Look at all the beautiful, young Gen X girls with their feathered hair, tanned skin and designer jeans. This picture was taken in the early 1980s at the Sunshine Skateway roller rink in South Florida. The adorable blonde-haired boy in the picture is the administrator of the Kickin’ It Old School at Sunshine Skateway Facebook page. His name is Robert Stack and he’s a spirited Gen-Xer who still skates today.
I loved to roller skate as a kid. The Skates! Those Pom Poms! The hair! Also, the big comb sticking out of my back pocket so I could fix my hair. I’ll never forget the night Sandy Walker (yes, a boy named Sandy) asked me to couples skate to Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life. I was in 4th grade and it was seriously, for real, the happiest moment of my life.
A Seattle writer, Amie Ryan, wrote about roller skating in the early 1980s in a blog post titled Thirteen. Ryan, who once wrote a viral smash, The Seattle NO, is a Gen-Xer born in 1968.
“When I was 13 every girl on the planet had a boyfriend or at least that was how it seemed to me. The women I saw in the movies and on TV all seemed to be about 18 and were gorgeous and thin and seemed to have their pick of guys. I wondered what it would be like to be adored by someone.
“My friends and I loved to go to the local roller skating rink. Hit songs from the radio would be thumping from overhead speakers while colored lights flashed in patterns on the rink and the skaters inside of it. I’d see couples skating hand in hand and would wish that could be me. It was 1981 and I remember hearing a lot of Foreigner and Joan Jett and a song called ‘Into The Night’: a one-hit wonder that was the perfect catch-your-breath slow dance song. It featured a 33 year old singer named Benny Mardones telling us about his love of a girl just sixteen years old…
“The boys I went to school with hardly noticed me at all. Still, each day I put on my Love’s Baby Soft perfume, imagining it made me more grown up. I even had the T-shirt that came with the perfume. It was pastel pink with a picture of a blue bow and read I’M BABY SOFT, a slogan I found a little confusing…”
Did you roller skate as a kid? More importantly, did you have feathered hair?
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Welcome to the Daily Photo, a new feature for 2017. I will do my best to post a new image every day that reflects the life and times of Generation X. If you would like to submit a special photo for possible publication, please email me, jenx1967 [at] gmail [dot] com. Please click here to subscribe to the daily photo via daily posts.