Saturday, April 30, 2011
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I lived to roller skate. I'd strap on my metal skates, tighten them with the key and head outside to round up the neighborhood kids. There was a Baptist church a block away with wide sidewalks that didn't have a lot of expansion lines so it was smooth skating. I felt a sense of freedom that I didn't recognize or define at that young age, but now I remember those afternoons with a big smile. I'd come home all dusty and sweaty with a few scrapes on my knees...looking forward to the next day when I could do it all over again.
(My more recent skating memory took place sometime in the early 90s when we took the family to Venice Beach for inline skating. A different sort of rollerskating memory that included pain and embarrassment when I fell on my backside about five minutes after putting on the skates and pads.)
Later in my childhood I lost my skates but always saved the key. So when I saw the key hanging in my studio the other day, I decided to search for a pair of vintage skates on eBay. Lucky me...I found a wonderful pair with bright yellow metal circles in the center of the wheels. The wheels spin smoothly and the metal key is there to adjust the fit. They're just my size. I had forgotten how heavy those skates were...I think it's why I developed calf muscles at an early age. Not sure if or when I'll strap them on and relive my childhood, but in the meantime, I'm smiling just looking at them.