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I have a multi-colored scarf and purple leg warmers.

Issue Date: Wednesday, Jul. 06, 2005

Darlings, darlings, darlings… I must tell you a story, or at least do something to get rid of Earl.

Hmmm, roller-skating is in my brain for some reason. Let’s go with that, shall we poppets?

Roller-skating was a large part of growing up in the south for me. I had spent most of my youth skating on ice (usually thin - har har), roller-skating on driveways and around my mother in the kitchen.

I was born in the early 1970’s and I was all about dance and movement. Just like the Bee Gee’s and John Travolta.

I thought we had a deal, you and me… no making fun of the afflicted.

Of course my knowledge about Saturday Night Fever was relegated to what I saw on movie posters and television commercials as I was not allowed anywhere near the theater to see some poor chunky girl get handed her self-esteem in the back seat of a Chevy on a cold New York evening. I was five. I needed to save some of that mystery, yanno? So my knowledge of John Travolta was this ethereal man in a crisp white suit with a black shirt striking a pose on a lighted box dance floor. How cool would that be? His partner, who cared what her name was, thin and beautiful (Vaseline® on the camera, yeah, I know that now… where the hell was her jockey?) being spun around to “More Than a Woman”. It was all so… so…

Ok, so maybe I just wanted to be twirled.

Little side note for ya’ll here: We (my little immediate family) used to go visit my paternal grandparents in a tiny North Georgia town just about every other weekend when I was growing up in Marietta, Ga. There was a little roller rink in that tiny town of Hartwell and my parents, my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle and my first cousin took my sister and I to go roller-skating one evening. Before we went in, after my sister and I had been begging to go for months, my parents, grandparents and aunt and uncle warned my sister and I that the reason that we had not been allowed to go was because the roller rink was a normal spot for rednecks to hang out and it was kind of a rough place, but that we would all go together.

We all loaded up in the trucks and headed up to the roller rink. Piled out, went inside, got our skates on and my sister and I took to the floor.

We made several circuits of the roller rink, looking around at everyone in the place and then we came back to my parents and the rest of the brood and announced loudly… when the DJ just took the record off the turntable…


Back on track…

A few years later in 1980 everything in Atlanta was all about Xanadu or this “hot spot” I heard about on Z-93 called Sugar Daddy’s. Apparently it was the dance club/skating rink for the cats in the know. I wanted to be a cat in the know dammit!

Watch my moves! Or, better yet, this painfully choreographed diddy that I put together for the 5th grade talent show. Performed to, no other than the title track to Xanadu. Yes, I am mimicking Olivia Newton John. Yes, I have a multi-colored scarf and purple leg warmers.

(We had a deal, no laughing.)

I was dying, DYING to be on a box-lit dance floor or on a smooth wooden roller rink with my friends.

I got my wish.

Our school had a Friday night Skate Night and most of the birthday parties that were had were either at the local put-putt or on a Saturday at the local roller-rink. We were so wee. But we were hot, HAWT. Flying around those smooth wooden boards with our brown rented (gag) roller-skates or our pretty white (yay!) roller-skates with colored pompoms with bells tied to the front of them (double yay!).

Tiny little Gloria Vanderbelt jeans, size 10 slim and a sailor shirt.

Did I just say sailor shirt? Yes, shut up.

Practicing on the figure 8 markers in the middle. Backwards, forwards, looking like an X. Praying that Neil Duncan* would ask me to couple skate when “Every Women in the World” came on or something equally as sappy or by Air Supply. Pounding our little fists in the air to “Stroke Man” by Billy Squire and having no clue what he was talking about. Squealing when the Gap Band came on with “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”… the best.

I am Iron Man. What? You are who?

Going into the arcade to play games. Pac-Man, Tron, Centipede. All the greats. But the real treat was taking off your skates and going behind the sound booth into the dance floor room. A raised platform with three levels, each one with lighted squares, mirrored walls and three mirrored balls hanging from the ceiling. If Deney Terrio could only see me now he’d shit his tight-ass pants.

We moved to Texas shortly after my foray into that awesome skating rink, but I never forgot it.

Actually, when I was in high school, I was actually a floor guard at a local skating rink part time.

Oh, Holy shit… ya’ll… ya’ll… Oh… Ya’ll. I was searching for… oh, it is still there. Look! Sparkles in Marietta, GA (link has audio, and… I may cry.)

*By the power of Google, Neil Duncan… if you find this and you were my first kiss in Marietta, GA... Holy shit.

Little Update… 7/8/05

I wish I had something poignant to say and vast reserves of talent to pull from when trying to express my sadness about the bombings in London. I don’t, I don’t have any answers either. I wish I did. I wish I could stop pointing my web browser to the Londonist (fantastic site, blog-based reporting) and to find out what is going on across the pond. I wish I could stop worrying about my parents' upcoming trip abroad in September. I can’t. I wish I could stop thinking of all of the beautiful and lovely memories I made in London. And the pictures I have of my mother in a red trench coat, standing on a stone bench in a rain storm with her umbrella acting like Mary Poppins out in front of the Tower of London. I cried at beauty of the architecture, I cried at Her Majesty’s Theater. I cried all over that city. I am sorry for your losses London. I hope your sleep will come more easily in the weeks to come.

And now, for something that made me choke on my orange juice. The brilliant Erin and her girlfriend Kelly regale us with tales of a Baptist garage sale. Ya’ll, you should have gotten the Jesus/Barbie phone.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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