SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Mon. Aug. 11, 1980

 

By Katy Butler, Chronicle Staff Writer

David Miles, coordinator of the Golden Gate Park's Skate Patrol, stood guard yesterday next to a card table loaded with Band-Aids and alcohol swabs that blocked roller skaters from the Music Concourse near the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum.

He wore two official.looking gold stars on his satin red-and gold-striped uniform jacket. Like a swarm of red-and-gold shiny bees, his young volunteer "captains" and eight-wheeled "patrol officers" reported back to him, circled the card table, and whizzed off again on their rounds through the park.

Every Sunday, when vehicular traffic is banned, about 8,000 roller skaters flood the smooth John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. They weave and disco past bicyclists, joggers and old people who also enjoy the day when cars are banished.

It is Miles' Roller patrol that runs interference.

"We're all over the park, from Stow Lake to the Polo Field," he said solemnly, as he swabbed a bee sting on the neck of Jeremy Grimes, 7, a visiting " roller skater from Hayward.

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Indeed, the patrol may be the only thing that will keep roller skating from being rolled right out of the park.

In the face of complaints from less athletic park lovers, it has already been banned at the Music Concourse, Stow Lake, the Children's Playground, and six other quiet areas of the park.

Roller skate rental trucks have been given their rolling papers for August 29 by the.

Board of Supervisors, unless a decision is made to let them stay. The loud disco tunes that skaters once rolled to have been banned. People now disco-roll to tunes inside transistor headphones.

Miles believes that the year old roller patrol, an all-volunteer, multi-racial group of mostly young skaters who keep people out of the banned areas and help injured skaters can keep them from a total ban.

To raise money for walkie talkies and other equipment, the group will hold a $l5-per-coIitestant freestyle competition for roller skate hot-doggers on Sunday, August 24,at Le Park skate club on South Van Ness Avenue.

Miles, 24, a former bricklayer from Kansas City, Mo. started his own skating career about a year ago when he moved here, took a tour bus through the park and saw the skating.

"I thought, 'Hey, that's real sharp. I'm going to get me some skates,' " said Miles, who yesterday was wearing kneepads, necklaces featuring the Superman symbol and the Incredible Hulk, the patrol uniform donated by Rector'Sporting Goods in Santa Rosa, and $115 Ridell boots with Kryptonic wheels. "I made a whole lot of friends. You don't see nobody out here calling nigger or honkie. I'd never seen anything like that before."

Since he learned to skate and joined the volunteer patrol, Miles said he has missed only two Sundays: once to participate in a San Diego skate meet, and the other to skate the full distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles in five days.