SO A LITTLE SUCCESS AT LAST! My first meeting has been achieved and obviously a huge amount of gratitude to Tony Hawks who has got this particular ball rolling. I mentioned last Friday that this was a most appropriate member of my 500 to kick it off, since Tony himself is not averse to taking part in curious experiments, such as travelling around Ireland with a fridge (for a bet), and trying to defeat each member of the Moldovan Football Team in a tennis match (for a bet).
I mentioned this meeting to a few of my friends before it took place, and one or two of them then proceeded to rambled on about some American skateboarder? I'm sure the British Tony is pretty fed up with the confusion. In fact his website has some rather amusing respones to letters that have been mistakenly sent to the American Tony HawkEs. See here:
So anyhow, as for the meeting itself...I received a call from Matt at the RNIB and was told that Tony would be waiting for me outside Wimbledon tube station at 12.45pm. I was a little concerned since it was already 10.15am and it usually takes a good two hours to wake Michael, my photographer and co-bet maker, from his Behemoth meets Rip Van Winkle slumber.
Well the journey down to Wimbledon itself was quite uneventful, apart from getting lost in Richmond Park and driving around it (it's ok, that's quite legal) for one and a half complete circles. At least the landscape and deers made for a nice diversion...In every sense of the word.
On getting to Wimbledon I had a blazing row with Michael, since he was desperate to buy a pack of cigarettes, not having had one for seven minutes. Not only were we pressed for time but I didn't particularly want Tony to meet us with Michael having a fag hanging out of his mouth. Michael, as is his want, shouted and swore endlessly and started to create a bit of a scene in the street and so for the greater good I relented.
The atmosphere was not helped by the fact that this day happened to be the last day of term for many schools and so we were surrounded by hordes of kids screaming to each other across the road. Conversations such as "Oi Bev! Oi! Oi! Oi Bev! Oi Bev! What time you going to Tash's Tonight?!" continued non-stop as we waited.
At approximately 12.50, Tony arrived with a Moldovan friend. We shook hands, had our photo taken, I asked Tony a few questions, he gave me a memento to be auctioned off and that was that, a thoroughly pleasant and accomodating man.