I began my first working idyll in Hollywood the Summer of 1979, after teenage years steeped in images of surfers and muscle cars, the music of "The Beach Boys" and TV shows filmed on the Sunset strip.
Los Angeles was still pretty much like that. Thankfully, the Disco sound that had drowned the surf guitars had finally given way to "The Eagles" and Punk. But otherwise, Farrah Fawcett was still the hottest babe on TV, Disneyland still had "E" ticket rides and the surf was always up.
Beautiful big haired blondes were everywhere. But what I hadn't expected was that many of them had traded their knee high boots and stilettos to move around on wheels.
Everywhere you went, stunningly attractive young women were zooming past on roller skates.
Now roller skating had been relatively popular when I was a kid. But where I grew up, all the streets were dirt or gravel so I'd rarely encountered them. The fad, which had been around since the Great Depression, was rapidly fading out and the big roller rinks where people had still gone to "dance" through the fifties were becoming fewer and further between.
When I'd first moved to Toronto, there was one remaining on Mutual Street. But I only went once. A buddy of mine had just gotten out of jail and arrived on my doorstep with a guy who'd been in for a much longer stretch and that's where he wanted to go to celebrate his newfound freedom.
I got up on skates for the first time there and mostly spent the night hugging the boards as the two Cons tried to pick up girls who could've been their moms and were smart enough to not have anything to do with them.
But California was different. This was a scene revitalized and far removed from the 1940's as well as the Canadian impulse to suggest you better wear kneepads, elbow pads and probably a helmet too.
I also realized that if I wanted to meet any of these bronzed and big-haired blondes, I needed to master the wheels myself. And so I did. And I loved it.
Around the same time, "Dire Straights" released a song called "Skateaway". It was never a hit and probably not even played much. But the pace and the rythmn replicated the skating experience perfectly.
This week, that song happened past me again and brought back memories of a great Summer and a great pastime.
I must leave you now to dig through the garage for a very old set of roller skates.
Enjoy Your Sunday.