David Miles fell in love with skating and with his future wife during his first summer in San Francisco in 1979. The rest is history. Here’s how he tells it in an emailed letter to skating friends as he celebrated his 30th anniversary. Follow his link to the SF Chronicle story to see many more vintage photos.--Liz
This Sunday marks a red letter date for the GodFather of Skating. Sunday, March 8, 1979 marks the first Sunday I ever came out to the park with skates. I arrived in San Francisco on Mar. 2. I spent a few days hanging out around Double Rock and Visitation Valley, but those were the kind of places I was escaping. One day I took a MUNI bus to Golden Gate Park where I saw people on rollerskates!!! I was told the park was closed to cars on Sundays and people skated in the streets!!!
I went out the next day and bought me some blue and yellow Disco Rollers. I remember a picture of Super Cool O.J. Simpson holding these skates. I went out to the park not knowing anyone. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There were hundreds of rollerskaters there skating up and down the street. Nothing was organized, just a lot of people having the time of their lives. There was Dr. Funk and the Blood Clot, a nickname for a group of African American rollerskaters led by Dr. Funk (local DJ Miguel Franseca). He carried a huge "Radio Raheme" style boom box up and down Kennedy Drive as we all boogied to the funky beat. There were pathways that went to the beach. There were buffalos. There were little lakes. There were also sand puddles where your feet stop, but your body keeps going. That's how I discovered road rash.
I met my wife Rose in June of '79. The Golden Gate Park Skate Patrol formed in July of '79. 1979 was a very good year for skating. As I look back at all the great times we have had skating in Golden Gate Park over the past 30 years, it's as wonderful now as it has ever been. Please take a look at an article that I saw in the San Francisco Chronicle exactly one week after I discovered skating in Golden Gate Park Park, published on March 15, 1979. This article drew skaters together and formed the nucleus of the skate scene that still exists today.
You can read a history of skating news of the past 30 years at http://www.cora.org/CORANewsVault.htm.
D. Miles Jr.
The GodFather of Sk8