‘I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates’
Something just set off our alarm. Three young boys were skate boarding down the side walk in front of our house. One young man decided the short driveway would be an excellent place to practice his turns. I could hear the wheels of the board moving over the concrete surface as he rolled up, down and out his path back to the others moving on.
Boy that brought back some memories. Our daughters, Starla and Lori, were very excited one day during their youth when we gave them a good-as-new, homemade skate board. Our family lived on Alabama Street at the time and the walk there was the longest one around. They mastered the board in no time. They did have some mishaps and spats over the slab of wood on wheels and rattle the nerves of me when they tried out new moves. I enjoyed watching them.
When they weren’t home, I tried it out myself. One wrong move and I was so much over ever trying it out again. The other day when I returned the lawn equipment to the utility building I noticed Paul had placed my old skates, a treasure saved from my childhood on a nail. Boy did they have a history. All one needs to do is look at pits on the steel ball-bearing wheels, stubborn clamps and the skates in their entirety to figure that out. I won mine in a raffle at our Fishing Rodeo in beautiful Forest Park in the early ’50s. My sister, Sandra, did the same.
At that time, Elm Street was still a dirt road with ruts, cinders and more traveled than it is today. Facts were, we weren’t sure how to master their use and that road was far from suitable. Dad suggested we ride on the brick road in the Catholic (Restlawn) cemetery that faced our place.
He was proud to say the well-laid out brick surface of the roads is the works of the employees of the WPA as was the toilet there then. He had earned a paycheck or more on the work program. We adhered to the strict rules and would not dare to disturb the place of peace. That brick road worked for us and our skates. Sandra and I, as a team, were fast learners. In no time we were sailing down that road. I can still hear the sound of those wheels, hear the laughter and recall the pain of when one of us fell with a thud, scraped elbows and battered our skinny knees. Those old skates stayed around. My kids enjoyed that pair during their childhood, as well. May be the great-grandchildren will someday find a use for them and a brand new key.
Just the thought of that has brought “Melanie’s Song” on the charts and on my mind again. “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates and you have a brand new key.” Darn, now that lyric has tumbled from my store, I’ll be singing that song the next few days and half of the nights. I’d better take my skates and scoot on out of here. It’s time to check on the kids.
I can be reached by phone at 317-286-7352 or drop me a line to 649 South Grant St., Brownsburg, IN, 47834.