Friday, May 30, 2008

'80s Flashback: Roller skating

Friday is here again, so it's time for another '80s Flashback.

Before a word from our sponsor, here are the recent '80s Flashbacks:

'80s Flashback: Garbage Pail Kids
'80s Flashback: Just Say No
'80s Flashback: Freddy Krueger
'80s Flashback: Atari
'80s Flashback: OP corduroy shorts
'80s Flashback: Parachute pants
'80s Flashback: Rambo cartoon
'80s Flashback: Psyche!
'80s Flashback: Jim and Tammy Faye
'80s Flashback: Avoid the noid
'80s Flashback: Mary Lou Retton
'80s Flashback: One night in Bangkok
'80s Flashback: Adams Atoms
'80s Flashback: Don't you forget about me

OK. This week's flashback is brought to you by the '80s new wave pop star hairdo, as shown here. Even if you weren't a member of A Flock of Seagulls, your hair could look like you had a bird on your head.

Now for the flashback:

Roller skating was a big part of the '80s. It was big for birthday parties, it was a teenage hangout away from the mall, and it was the inspiration for Xanadu, which is more like a bad '70s movie although it came out in 1980.

The roller rink near my house was "Great Skate." I went there many, many times from about age 9 to 12. I wasn't a great skater, but the light shows were interesting and that's where half of my elementary school classmates were on Friday nights -- and any night during the summer. Four vivid memories:

1. Great Skate played "Our Lips are Sealed" by the Go-Go's A LOT. Also, Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue."

2. It was very hard to push down on the Pole Position gas pedal while wearing a skate.

3. The skate "safety patrol" that would blow whistles as a huge pack of skaters fell down like dominoes.

4. And, oh yes, the reserved time for "Couples Skate." That's when I would head for the arcade. I was realistic, after all.

The whole skating thing was pretty cheesy, but it was a lot of fun. Maybe if I had dedicated myself to learning to skate better, I could've been a legend. Maybe I could've been like these guys: