In some non-coronavirus related news, here’s a story we dug up on the skate legend Jeff Philips. He once outperformed Tony Hawk on hallucinogens.Over the unruly wildflowers and native grasses coloring the crest of Flag Pole Hill towers a thicket of century-old trees; if they could talk, they might tell tales of a boy in a man’s 6-foot-2 frame who loved to scale their trunks, perch in their loftiest limbs and look out across White Rock Lake at the Dallas skyline. They might spill dark secrets about the revered Lake Highlands High School alum — three-time national skateboarding champ, household name, cherished brother and son, animal lover, faithful friend — and why he shot himself in the head on Christmas morning in 1993.
That treehouse on Flag Pole Hill was Jeff’s cherished reprieve from a difficult world, says Jimmy Coleman — Jeff’s friend and erstwhile business partner — the one place he could go to quench his thirst for nature, but it was nondescript, “just a normal tree with some wood planks nailed in up high,” Coleman says.
If it’s still there (Coleman thinks it might be, although it’d be tough to find), rest assured no child can climb its rungs to perilous altitudes, because Jeff was precise regarding their placement — close enough for he and his friends to shinny up, but too far apart for little legs to reach a foothold. That’s the kind of guy he was, says East Dallas skater Woody Sigrist, who grew up skating at Jeff Phillips Skate Park.
“He cared about things like [children’s safety]. I didn’t have pads, couldn’t afford them, so he gave me some from his shop. That’s what I remember about Jeff.”
Coleman says he and Jeff and their buddies would hang out here, about a quarter-mile into the woods from, and 60-75 feet above, Jeff’s Flag Pole Hill abode, which was funded by cash competition prizes, sponsorships and sales of his Jeff Phillips signature boards, stickers, T-shirts and gear. On sturdy platforms, they drank beer and sometimes smoked joints rolled from Jeff’s “personal hydroponically grown stash,” according to Rolling Stone.
To read the rest of the story, click here.