At lunch on Friday one of the boys was talking about his dad’s skateboards, and I had a flashback to my skateboard. Let’s gather around for storytime, shall we?
When I was a kid (6 or 7?) my brothers each had a skateboard. Now this was waaaaayyy back before there was all this ‘lots of room for your feet’ nonsense. These skateboards were skinny – the only way the entire soles of both your feet would fit is if you were treating it like a tight rope. Here’s an example.
The boys were pretty good on them. The wheels were like rubber roller-skate wheels. Not in-line skates, but wide, wide cylinders of clear rubber. The ‘shocks’, or whatever they were called, were nice and loose, so turning was possible. I would occasionally take timid little tries on their boards, but I was clumsy and they seemed too wobbly.
I decided I wanted my own.
I asked my parents if I could buy one. They said ‘yes’, but that I’d have to pay for it myself. Oh, the agony! Apparently I had a savings account, but I have no idea how money got in there. (I don’t remember getting an allowance, but there’s no telling. I do remember that I was tight with the cash that I had because I liked feeling rich. I would trade coins in for pennies so I could fill up my purple Crown Royal bag with maximum bulk.)
Anyway, we went to Clubb’s Ben Franklin and I plunked down sixteen dollars of my somehow-earned money and bought – not a yellow one like by brothers’ – a pink skateboard. My own! My own! My very own!
I never learned to ride it.
Nope. I was still pretty clumsy on it. I’m pretty sure this was back before elbow pads and helmets had been invented, so I was a goner for sure. It even had rock-hard shocks so there was no wobbling (also no turning), but I decided that I was better off perching my bony butt on it and using the sprinkler key as a paddle, rowing around the neighborhood like a dork.
Good times. Still can’t ride a skateboard.