In the wake of losing a loved one, how do you collect your thoughts enough to create a clear and concise message? The feelings come in waves. One second your smiling and reminiscing on great times shared and the next your tear ducts swell and a slightly darker shade of life looms over you. I could sit here all day typing and then backspacing trying to make this perfect, but simply put Dustin Hart was, nah fuck that, IS the man. So much to celebrate in regards to his life. So many great accomplishments in such a short time.
Whether you had known him for years, or you had met him once in passing, his heart was pure and it was apparent from afar. Dustin had many friends from all walks of life, but never picked favorites. When it came time to get in the car and go skate, if he chose to ride with you it made you feel special. Just his presence alone would lighten up even the darkest of moods or situations. He looked out for everyone. He would give you the shirt off his back, his last dollar, hell he would even get in trouble with his parents just so he could have you stay the night and not have to drive home.
Skateboarding has a funny way of exposing a person’s true character. The connection you share with someone standing right next to you, in the trenches as we like to call it, at the edge of total physical and mental exhaustion is so deep that everyone involved will remember those times for the rest of their lives. When you want to give up, your friends are there to push you that extra inch because they know you would do it for them. The countless hours you spend sitting in cars on the way to the next spot, sleeping on random floors in distant cities only because you saw some spot in a video, all of these experiences teach you certain life lessons that your average person doesn’t learn until much later in life, if at all. The comraderie and bond shared between you and your friends is thicker than blood. I couldn’t be more thankful that I got to share those bonds with Dustin.
Dustin Hart was more than just that scrawny kid from the suburbs of Atlanta. He was a household name for skateboarders in the Southeast. Dustin produced video parts packed full of mind blowing tricks that grown men should be doing, not some teenager. Those video parts received not just local attention, but national and even international recognition from skateboarders all over the world, and this was all before the kid even had a driver’s license. His reputation preceded him, but for someone outside of skateboarding, you would have never known. He was the epitome of humble. While having all the bragging rights in the world, he could have cared less.
Having known and been close to Dustin for the better part of 10 years, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. This is me sending off a hero, a best friend, a brother, a true warrior. Cheers Dustin. It’s only goodbye for now, not forever.