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A mother and daughter build a tradition around roller skating


On this New Year's Eve, we have a StoryCorps conversation about forward momentum and roller-skating.

TEMICA HUNT: The first thing you hear is the music even before you fully are in the rink. And then when you get on the floor, your feet, your skates, your body become one with the rink, the music, the floor, the people.

MCCAMMON: That's Temica Hunt. She talked with her mother Necothia Bowens-Robbinson about their family's roller-skating tradition.

NECOTHIA BOWENS-ROBBINSON: My daddy could do no wrong. He was everything to me. He taught us about church, taught us about family. And, of course, he taught us about skating (laughter). He knew how to roll.

The first time he ever took me skating, I was like, oh, my God. That's my dad. Look at him go. He was dancing on air.

HUNT: I just remember always being with you in the skating rink. And you didn't let me fall. You have this thing that you do with your hand while you're skating. It's almost like this mother bear arm.

BOWENS-ROBBINSON: I learned that from daddy. Daddy would guide my hand the way he wanted me to go. But to watch you skate - I remember one time, I looked down the rink, and there you were, flying up in the air, doing - they call them flying nutcrackers. And you came down in the split. I almost lost my mind. I didn't know you could split. You go, Temica. You go, girl. That's my girl. How about that? (Laughter).

HUNT: Yes. Well, it took me a long time to learn it.

BOWENS-ROBBINSON: Yeah. But, you know, I wish daddy would have been able to see you skate.

HUNT: Yeah.

BOWENS-ROBBINSON: You go, baby girl. That's what he would say.

HUNT: Yeah. Tell me - when are some times when skating got you in trouble?

BOWENS-ROBBINSON: I remember a time. I wanted to go skating so bad, but daddy said, no, you can't have the car. And I was like, I need to go. It's Sunday night. Daddy going to be asleep. I'll be back in time. (Laughter) I did not get back in time. So daddy was late for work. And then he called Uncle Beanie (ph) and told him to go find me at the skating rink. I look up. There go Uncle Beanie. And I'm like, oh.

HUNT: I got to go.

BOWENS-ROBBINSON: (Laughter) I got to go. But, you know, I wanted to teach you what daddy did and what your great-great-grandmother started - a legacy, pastime. And the one thing that's common is the music, the wood and the flow. When you walk into a rink, that's what you're going to experience every time. And that is freedom.


VAUGHAN MASON AND CREW: (Singing) Come on and bounce.

MCCAMMON: That was Necothia Bowens-Robbinson and her daughter, Temica Hunt, at StoryCorps in Washington, D.C. Temica's children are the sixth generation in the family to lace up their skates. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Jey Born
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