Old Wood and Old Wheels: Tales of Roller-Skating and the Skate Sweater
Every Saturday night from late autumn thru spring, excepting holiday breaks, is skate night. My skates are blades and my style tends to be moderately fast with lower posture to turn corners faster: I call this the "creep" mode. My goal is to avoid hitting small children and having to stop fast as I find braking quickly difficult except by ramming myself into pillars, walls, or chairs (preferably without people in them.)
I have had many happy hours skating though I have stopped going. I think the subliminal reason for not going to Skate Night anymore has to do with the fact that I had to get rid of my Skate Sweater. I have a slightly odd taste in fashion at times, which, I believe, is sufficient explanation for why I purchased the Skate Sweater. The Skate Sweater was belled with an extra long waist and was brown in color with white and blue yarn used in a diamond design about the neck. The Skate Sweater's design was sufficient reason to purchase this 100% acrylic, maternity sweater despite my objections when I saw it on the rack at Goodwill. I could make a gradual spin in the Skate Sweater, and the Skate Sweater would spin with me: I was one with this sweater--in perfect harmony. I even had it commented on at the rink by a seven-year-old who stopped me, gazing up in awe as if he had just seen Kate Hudson, “My mom has a sweater just like this…exactly!” he said. “Oh,” I replied as I smiled back. (I hope her pregnancy went well and she still has her awesome sweater).
As for my sweater, alas, forsooth, it pilled and not only did it pill, it pilled so bad that it was unable to be resurrected even after using the anti-pill razor thing-a-ma-jig. The Skate Sweater was in such a condition I could not wear, in clear conscience, wear the Skate Sweater in public. I realize now that as I threw away that sweater went the end of an era.
I did volunteer to assist at Skate Night once. It was an interesting evening. I helped lace up skates had requests for AC/DC and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. I personally liked “Fix You” by Coldplay (but I obviously was pretty alone in this genre). The night ended early as most the boys sat in chairs on one side of the rooms to see the girls on the other side of the room, who were watching the boys on the other side as well: both parties were pretending to believe that they were…ignoring each other.
As I finish this tale it is about 7:30 on a Saturday night and someone is downtown running Skate Night as all think it a shame to stop a tradition that has been going since at least the fifties when one could skate for a nickel as opposed to the two dollars of today. Girls of the fifties would strap on their skates and wear their button up sweaters backward to impress the boys who were older and "cooler." The years have continued on with many changes: some good, some bad. Yet, on that wooden floor, wheels still turn as they have before and there is comfort in continuity.