Friday, February 1, 2008

Thoughts on Roller Skating

I wonder how many pairs of shoes I ruined with my roller skates. The skates had these clamps that tightened onto the sole of the shoe. We used our skate key (which we carried on a ribbon around our necks) to tighten the clamps. The sidewalks where I grew up (the Mission District of San Francisco) were rough concrete; the asphalt streets were smoother, so we skated out in the street. A few blocks from my house was a small industrial area with train tracks, trains, and large buildings for businesses selling all kinds of large equipment. The brand new sidewalks in front of the buildings were smooth - almost as smooth as glass. This area was our favorite place to skate. We didn't have need pads or wear helmets then, so I had many scrapes on my knees and elbows. I still have a skate key in with my mementos. I like to think it is the same one I had as a youngster growing up on the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco.


Aussie Jo said...

Hi Caroline, I love those roller skates, very retro.
That photo might be a good subject for displacement a la Maggie Grey

Michael said...


I really like the reminiscence of roller skating on the streets and sidewalks of SF.


Plain Jane said...

where was the 'beach house?' Half moon bay? I remember we'd visit a friend of my mom's there, and they lived on a 'farm' with horses and animals and mud! We traveled all the way from San Carlos (where I grew up) to get there!
The roller skate is a perfect symbol for your quilt, and those years..

Caroline Commins said...

We had a summer cottage in Sharp Park (much closer to S.F. than Half Moon Bay), but it wasn't near the beach. We lived right under the big rock and the "castle." (I don't think the cottage or the rock are there anymore. This was in the 40's!) Up the road was a lady who kept goats and cows. We went to the beach almost every day and also swam in a concrete free form swimming pool right by the golf course. My grandmother was an excellent swimmer. I'm sure she taught me to swim, but as an adult, I couldn't swim. I went everywhere on my bicycle.