad. Then for my last month and a half I was sent alone to Fallujah, where I would meet up with about 15 other female Marines. Our job was to work at Entry Control Points around the city, after major combat operations, and search Iraqi women who were re-entering their blown up city. Most were only returning to either nothing or badly damaged homes. There was no running water anywhere, or electricity, so they usually left and returned again every day. I was surprised to learn that the citizens in that city were very appreciative of our forces- on old lady even tried to kiss me. Fallujah was an incredible experience; I was both grateful to learn about the Iraqi culture more, and scared out of my brain. It is definitely on of the most dangerous cities. In, fact the first female Marine to ever die in Iraq died a couple weeks ago doing the same exact job I was doing there.
7. Did you see any Iraqi skaters and was it possible to skate there?
I did not see any Iraqi skaters. It was definitely no Malmo! One day, though, on the air base, I coerced a Hummer driver to take our Sergeant’s Hummer to some wierd metal structures I’d seen the week before. They were these extremely mellow transitions that must have been part of a building at some point, all piled on top of each other. I really turned it into a mission. Right after , I skated these bunkers that looked like pyramids. It was the only day I got to skate in 6 months.
8. What do you think of the skatescene in Malmo?
I think the skate scene in Malmo is something special. I could tell immediately, when I walked up to Per Magnusson as a total stranger in the middle of the city and said, ”Hey, is there a skate park in Malmo?” and he was welcoming, open and outgoing. There was a real sense of tightness and community there. It was like many had moved to Malmo to be part of the great skateboarding there, and it seems like it’s just getting bigger and better. And, a lot of the skaters are nice and old, like me. Ha ha.
Against Me!, Minor Threat, The Clash, Lynyrd Skynyrd… all classic rock.
10. Do you have any favourite skateboarders?
My favorite skateboarders are all the guys I started skateboarding with. They were always a true inspiration to me, and they showed me what skateboarding was and what it meant. I don’t pay attention to magazines or videos too much… I just like skaters who love it the same way I do- anyone who does it as an expression, as a way to feel pain or adrenaline, or as a way to spend time, it’s way better than watching TV all the time or working 100 hours a week.
11. Will you come back to Malmo when Stapelbaddsparken is done?
I WILL be back to Malmo when Stapelbaddsparken is done. Can’t wait.
12. Last words?
Thanks to all you guys there… you will see me again.