In early March StoryCorps Atlanta partnered with the Washington, D.C. based organization Our Family Skate Association to record the stories of roller skaters in the Atlanta area. Over the course of two recording days, eleven skaters rolled their way into the Booth and forced us all to recall our own skate stories. Our Family Skate Association Board Chair, Tasha Klusman, orchestrated the interview process and brought to the Atlanta Booth some of the most famous African American skaters in the country. Tasha has helped arrange interviews with skaters in several StoryCorps venues, and you can read another skate story in the blog post “Charlie “Whip” Davis.”
Detroit native and Atlanta Sk8-a-Thon founder Joi Stafford (aka Queen of the South), talked about her first skating experience in Detroit, Michigan and skating “Detroit Style.” She talked about founding Sk8-a-Thon and how every Labor Day Weekend, the event brings skaters from around the world to Atlanta.
Seasoned skaters Tristina and Michael Allen came into the recording booth on Michael’s birthday to talk about finding love on skates. Chicago and Washington, D.C. natives, respectively, the couple met and fell in love on the skating rink. They now make their home in Atlanta and are an important part of the Atlanta skate community.Â After their conversation, I shared my skating story with Tristina and her husband. That evening, they invited me to go skating with them. For the first time in twenty-seven years, I put on a pair of skates and, with some assistance from Tristina and Tasha, made my way successfully around the rink. I was hooked, again, and vowed to rekindle my passion for rollerskating!