“Yeah, I moved to Tahoe and I actually tried to keep going to school,” he says. “I had this program where I had to go to school one day a week and just do homework all week. But the class was on Friday and all these kids I lived with went to college out there and on Thursday nights they’d always be partying. So that made it pretty tough to go to school on Friday. So I just stopped going.”

Sounds like some bad influences.

He laughs, pauses, and then puts it bluntly; “Yeah, but I really didn’t care about school at that point. Instead, I was putting all my effort into something that I loved to do, not just something that I had to do.”

That still sounds like a tough sell to the parents, right? Not Forest’s.

“Yeah, I mean they weren’t like. ‘It’s a great idea’ or anything. They weren’t stoked. But they knew I was at a point where I could make decisions as an adult.”

 

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Forest Bailey. PHOTO: Tim Zimmerman.

Forest grew up quick. He had a lot of freedom from a young age. “Tons of freedom!” he says.

Probably more than most kids his age could’ve handled. But he handled. He had a lot older influences and young parents who were like peers.

“Even as a kid I was always just surrounding myself with older people,” says Forest. “I grew up skating with my dad’s friends. My dad was probably like mid-30s and then all his friends were like mid-to-late 20s, I was like mid-teens, early teens. So, the age difference between his friends and me was the same as between them and my Dad. So, yeah, his homies were picking me up infourth and fifth grade, to go skating after school.”

You can hear his love in how he talks about his family. There’s no residual teen angst or veiled animosity. Never was. He has nothing but respect for both his parents. And he can’t stop talking about how cool they are.

Forest Bailey. PHOTO: Bob Plumb.

“My dad, he’s the coolest. I’ve always seen him more like a homie. He worked at Stratton when I was growing up, so I’d always be up there with him.”

“And my mom, she’s the best. Best. Mom. Ever. She’s a very spiritual lady. A bit of a witch but in the best of ways. She’s always making her little potions and medicines. She makes a lot of salves. And she’s just an insane artist. They had this little hippy shop in Jamaica, it was called Moonsplash.”

There’s more on page three…