Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


School’s Out, Summer’s Here!

School’s out in C-Town and (keep this a secret between you and me) I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Why? you ask. You don’t have kids still in school. Your g-kiddos are still yet to be. What difference does it make you if school is in session or out? 

Because, the kids in my life (that would be nieces, nephews, cousins’ kids, etc) come around a whole lot more when school’s out. And even if they don’t come to work, I get to hear about their exploits.

Wow. Do they have fun!

When I was a kid, we didn’t do a lot in the summer like people do now. The highlight of our normal summer week was walking to the Public Library to return/check out a book. And we swam. A lot. (LOVE that public pool!)

One of my most favorite things to do in the summer (or any time of year) was roller skate. I had two pairs of shoe skates growing up. The first pair didn’t use a skate key. It had leather that pulled across the toe and laced up to hold your foot to the skate. And while that worked, it was for babies. I wanted the real thing.


Skates with a key. My friends I skated with all had skates with a key, so finally Mom broke down and bought me a pair. (My baby skates got handed down to a younger sibling.) I was beyond thrilled! I was elated!!!


There were three of us girls who lived next to each other. Me, Susie Lunsford and Marsha Williams. We loved to skate. The trouble was, Marsha’s driveway sloped a bunch, so when we skated at her house we were mostly in the carport.

Susie’s driveway sloped quite a bit, but not as much.

Marsha Hagberg lived on up the street and had a really steep driveway. Her family owned Ben Franklin, so I’m sure she had the best skates of all. 🙂

My driveway was perfectly flat, but Mom had the cement guys put a broom finish on it so when it was wet, nobody slipped, but that made it really hard to skate on. If you fell, look out! You’d need a whole box of Band-Aids to cover the damage.

We had a couple of sidewalks that were good for skating, and after my grandparents built next door, one that sloped down to their driveway. That surface was p-e-r-f-e-c-t! Smooth and wide with two more sidewalks to zoom along. We had hours and hours of free fun there.

Kids today have never heard of shoe skates or skate keys, but we had a gas!

Do you remember shoe skates? What did you do in the summer to stay entertained?