Real Skate Stories

What's Your Roller Skate Story?

Real Skate Stories - What's Your Roller Skate Story?

Did You Roller Skate at Rollerina on 103rd & Calumet in Chicago?

Al Greer - Chicago radio personality

Al Greer

Last night, I spoke with radio personality, Al Greer, who shared his experience as a roller skating DJ. He said that he DJ’d at Rollerina (I’m not sure if this the correct spelling) on 103rd and Calumet in Chicago and Skate City on 63rd.

When I ask people about the rinks where they skated, only a few have mentioned this rink, so I really need people who have roller skated to share their stories, memories and images.



Roller Skate for Free Every Wednesday in October at MLK Center in Chicago

MLK Center - Chicago

During the month of October, you can roller skate and bowl one game for free at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Center at 1219 W 76th St. in Chicago in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is also National Roller Skating Month.

Here’s how you get in for free:

1. You have to wear something pink

2. You have get there between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Read the original story on DNAinfo. I hope to see you there one evening.

Did You Know Roller Rinks Were Attached to Amusement Parks?

Riverview Roller Rink

There were two such rinks in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s: Riverview and White City.

As I conduct my research, I am learning that Chicago has a history of everything, including being home to the Chicago Skate Company, which was one of the largest roller skating companies in the WORLD during its day. It was also home to the greatest number of amusement parks. This is why it is an entertainment Mecca.

Riverview, located on Western & Belmont, was possibly the most famous amusement parks in the world because of its size and the popular rides. It was source of amusement from 1904 – 1967.

White City Roller Skating Sticker

White City was located on the South Side at 63rd & South Park St, which is now King Drive. It opened in 1905 and closed in 1958. The park was named after the unofficial name of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair. The name was changed to Park City because of the racial connotation of the name.

Speaking of race, both parks were mired in racial conflict during that time. I have only found a little information about these issues but I would appreciate if you would send any information you find about racial stuff at these parks to me.

Also, if you learn or other amusement parks anywhere in the world that hand roller rinks, that would be great.


Images: Ebay, Sportslinkup

I’m Back…Plus Roller Skate Research Updates

Roller Skate Update

I was supposed to return in August but I was enjoying my blogging break so much that I decided to break a little longer. Remember, I was only breaking from blogging.

During my time off, I started going through all of my research files and documents. I have a lot of ish! That’s understandable considering I’ve been collecting information and stories since 2009.  And I have some good stuff with the support of people who would like to see my book come to life as much as I would.

Roller Skate Research Updates

I submitted proposals to the Chicago History Museum and DuSable History Museum for roller skating exhibits. So far, the response has been favorable. Both decision makers said that they would present the ideas to their committees and get back to me. If all goes well, I can get the exhibits in both museums at the same time.

After submitting my ideas, I have determined that I will complete my roller skating book in 2015. There’s no need to continue to put this on hold. However, there are things I need to make this happen.

1. Research assistance. If you read anything about Chicago roller skating or black roller skating in Chicago, please e-mail it to me at

2. Funds to pay researchers and interviewers. I plan to conduct a 30-day crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds. Also, I’m considering sponsors for my project. If you know of companies I should pursue, please let me know.

3. More pictures and video clips are needed. Please ask people you know if they have pictures they are willing to share. If so, have them to contact me so we can discuss specifics.

4. Stories for roller skaters. Ask any roller skaters you know if they are willing to take my survey. If they are, let me know if they are and I’ll contact them.

5. Prayers. Please pray for cooperation and good vibes throughout this process.

That’s it for now. I will continue my  posting schedule of every other week. Contact me if you need me.