Mystery Jacksonville Skaters

In an article within the Florida Times-Union (May 17, 2022) about the evolution of skateboarding in Jacksonville, Florida, a 1977 photo appears featuring Michelle Thibodeau and Ellen Moomaw by Joe Caldwell. The girls are skating barefoot across a sketchy wall of slabbed concrete on the side of an Interstate 10 overpass (near McDuff and Post streets) in an area nicknamed “The Wedge” (in homage to the famous California surf spot on the Balboa Peninsula). Michelle and Ellen were the only two girls who were successful in navigating the area, riddled with weeds and glass according to the writer, Matt Soergel.

Ellen’s story was easier to find only because she passed away recently (September 22, 2022) after nine years of enduring pulmonary fibrosis. She sounded like an adventurous kid who loved the outdoors, especially skateboarding, and had a passion for science which resulted in scholarships and a career in pharmaceutical chemistry.

It was written in Ellen’s obituary that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous was hugely important to her, and she “supported many others in their sobriety as a sponsor.” And, she loved traveling independently, even when she required oxygen to continue being mobile. Rest in Peace Ellen.

Anyone else remember this skatespot or the two girls?


  • Soergel, Matt. “Vintage Times-Union: 1970s’ skateboarding, from Jacksonville driveways to one of top skateparks in U.S.” The Florida Times-Union. May 17, 2022.

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