Journal of a Roller Disco Addict

I heard it said somewhere that life's greatest pleasures are those which arrive unexpectedly. One of mine began innocently enough on a Sunday stroll through Golden Gate Park -- a missed connection, a wrong turn, and suddenly I was standing before a strange, new phenomenon -- a spectacle I found immediately repugnant, yet strangely compelling -- Around two dozen roller-skaters and bladers swirling, gyrating and busting moves to the beat of DJ-driven 70's and 80's tunes. Within minutes I recognized that there was something more going on here than just a casual skate in the park; This was Roller Disco at its worst and I was hooked from the get go.

During this first visit waves of conflicting emotions washed over me -- confusion, fright, and embarrassment of course, but also delight and admiration. Sure... in my estimation most of the participants looked ridiculous. However, I had to admit that these people appeared to be having an amazing time. Watching them simultaneously aroused in me the perfect combination of giddiness and wrong-doing, and I am hard pressed to think of a more enjoyable mixture.

Although I could not deny my attraction, a strong feeling of uneasiness accompanied it which was magnified by the unceremonious greeting I received from my friends upon relaying my discovery. Convinced that my attraction had formed prematurely and possibly unjustly, I tried my best to stay away from the 6th Avenue skaters, but this self-imposed exile only lasted for a week or two; The growing obsession could not be ignored and soon I started making regular appearances at Roller Disco.

Sitting on the lawn watching & listening, question after question popped into my head... "Where do these people come from?" "What are their day jobs?" "Do they practice in their living rooms?" "Am I missing out on something here?" I came to notice there were regulars amongst the skaters -- Sass... Tie dye... Pretzelboy... Individuals with their own stories, sense of style, and most importantly technique.

Come, join me for a brief interlude into Roller Madness at Golden Gate Park. Get to know the "regulars" before you venture out for a glimpse of your own. Enjoy a sampling of what you can expect if you happen upon John F. Kennedy Drive and 6th Avenue on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

you may now enter the rink…