The skate community in Baltimore, Maryland was devastated last year when Paul “Luke” Rice and Edward William Nelson IV were killed in an accident when Luke’s truck went off the windy, poorly lit Millers Island road. Millers Island neighbored the small Baltimore County suburb of Edgemere in which Luke grew up and resided. He was a pillar of the community. Everyone knew who he was and he was very well liked and respected. He was known as the unofficial “Mayor of the Mere". Luke had graduated from Arch Bishop Curley High school and since then he had made his living various ways over the years. His favorite had been working the family farm 'Bauers Farm' which is located in the heart of Edgemere. Luke was also a skilled carpenter and that is what brought his long time friend Jason Chapman calling. “I started the Charmcity Skateshop in 1994. By 1999 we were so well established we had the financial means to branch out. Giving kids a place to skate was a top priority for me. At the time there were really no operating public parks. Luke understood the need and was down to partner up. We decided to play on our strength's. Luke would manage the new park's construction and I would maintain the shops and help with the park design and promotion!” said Jason Chapman owner and operator of the Charmcity Skatepark in Baltimore. It worked out great for a few years and Luke built not only ramps but lasting friendships and loads of fans in the Baltimore skate community.
Well after Luke had moved on with his career he revisited the Charmcity Skatepark and built a massive mini-ramp that has been skated by quite a few rippers. The mini ramp is a symbol of how Luke has touched not only skateboarding but so many lives on many different levels. His presence in the skateboard scene will be missed! "I miss Luke alot. I think about him everyday." said Justin Lennon a Charmcity Skatepark team rider.
In a fitting testament to Luke's the crew at the Charmcity Skatepark host an annual memorial skate session. The park is opened up for a free session and mini ramp Jam from 9PM to Midnight. This years Luke Rice Memorial Jam will be on Saturday September 21.2013. Come on out to the Charmcity Skatepark shred and celebrate the life of a truly remarkable individual.
"I miss Luke's unique take on the world. He opened my eyes to a different way to look at things. He was a great friend." - Jason Chapman The Charmcity Skatepark
"There are many Lukes in this world. Not came close to Luke Rice."- Sean "Shemry" Emery Team rider at the Charmcity Skatepark
"He was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. He was a great sounding board, you could tell him anything and he would let you know you were an idiot or it was a great idea and he'd be right there with you." - Justin Lennon Team rider at the Charmcity Skatepark