My niece, my sister, and I went to United Skates for a girls' night out. For my sister and me, it was a much need night out. For my niece, it was her first time on skates, solo, and her first time at a roller rink.
My sister and I learned to roller skate from our Dad and from the big kids in the neighborhood. We took to roller skating like ducks to water. Our parents' basement was unfinished, and that smooth, gray cement was just perfect for roller skating. We raided our Dad's record collection, stacked the spindle, put the needle on the record, and raced around the basement roller dancing, twirling, and criss-crossing our feet. My sister loved to listen to Elton John's Crocodile Rock. She'd move the needle to the groove for the song over and over. Little Willie Willie Won't Go was another one of her favorite songs. I have no idea who sang it, but it made her so happy.
We'd spend hours down in the basement, skating and singing and being silly.
So many birthdays were celebrated at the now-defunct roller skating rink at Attias Flea Market in Sayville; it was the place to be. You could enjoy cheesy pizza and tooth-achingly sweet birthday cake, and tear open your birthday presents as skaters whizzed by you- twirling and twisting. Some of the big girls wore leg warmers and leotards and short skirts or Jordache jeans, and anyone who mattered had jingle bell pom poms fastened to the tip of their skates. We raced around the dimly lit rink, Michael Jackson's voice blaring from the speakers, our parents stationed by the food court, smoking and watching the smaller children.
On the way home from a really fun night, my sister and I shared our roller skating memories with my niece. "You're so lucky!" she exclaimed.
Yes, we are.