Ninth Street was rollerskating heaven

Published 8:05 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017


With Christmas approaching, it brings back many fond memories of Christmases past. It was a time of sharing and a time for family.

I remembered having plenty of hard candy around the house before and after the “Big Day.” Food was plentiful, and our family would take the CC Road (now Fifteenth Street) from Market Street to Highway 17 North and on to Old Ford, the home of Mom Bert and Daddy Jim (my Grand Parents). There, all the family would sit down and have lunch and Mom Bert made the best collards and chocolate cake I have ever eaten. I believe it must have had some type of sleeping medicine in it because after lunch we all took good, long naps.

Coming back to town later, Mrs. Sally Singleton always had the best turkey and potato salad. She always left the door open for me. Mrs. Sally always fixed me turkey sandwiches all the next week, with potato salad on them. I loved Mrs. Sally like a Mom, and she always had time for Harold, Jr. and made me feel like family.

One constant noise that could be heard coming from Ninth Street on Christmas day was that of roller skates going up and down the street. You see, Ninth Street was the widest street in town (from in front of the Singletons, past the high school) and had the smoothest surface to skate on. The school buses that usually parked there were not there during Christmas holidays, and this afforded us the luxury to use the inside lane to skate on and not worry about cars. This went on all day until skaters got tired and went home.

These were the old type of roller skates that you had to have a key to loosen and tighten the skate around your shoe. The key was kept around your neck for safekeeping, and it was a valuable item to have. The skaters would leave for lunch and return afterwards for another session. I would love to hear this again, because the laughter and happiness brought pleasure to us all. We all have scars from falling on the asphalt, but were proud of it. Today, it’s skateboards for the kids, but no doubt they are just as proud of their scars!

We all have memories of Christmas, and it is my sincere hope that you all will have a Very Merry Christmas and the Safest of New Years!

Harold, Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.