Monday, August 17, 2009

yo-yo #53: sb-2

i would like seth peterson to become a brazillionaire someday (meaning i would like him to own the nation of brazil, and all of its contents/resources). he's a motivated, young entrepreneurial-type. with a little luck, and a few more shirts sold at (which you should support), he could totally do it.

besides being one of the planet's most creative yo-yo players, seth's also just about the most generous person i know. actually, now that i think on it, those traits seem to correspond quite a lot. i'm not sure if a life spent playing yo-yo somehow imbues one with altruistic tendencies, or if i just tend to gravitate toward friendships with the really generous players because i happen to like them. it occurs to me that i came home from worlds this week with a bunch of new yo-yo's, none of which i actually purchased.

seth has been telling me about this one for awhile. i played a tom kuhn silver bullet 2 ONCE, in about 1998. the mall-cart where i used to hang out and salivate had one that was just for prospective buyers to play. i vividly remember thinking that it was superior to proyo's cold fusion in every respect but aesthetics. i wasn't one of the kids who always asked to play it, mostly because i knew i couldn't afford it back then. i bought a custom mag for about $40, and that, in itself, felt totally outlandish. the $100+ tag on the sb-2 made it seem like it belonged in neiman marcus, and although it can be found for cheaper now, i've always associated it with extravagance.

i collect tom kuhn yo-yo's, and when seth said he had one of these for me, i was pretty excited. i've always kind of put the sb-2 on a pedestal, and although i've wanted them, i've never really gone after them. the one he gave me on wednesday though, is a yo-yo i'm truly going to treasure. the sb-2 was the first production ball bearing yo-yo, and this one plays incredibly well; as smooth as plenty of today's most technologically advanced creations. the gap tool on it is truly brilliant, and it can be made to loop splendidly or dead unresponsive with just a few rotations of the spacers. it's pretty natural to go from the flying v to the sb-2, which for some odd reason, makes me feel kind of proud (though the sb-2 was never discussed as a source of inspiration for it).

the best part about it, though, is the patina (which, incidentally, is among my favorite words). i love yo-yo's that LOOK like they've been used; that LOOK like they've been loved. while a shiny new sb-2 would be "cool", this one is "beloved"... and like something out of "the velveteen rabbit" that love has made it "real". it's taken some beatings, but the aluminum, itself, is mostly intact. while areas on the hubs still sport a dull polish, the yo-yo has oxidized on the surfaces that the hand is most prone to touching, creating a kind of natural "enso". the rims, which are the most frequently handled, have darkened considerably, and now look like aluminum does when it is pulled from the ground.

though the yo-yo has lost its polish, it has gained proof-of-play. it bears the evidence of seth's considerable committment to yo-yoing, and that's much more valuable to me than a high lustre or ornate splash-ano. seth gave me a yo-yo, but he also gave me something of himself. like i said, seth's very giving, so i don't know if that was a big deal to him. but it certainly was to me.

so yeah, i'd like him to be a brazillionaire, but then... i also know that if all of brazil WAS his someday, he'd probably just smile and hand it back to red.

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