Joshua Silva • Heelflip • Providence, RI • 2022

‘That temporary bad part of my life was there to push me into what would be the best part of my entire life.’

Lucky St. Angelo

April 2024

Are you lucky?
Well, it is my name but I’m just as fortunate as anybody else.

How did you get into skateboarding?
When I was 9, I would visit my dad who lived in Coventry and at the time and I had this stepbrother who would always beat me up and just give me hell. One day they took me to the park and showed me this skatepark they were building, and I had never really seen one before, I thought it was so cool. So, I started going there every weekend that next summer to get away from my stepbrother. From that point on it was my whole life.

Sounds like a script for a skateboard-inspired Hollywood movie. You must be somewhat thankful to your bullish stepbrother?
(Laughing). I never thought of it that way, but it really does now that you say it, and absolutely. Everything happens for a reason and at this point in my life I can look at it in hindsight and see that – that temporary bad part of my life was there to push me into what would be the best part of my entire life. It’s funny how things work out.

First pro board?
Technically, it was a Mike McGill board from Walmart that had the pro shape and concave and all, but really it was this Dogtown deck I got at an airsoft/ paintball shop near my house. It was the only deck they had. I was so hyped I would sleep with it before I got any trucks and wheels for it. The graphic was super sick. It was this Dogtown candle at the deep end of a pool melting onto the coping. There were like lawn chairs and dogs it was sick. I look for it sometimes but can never find it. If anyone knows what graphic that is, please let me know. (laughing).

Walmart sold Powell Peralta’s Mike McGill boards?
I’m not positive if it was a Powell Peralta, I mean it must have been. But all I remember is that it said Mike McGill. I forget what the graphic was, but I just remember that name stuck with me because I was so hyped on it and I remember people asking who Mike McGill was and I didn’t even know until I saw him on some Fuel TV show or Tony Hawk’s Trick Tips episode. Might have to do some research on that one now.

Kevin Bosch • Melon grab • Trinity, RI • 2018

I assume you started taking pictures while you were out with an injury?
Actually I got into it in high school, I had a polaroid sun 660 camera and Impossible Project, now “Polaroid” had just started remaking integral film so I would spend all my money from my job at this roller skating rink on film pretty much. Aside from boards and shoes. I was still skating heavily, so it was just a pastime thing. Then I got my first 35mm camera after asking AJ Catholdi, who was the local photographer back then, all about cameras and such and got into it more, but again, it fell to the wayside because of skating. But not long after I learned how to process my own B&W film at home and it changed everything for me, I got big into treet/documentary photography and naturally just took photos when out with friends skating or just hanging out. But yes, when I got hurt a few years ago is when I really sunk deep into it and it really started to bridge the gap for photography and skating for me now that I can’t skate anymore.

Is there one skateshot you wish you had taken?
There’s a lot. I really couldn’t pick one. Especially in my circumstance where in past years I always skated and didn’t take many “skate” photos. I can’t help but now, think back to all the photos I could have taken if maybe I just got a solid SLR/DSLR with a fisheye or any lens for that matter. Opposed to some crazy polaroid camera or medium format camera. So, I’m hoping I can make up for lost time now. (laughing).

‘They wanted their money back etc. It was pretty rough.’

Eddy Ecuaeo • Ollie • Providence, RI • 2022

Proudest moment as a photographer?
I would say when I finally had film processing down, there’s a million ways to do it. To learn how to do it, and then fine tune it to your preference, it’s the equivalent of learning a new trick and having it locked and you can switch it up if you want because you have enough control to break the rules to your liking. That and setting up my darkroom I held on to equipment for years until I had space for it so it feels good.

Most embarrassing?
When I was younger, I worked at a call center and word got out that I was a photographer, mind you, at the time I was still very much experimenting with film and really just starting to get my technique down. I hadn’t done any commercial or freelance work or ever used a digital camera yet. So this one guy asks if I would shoot his wedding, and he barely had a budget. So, I told him what the deal was. I let him know I’m no professional, at the time, but I can get him something half decent. He had about a 250-dollar budget. I had a canon T3i with a kit lens and 1 sunpak flash. Just not ideal in terms of set up. The day of the wedding it was pouring, and the ceremony was outside at a park, we had agreed I would only shoot the ceremony and not the reception. He texts me and asks me to meet him at a local Chinese buffet because they were going to do a ceremony there. I knew I should have said no but I really wanted to do him a favor and build a reputation. So, I went and it was in the room that you can rent out in those places. It was tiny, tiny, and filled with people. It was just a recipe for disaster. I really did my best with what I had, and the photos could have been a lot worse. But when I sent them over they were not happy at all. They wanted their money back etc. It was pretty rough.

Jerico • Kickflip • RI • 2022

How would you describe the Rhode Island skateboard scene and its community?
I would say the scene in Rhode Island is ever evolving and very diverse. There’s a lot of creative people in the scene constantly contributing, whether it’s a homies art show, or someone starting a board company, their music on SoundCloud, skate events, or video premiere, clothing companies, there’s always something bringing everyone together. I think a big part of it is a product of the rich history and its continued presence. No matter the generations, you see the dudes who paved the way are still around going to the same events, skating the same spots as the young kids coming up. It’s crazy to step back and see it from a far, once being one of those young kids not only looking up to the generations before me but getting to skate with them, film parts with them and just be included. You still see that today; the history here never dies. I think breeds a lot of innovation and creativity. Kind of reinventing the wheel at times and letting the wheel roll into something new if that makes sense. It’s really great.

What are the skaters in Rhode Island most proud of?
Aside from accomplishments like Trinity and OMF and all events that are put on every year with Civil, and Fountain of Youth in past years I would say our originality, innovation, and creativity. And maybe, mostly history. To this day you can go out and chances are you’ll hear some story, or a trick someone got back in the 90s or hell, even in the early 2000’s to the last five years. Especially FOY days, that’s really when things popped off at least for my generation. So many videos have come out of here (especially at that time) that really set a standard and inspired a lot of people like me. That in itself goes to show how the scene evolves generation to generation but always has its roots and you’ll hear about it every time you’re out. You’ll walk by a spot and just go over every trick that’s been done there with your homies… It’s really a testament that history will always be here as long as people are skating. That’s my opinion at least.

‘I would say the scene in Rhode Island is ever evolving and very diverse.’

Sean Egan • Frontside flip • Providence RI • 2023

Who are some of the talented skaters and photographers in RI that are making a name for themselves?
There’s a lot. There’s Eddy Eacueo, Justin Souliere, Eric Sweeny, Evin, he’s younger and is super good, Evan Mansolillo, & Mark Poole just to name a few, there’s plenty more I’m sorry if I forgot you! These dudes are relentless and really are a master of their craft and just gnarly. As far as Photographers go, they’re kind of scarce around here, but Eka Seneth really crushes it. He does a lot of cool things like mixing design and photo together and doing a lot of work for the local brand Island. Love him, and as you know, Karim, he has been crushing it since I was just a young kid. And there’s Dave Cronin, he’s been doing it for a long while too and crushes it.

What is on your wish list?
To skate something sick again.

Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
This is a really hard one, it would honestly be AJ Catholdi. I know it may not seem like a prolific person to interview but I think a lot of locals will resonate with this. He was a big part of the scene, for me at least, and he just kind of vanished. He was essentially Instagram for RI/MA/CT skateboarding before Instagram. Most people can’t get a hold of him. I’d love to sit down and ask why, and what his relationship with skateboarding/photography was like, how and why it changed.

Kevin Manning • VX1000 • Providence, RI • 2021