INTERVIEW BY BIG TIM KLEMONSKY
INTRODUCTION BY BIG TIM KLEMONSKY
PHOTOS BY KARIM GHONEM
Jay Burton, well there’s a lot to be said about the kid. I don’t think I can sum it all up in one little blurb, but I’d like to say there are a couple of people that you know are going to be life-long diehard skaters and then also the kids that have the talent that are born to skate, Jay is definitely one of those guys. Hopefully you’ll get the pleasure to watch him skate, because Jay can definitely ride like the wind.
“If you’re not putting your trick down, don’t give a shit. It’s motivating.”
Hey, Jay. Where are you right now?
I’m at Sneekers Cafe in Groton. They have jazz on Wednesday nights. I always come down here on Wednesdays. I have a drink and listen to some jazz music.
Where are you living now?
Right now I live in Groton, but I’m getting evicted. Two of my buddies and I have a killer spot next to the Groton Park. The landlord couldn’t pay for it, so we got evicted. So now I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do.
How old are you?
I am 23. I’ve been skating since I was 10.
How’s the skate scene there?
The skate scene is great. Groton Park is always a good time. It’s a good scene. It’s close to New York and Boston. It’s killer. I love it.
Who were you skating with in the early days at Groton?
Joe, Luke, Marcus, Chad Dodge, Turtle and Briggs. We had a pretty rad group of kids that all started at the same time that were all hyped on it. Groton is the spot.
You guys are like the rededicated hardcore crew. It’s nice to see. You had the nickname, Cory Webster, from Thrashin. Do you remember that?
[Laughs] Yeah. I wanted to be a Dagger, but I got Cory Webster instead.
It’s a hard knock life. You skate like a Dagger.
I think the first time I heard Cory Webster, it was either you or Sloppy Sam.
It was probably Sloppy Sam.
[Laughs] He originated that one.
What kind of obstacles do they have at Groton?
It’s a quirky park. You either love it or you hate it. Jeff Paprocki built it. It’s got all kinds of weird shit, and it all got started about 10 years ago. Every summer we try to add something to it, so it’s grown to become pretty rad.
Donny, Jeff, Sam, and you guys are helping out. Did you ever get time laying down concrete?
I did, but not as much as I would have liked. I go down there after work and bring a case of beer and be the relief guy for a minute. I got in there on a couple of pours.
How did Jeff get that going in the beginning?
They were doing spaghetti dinners and fundraisers. The park started out in an old pond that was full of frogs and turtles. They drained the whole pond and paved it with asphalt. It started with a pyramid and some crusty bowl in the back. Jeff took it over and started building shit.
I remember hearing some story about him riding around on a ten-speed bicycle with a sign trying to get elected for town council and he won. He’s like “I just want to be in charge of the skatepark.”
Yup. Now its pretty much free reign down there for us.
You see something new every year. I guess it would be like our version of a Burnside style thing, but the town promotes it, for sure.
Yeah, the town promotes it. It’s not totally free to go in there and do whatever, but it’s got that feel like the Burnside kind of thing. It’s just all the dudes and the hometown guys working on it and doing what we’ve got to do.