Cherryvale Skateboard Company

Cherryvale Skateboard Company, founded by Valerie Phillips and Jason Gormley in Cherryvale, Kansas, April 12, 2006, is dedicated to the preservation of youthful idealism, naïve enthusiasms and unrealistic expectations.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


So. The show. The Santa Fe Lounge in the Leatherock Hotel is a good sized room that looks out onto the railroad tracks and the town's water tower. Bright winter sunlight streams onto the wood panelled walls as trains roll heavily by blasting their whistles. We couldn't have pictured a more perfect location. By 9.30 friday night, after an 11am start, we (well pretty much Jim) were done hanging the show. We stuffed our faces at Pizza Hut and crashed at the Leatherock that night. It felt good going to sleep with the work right next door. Saturday. Opening day. We woke up and didn't have a clue how things would pan out. We made some final adjustments and Jim went out to get snacks for the hoped for visitors. By the time he got back and we'd put some coffee on, folks were banging at the front door. Who knew? We'd expected to hand out a few flyers and drum up a tiny crowd but Wayne at the Leatherock Hotel had got us a mention in the papers and on the radio and a whole bunch of people showed up. All sorts. Little kids, old folks, youths - from all over Kansas. I don't know how many we had on that first day. 50? 60? A whole lot more than we expected anyway. We were really happy so many people got to see the work. And everyone seemed pretty happy with the show (except for one little guy who expected us to demonstrate skate tricks for him). That night, Larry fired up the barbie on the hotel's front porch and treated us to a Kansan bbq dinner. Thanks Larry. Come Sunday, we were all talked out and tired. But sure enough, as we returned to the hotel from breakfast in a nearby town (where a waitress recognized us from our picture on the front page of the Sunday Paper) cars were already pulling up for the show. Some local artists brought their work by for us to look at. One guy donated a skateboard photo he'd taken and even the Mayor of Cherryvale stopped by. It was a good day. A top weekend. The show all done, we packed everything up in double quick time and hit the road. We'd stayed in this most incredible place and met some good people. Especially Wayne and Larry at the Leatherock, who made sure the whole thing went really smoothly. We need to figure out what we're going to do for next year so we have an excuse to come back. Suggestions welcome.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Cherryvale - arrived 11am yesterday.
Leatherock Hotel - Beautiful place, couldn't have found a more perfect venue. Thanks Terri Bordner for the hook up. Wayne Hallowell and Larry at the hotel, brilliant. Unpacked boards, saw them together for first time. Outstanding. Got lost driving. Running on empty. Made it to gas station with a mile in hand. Jim's driving skill saves day. Kittys in the snow at Johnny and Linda's farm. Valerie even managed to get some work done on the next Lacy book. Thanks Lacy for bringing us to Cherryvale way back. Gotta go hang the show.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Bison Burger. Medium rare. Killian's Red. Tall glass. Frosty. (Veggie burger for Valerie). A fine end to the day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Gentleman Jim, our authentic English travelling companion, is doing his utmost to maintain a proper British accent. (Just today, a waitress said to him "I love your accent, I could lie down and listen to you all day." Jim said, "I'll make you a tape."). To avoid pronouncing WATER, “watta”, instead of “wortor”, he has appointed me (Jason) his dialect guardian. Nice move Jimbo. Pick a guy whose accent is part Aussie, part Anglo, part something you can’t quite place. Just the person for adjudicating on pronunciation issues. Uh huh.


Pennsylvania. Dutch Country. And home of family dining. We found it a bit tricky getting food AND beer in the same location until we stumbled across a little mexican place that was happy to serve us cervezas with our enchiladas and nachos. The next day we skipped to the far more agreeable state of Ohio. We passed through some amazing places. Our favourite, Cincinatti. Home town of the Afghan Wigs, they naturally provided the 'volume-to-11' soundtrack that accompanied our wide-screen-windscreen visual. Drive over a bridge and you're in Kentucky. A little over half an hour later and you're in the backwoods passing riverside trailer homes. Feels a million miles from the industrialised big city we just left. The next major metropolis we hit was Louisville, home of the Louisville Slugger - either official bat of major league baseball since 1884 or Muhammed Ali. It's a city we fear may well be on it's way to genericville. The downtown area has some hold outs but so much has been sanitised and cleansed of character. We went in search of an old time diner but came away empty stomached. So drove on to Indiana. There we were initiated into the White Castle. A place that serves eensy little burgers that you purchase by the sackload. Not quite up to American Serving Suggestion sizes yet, we opted to forgo the sack, which worked out just fine. We made the most of the last hours of daylight in New Albany, a town with some beautiful buildings in the downtown area, but with the wave of a developer's wad that could all change, and sure enough a new complex is under construction on the waterfront. We're now in Evansville, staying at a hotel that gives you free beer when you check in. Indiana rules.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Morning was an Austro-Germanic breakfast in New York that saw us collect two more boards courtesy of Hans Seeger and Jeff Kling. Hans passed over the simplest, cleanest piece of design we've seen yet, wearing these beautiful gloves he'd made out of an old jumper. He's pretty handy like that. Kling hauled out, not a skateboard, but a whole raft of ideas that were so much better than an actual skateboard we felt murderous towards him for a good five minutes. That threat level has now been downgraded to a punch on the nose. The presence of Jeff's family saved him from our jealous rage - hey Una, Rosina, Valeska. Then, with the red mist clearing, we hightailed it out of there, finished packing, picked up the rental car, and then met the book girl Monika come to life - she's done an amazing board that she says predicts the three possible future outcomes for our planet, amongst other things. We'll just have to take her word for it. Then we said goede dag to the Holland Tunnel and tot ziens to New York. We're now in Pennsylvania.



Thanks Jon Muddell for sorting the flyer, the hand out and getting sticker artwork together. Much appreciated.


Bernard Rosner is a man who likes to be on time. Early even. We had no problem getting his board back. He is also a man who has lots of ideas. The ones he discarded put our poor efforts to shame.


We picked up John's book, Perfect Example, and were mesmerized.
It dripped with humanity and soul and spirit. He also publishes King Cat Comics which collect similar moments of beautifully expressed warmth.


Michele knows tons about art and photography and jeans. Her influences include Joseph Cornell and King Ludwig II of Bavaria. She draws crazy cool comics and we're on a mission to expose her dark talents to an unsuspecting world.


Sara once painted Christmas tree ornaments of Valerie's sister's dogs. She held a show with Valerie, about gymnastics, in Amsterdam - She painted pictures, leotards and gym shoes and made an animated film about Nadia Comaneci. She also made Valerie a horse quilt. That alone qualified her for the Cherryvale Skateboard team.


Gary was born in Durant, Oklahoma. He draws, he paints, he makes music, performs light shows and he's won fistfuls of Emmys for his set designs on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. He's a bonafide original and guru of the highest order. We bow before his greatness.


Jason writes and art directs ads for his real job. He likes to lie quietly and read comics on Saturdays and eat almonds and drink beer. He has also been known to make the occasional greetings card.


Valerie loves horses and the Apollo moon landings and making books (She's done four so far). She was born in Manhattan and her favorite places are Hong Kong and Kansas and IHOP.


Tsz (pronounced Chi) is from Hong Kong. She likes bread. The stuff you eat, not spend. She draws a beautiful picture every day for her web diary. So every day we visit her site.


A couple of years back, Klaus released a beautiful book about Finland and the fantasy creatures and magical landscapes that lurk in it's wintery terrain. Essential viewing for folks with a brain and an imagination.


John was really nice to Valerie and said lots of nice stuff about her pictures so she invited him to join Cherryvale. He also happens to be a really good designer. So maybe that's the real reason. Maybe.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Lu lives to organise stuff and would really love to come over and clean your house, for fun. Really. When she's not straightening up the sofa cushions, she's a photographer and curator. And she's been an integral part of the Cherryvale Skateboard Company since its birth.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Lou is a fashion stylist. She has a good eye for detail and is incredibly inventive. She sells vintage clothes on ebay, loves horse back riding and sheds. Valerie adores her unconditionally. Jason doesn't know her quite that well.


Once upon a time, John taught people to be PE (Physical Education) teachers, he coached wheelchair athletes and gymnasts and Olympic Pole Vaulters. Now he trains youngsters to pole vault and acts as an expert witness in court cases. Who knows what he'll turn his hands to next? He has threatened to open a second-hand book shop. Most of his life he's been drawing these really technical drawings. We thought they'd look good on something other than graph paper.


Jon publishes his work in Bonehouse Books. He draws weirdly compelling, oddly affecting comics that are simple on the surface but work away at a deeper level.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


The London (U.K.) opening will take place on April 12, 2007 (venue tbc) which neatly ties in with Cherryvale Skateboard Company's one year anniversary.


Cherryvale Skateboard Company is holding the opening show in Cherryvale, Kansas, the weekend of Jan 27, 28 2007 at the Leatherock Hotel (pictured) 420 North Depot Street, right by the railway tracks near the center of town. Thanks to Terri Bordner, one of our good friends in Cherryvale, we've found this amazing hotel and we'll be putting on the show in their Santa Fe Lounge. All welcome, free entry. Check out the pics of the room (below) and the link to the Leatherock Hotel. We've got a bunch of boards to collect in New York and then we're driving out to Kansas. We can't wait to get there.