Laces & Wheels

The world of roller skating


The name "Skateland" evokes many happy and fun childhood memories for me!

The name “Skateland” evokes many happy and fun childhood memories for me!

Several years ago, I took a writing course and one of our assignments was to write a vivid and sensory detailed narrative.  You could write about any experience.  It didn’t take me long to figure out what I was going to write about.  Yep, you guessed it… it was going to be about roller skating.  But, I was going to write about one particular roller rink I use to skate at on a regular when I was in grade school.  The name of the rink was Skateland and it was in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

As I entered the building of the former Wampler’s Ballroom, I made my way up the flight of steep stairs that lead to the entrance of Skateland Roller Rink.  I could hear the echoing of R&B music blaring loudly from the mega watt speakers inside the roller rink.  I reached the top of the stairs only to be welcomed by a twisting, curving snake-like line of eager, chattering, gum-chewing, loud-talking skaters.
I approached the high wooden counter top, stood on my tip toes in order to see over the edge, slid my five dollar bill underneath the plexiglas divider and anxiously entered the roller rink.  The roller rink was dimly lit.  I was immediately surrounded by red, blue, green, and yellow neon lights that outlined the walls like over-sized picture frames.  The strobe lights were reflecting off the mirrored disco balls that were hanging from the ceiling, which projected a kaleidoscope of dancing images over the rink floor.
I sat down on my favorite carpet covered bench, put on my two pairs of thick, mismatched tube socks, and tightly laced up my black leather Riedell roller skates with the white artistic precision wheels, as I sang the words to “Aqua Boogie.”
Standing at the entrance of the skating rink floor, I was preparing to make a quick dash onto the  floor, when the buttery smell of popcorn distracted me for a split second, until DJ Fred the Boss played the fast tempo song “Flashlight.”
Two high school girls zoomed hurriedly past me while a dozen diverse energetic skaters were rolling effortlessly on the perfect glossy smooth maple wood floor.  They were swooping in and out among each other, twirling and swirling erratically and dancing on their roller skates.
Once on the floor, I was gliding like a gazelle.  I was rocking, rolling and bouncing to the rhythm of the music.  I enjoyed hearing the gliding sound my wheels made upon contact with the smooth hardwood floor.  As I was getting off the skating rink floor, I swerved to avoid a young beginner skater who fell in front of me.  I made my way to the ladies room.  I skated over to the porcelain bathroom sinks and looked at my reflection in the smudgy mirror.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that a grayish tinge of dust had slightly covered my long eyelashes, short nostril hairs and hairline,  On many occasions, I had seen my older cousins with the same dusty look.
Faintly in the background I could hear DJ Fred the Boss announcing “Ladies Only” skate.  That was my cue to get back on the skating floor.  I took one last look in the old smudgy mirror and proudly smiled.  I could hardly wait to show my older cousins my first and official Skateland dust!… roll bounce, baby!

photo credit: scrappy! via photopin cc

4 comments on “Skateland

  1. Bonita
    April 19, 2014

    I love this website! !! Do your thing. .. Tamara. .

    • lacesandwheels
      April 28, 2014

      Thanks B…..I’m just getting started, the blog is only the beginning!!

  2. Roz
    April 29, 2014

    Wow! I enjoyed your stroll down memory lane. I can definitely identify as roller skating was such a huge part of my childhood, too!

    • lacesandwheels
      April 30, 2014

      Thanks Roz, I’m glad it stirred up some wonderful childhood memories for you. 🙂 Roller skating was very much a part of my childhood experiences too and it provided me with a lot of good times. I enjoy it immensely today and I’m on a mission to revitalize it and help people think about creating some new memories for themselves.

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2014 by in Roller Rink, Skateland.
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