Just over four years ago, I became reacquainted with an old neighbor and friend from back in my high school days. It'd been 26 years since we last spoke with one another because I'd moved away. Soon enough, I remembered that she had been a good skater back in the day though I don't recall if I'd ever been at the place at the same time as her, though friends of mine definitely were. Since we last spoke, she'd had two houses, a husband, three children and one granddaughter. She'd also had a nasty bout of breast cancer which she survived but barely. This left her with a myriad of health problems as well as a disability. It's one of those unfortunate cases where sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
Eventually, I brought up roller skating as a subject of conversation. She informed me that she had gone roller skating a month or so prior to this conversation with another friend. Prior to this, she hadn't gone roller skating since her children were small. One Tuesday evening, she decided that we were going to go roller skating and called the place closest to me, Incrediroll. The business told her that they weren't having open skating this evening due to a private party. This is when I found out how adamant my friend could be; she asked the business to ask the people of the private party if it would be okay if we crashed their party! Needless to say, people who paid for a private party can be just as adamant about getting what they paid for in a private party; one which remains private.
Instead, we called the only other place I knew about: Rollaero. I'd only skated once there in grade school days and remembered they had a wood floor as opposed to the coated concrete floors of the Wisconsin Skate University locations, and subsequently, the last remaining one of these, Incrediroll. Rollaero does not have what my friend called walkers. Their actual name is a skate-mate trainer. When she'd skated at Incrediroll with her other friend, she used one of these. It's not because she doesn't know how to skate but due to her precarious health issues. She was on blood thinners and also had a filter installed in her chest. Falling down and getting a bruise could result in a potentially life-threatening clot. We went anyways. She did fall three times, the first time I caught her and kept her from hitting the floor but was too far away from her the other two times. She didn't acquire any major medical complications from either of those falls. She was also quite surprised that I hadn't fallen once. For the life of me, I don't know how I managed that because, as I've stated in my *About Me* page, success roller skating for me in the past was only falling three times in a skating session!
The next time we had a bug to go roller skating, soon afterwards actually, we went to Incrediroll where she could have her walker and feel safer. After this session, I showed up at a used sporting goods store and was immediately asked by the lonely attendant (this was January!) if there was anything he could help me find. I replied, "Roller skates!". He then asked if I wanted roller skates or roller blades (inline skates). "Roller skates, definitely!", was my response. As it happened, he had many pairs of roller blades and exactly one pair of quad-type roller skates. Most surprisingly, they were my size which turns out to be exactly one size larger than my shoe size. Who knew? What this meant for me is that I've never rented a pair of quad skates since. What I didn't know about my silly cost-saving maneuver was how absolutely hooked on going roller skating I would be from this simple $50 purchase!
My friend would go skating with me many times. Sometimes she wasn't up for it due to how she was feeling and some of those feeling too bad moments had to do with a psiatic nerve issue in her back. Since she was on Social Security disability and didn't work, though she wanted to, my friend was quite available to accompany me on a trip I made East to Pennsylvania for another of my friend's 25th wedding anniversary. By this time, I'd obtained skate-mate trainer of her very own to use when we skated so if a place had alot of kids new to skating attending, she wouldn't be without. For the trip, I planned two night for us to check out a pair of places in Pennsylvania to skate at. She preferred the coated concrete surface instead of wood floors. It's what she'd always known so I was careful to select these two places for just that reason.
Unfortunately, my friend never made it to either of these as she passed on during the night in one of the hotels we stayed at. I couldn't go out that evening to the place we'd planned on as I was too distraught from the events of the day which began with me basically being a suspect to the police in a foreign state. They were only doing their job and when someone is carrying a large amount of prescription medications, there could always be a motive! The following evening was a Thursday and I decided to attend roller skating at the place I'd selected for us to go to on Sunday night before hitting the road back home. This would be the first time I "skated for two". I was hooked enough on going skating for entertainment on exercise before but from this point forward, it's something that means so much for me to be able to do for two.
So there's the "why" of the name of this website sk842.com. As a young adult, one of my previous girlfriends had turned me onto reading a little bit of Douglas Adam's work, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In this book, powerful computers were given the task of answering the question, "what is the meaning of life?". The answer came back "42". I think I now know what that means. And since this time, skating has become "my" meaning of life. I believe this is called a double entendre.
Shannon, this website is for you too! I miss you so much!!