When I was growing up rolling skating was the big rage. I am talking about the days before in-line skates - four wheels and a stopper in the front, were the best you could do back then. I even had a pair without a break, my friends chided me about them but they worked and when we skated around our neighborhood I kept up with the best of them. I shot the duck, rolled backwards and front, that was the way to have fun in the late 70s.
Skating remained popular in the early 80s and a roller rink called Laces opened up 5 miles from my town. The rink was extremely popular and was frequented by people from all over the metropolitan New York area. My mother would drop me and my friends off for a night of entertainment - her only requirement was that I wait outside for her by 11:30pm. Of course, this meant missing the last half hour of the session when the music would reach its peak but despite all of my protestation my mom rarely let me stay until midnight. But from 8:30 until 11:29 (yes I cut it that close) I would rock, skate, roll and bounce to my hearts delight!
Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll - Vaughan Mason and Crew
Rollerskating was good clean fun, we'd skate with partners, backwards and the middle of the rink was reserved for folks doing extra special tricks. I loved feeling the breeze as speed skaters passed me by and also lived for being scooped up by a confident skater who could lead while we danced around the rink. My memories are filled with the sounds of "Rock, Skate, Roll, Bounce" a song that is a skating anthem of the time period.
At Laces not only did we skate but dancing, especially breakdancing was an added attraction. Well known breakers like Crazy Legs from the Rock Steady Crew in the Bronx would come to Long Island to show their skills. I was thrilled to be in the midst of skating and dancing; two of my favorite things in the entire world were perfectly paired at Laces.
Laces was a staple in my social calendar (who am I kidding, it WAS my only true social activity) from the time I was 13 - 18. Fun times. I don't think rollerskating is nearly as popular now but I hope to introduce it to my son when he is old enough. It is excellent exercise ( have you skated recently?) and fun.
In memory of the old days I give you Rollerbabies! I saw this video, cracked up and remembered my youth.