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09/09/2003 Archived Entry: "Monday Night - September 8, 2003"

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – September 8, 2003

I had next to no intention of traveling all the way to downtown Atlanta from the Crabapple/Woodstock area to go skating tonight. I couldn’t. I simply have too many obligations/projects that I’ve undertaken, that are all coming due – as in yesterday. I’m totally and completely overrun. Period. So, it was at 7:15 PM that I poked my clogged head out the front door (I had been indoors the vast majority of the day) when I came to realize that I was hearing the most beautiful church bells ringing in the distance. They seemed to be ringing directly below an enlarged, pink-orange hot air balloon, which was sinking slowly into the still remaining tree line, at the other end of the new suburbian subdivision.

No, wait a minute. As my eyes became more acclimated to the soft, pastel light, I slowly realized that it was actually the bloated sun that was effortlessly hanging in the low horizon, in a most beautiful cloudless - baby blue and powdery pink sky. The sky and the virgin bells were chiming in unison. Though moments later, after the sun’s softened rays of gospel light reached to my inner soul, the fullness of the revelation came to me. These weren’t church bells that beckoned me to step forward, and away from the demons that wrestle at my backside. They were mythological Sirens: who were chanting to me in an even more powerful tong – to leave it all behind, and to reach out to the skate gods, who await my return.

With little more thought, I slung my old skate boots over my shoulder and closed the door to those demons behind me.

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Globe Trotting Skater - Allison is preparing for tonight’s skate.
She had been pushing on her car for a while now, and I was
growing concerned that the car would soon be pushed out of
the parking lot. “Where have you been all these months,”
I asked her.

“Oh, I’ve been over in Switzerland doing some research.
But I’ve been skating a whole lot while over there.
It’s amazing how many people over there skate.
I skated in France and saw 500 skaters, and only 12 bikers.
I even helped teach one of the skaters how to brake.
I have about 300 photographs that I took while skating over
there. I’ll give them to you for the weblog.”

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“Everybody look at the camera for a weblog group photo…
Everyone look at the camera…
Hey Rose, look at the camera for the group photo… Rose….
Rose…. Hey Rose….”

(Back row, left to right) – Paul, Larry, new APRR skater Janice C,
new APRR skater Nancy S, new APRR skater Scott C, and David,
(Front row, left to right) – Deb, new APRR skater Rose B, and Mamie.
Interestingly, Janice is the second person that I’m aware of that had
learned about APRR through our weblog, prior to skating with us.
She brought Rose with her.

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Janice is all smiles as she makes her way down the Edgewood hill, skating solo toward downtown. She was completely nervous about skating down the hills, but with a little help, a little encouragement, and a whole lot of APRR support, she soon had no troubles what so ever. Toward the beginning of the evening, she was literally standing on her brake while traveling down the Atlanta area hills. (And at one time, dragging a banana peel with her!!!) She was also holding tightly onto my hand.

But not so toward the end of this same evening. Her level of confidence had grown tenfold. “I’ve been skating for three months now,” she had mentioned to me early into the evening. Quite honestly, we need more people like Janice here in APRR. She may be fairly new at inline skating, but it was more than obvious that she’s an old hat at taking-on challenges.

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Rose has a similar story. She’s only been on inlines
for two months now. “I’ve learned how to fall while
ice skating,” she remarked to us. Traveling down
the hills was no problem what so ever for her.
What Rose had failed to mention to us is whether
her ice skating experiences entail skating down
glaciers and vertical ice falls in the Himalayan Mountains.

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David so graciously stopped all the traffic for us at just
about every intersection. Cars or not, David stopped
what ever was there – or for the most part, wasn’t there.
He also served well as our little red caboose.
The smile that you see on his face in this photo was the
same smile that he frequently used to stop all the traffic.

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Paul M asked Nancy to “Please plug me in.”
I wasn’t exactly sure what Paul was referring to until I saw
Nancy making the all-important connection for him.
As if a light instantly went on somewhere up there in his head.
“Thanks,” Paul said. “I needed that.”

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Larry is absolutely “Groovin’” on skates.
Here he is chuggin’ up the CNN hill.
“Oh, I’ve skated this before,” said Larry.
But actually, you’d think he’s somewhat an expert.

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Once we had gotten back to the Carter Center,
Jennifer said to us, “I may not know how to skate…
but I sure know how to ride this bike.”
She should obviously join the circus.

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Jennifer was paying less attention to riding the bike
than she should have been; as she basically crashed
the thing and went leaping over its miniscule handlebars
before instantaneously standing upright, and taking the
bike with her and into her arms.

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APRR's Jennifer H & David S’s stolen bike.

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