Tuesday, October 29, 2019

I Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates...

By Charlotte Bennardo

When I was around 9 or so, on Saturday, while my parents worked, my mom dropped my brother and me off at the roller skating rink. For half the day, we skated with tons of kids, retirees, and people who had Saturdays off. Whenever I hear certain music, it brings me back to those days when my brother would hold my hand because it was couples only. He would do it just to continue skating. Now, I don't know where a single rink is, although I've heard some still exist.

Roller skating, whether on a smooth driveway or in rinks or skate parks, has been a big part of so many people's lives and most people know so little about it. Some of the highlights of the history of roller skating are:

*  In 1735, John Joseph Merlin brought the first pair of roller skates (basically a pair of shoes with wheels) to a party in London (and he crashed into a mirror).

*  Monsieur Petitbled patented roller skates (which had 3 wheels and looked like a low tricycle) in 1819.

*  The first 4-wheel roller skate that most people were familiar with was introduced by James Leonard Plimpton.

Photo courtesy of The Collab, Pexels

*  Roller skating became the rage when waitresses skated food to customers (think American Graffiti).

*  Skating had its heyday in the 70's - 80's with roller disco.

*  Inline skating made a comeback thanks to the modern design of Scott and Brennan Olsen (who patented 'Rollerblading'), and the sport of trick skating was born.

*  A National Museum of Roller Skating is located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

*  Today, there are dance, figure, and speed skating competitions, roller hockey, and extreme skating. And roller derby is making a splash again.

So go tie on a pair, don't forget your helmet (and maybe knee and elbow pads) and skate to some memories.

Photo courtesy of Craig Adderly, Pexels

Charlotte is the author of the middle grade trilogy, Evolution Revolution, and co-author of the young adult novels, Blonde OPS, Sirenz, and Sirenz Back in Fashion.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I remember Saturday skating. My sister and I took a short bus ride to the local rink, carrying our skate cases and fifty cents each to get in to skate for 2 hours. Pompoms on the skates were a rage then and we felt so cool having them on ours.