Skateboarders vs PBA

Reflections from Focus reporter Dan Andrews…
The classic, age-old battle between youth and authority is occurring once again in downtown Knoxville, albeit in a unique location. Quietly tucked away behind the tall BB&T building and the Andrew Johnson Building is a brightly lit, smoothly paved, and, at nights, empty parking garage. Perfect for daring and free-spirited skateboarders.
On Monday, December 3, I attended the School Board Workshop and afterwards spent some time downtown. Upon arriving to my car, I heard the whizzing noises and gleeful screams of young skateboarders racing, zigging and zagging through the parking garage. The skateboarders would take the elevator to the top of the garage. They would then skate down the incline, passing each other, and making sweeping wide turns as they travelled at breathtaking speeds level after level. The garage is usually almost completely empty at night because it is primarily used by governmental employees who work normal business hours.
I really wanted to photograph the moment and write an article about it. But after a moment of pause, I thought it would be uncool if I wrote an article and the Public Building Authority which runs the garage, would crack down.
In that brief moment in the car I spent a good few minutes contemplating whether I wanted to be the “hard nosed journalistic reporter” or the cool adult that as a youth I always swore I would grow up to be. Youth in my heart won out.
As I started to drive out of the garage, I noticed a hard working PBA security officer starting to climb the stairs to check out what was going on. As I pulled out into the street a small part of me hoped that youth would with that security officer also.

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