This morning a friend asked several of us if we remembered roller skate keys.
Oh, gosh, do I remember. Next time I see her, I'll have to ask what she remembers about roller skates.
My roller skate key, at the age of eight, was my key to the door of independence. At first it was up and down the sidewalk, and then around the entire block, and then . . . I often got at least a dozen blocks from home, along streets shaded with huge overhead trees, blocks of commercial and retails businesses, or boulevards of larger homes and churches, a world in which I was free to roam as long as I was home in time for supper.
Some years ago a popular singer came out with a song about, "I've got a brand-new pair of roller skates . . .," and I was obsessively delighted at the image. I totally ignored the naughty line about "have you got a key?" as I recalled my childhood days of carefree exploration, whizzing along the sidewalks of mid-town Kansas City.