|Various people wandered up to thank and
congratulate Miles or to simply seek advise on roller skating matters. Miles organized
countless events including weekly Midnight Rollers Friday night skates along the
Embarcadero, and even produced a cable access show called "Skatin' Place Live,"
which won awards in the late 1990s. He is coordinator for the Golden Gate Park Skate
Patrol and president of the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association. Miles has also
been a driving force in political battles trying to close off Golden Gate Park to traffic
on Saturdays, and making The City's streets more accessible to skaters.
One member of
the eclectic skating community, 42-year-old San Francisco native Elliott Johnson,
discovered the scene around the same time as Miles. Sporting a flowing red bandanna with a
red headband and red leg warmers over red skates, he described what he loves about the
sport. "To come out here and to skate with the other people, to learn, to see other
things...and to see so many people expressing themselves in their own way, it's a
wonderful feeling," he said.
Terrance Smith, a 46-year old native San Franciscan sporting Elvis shades and slicked
back hair, also waxed eloquent about roller skating's disco and hiphop history, while he
acknowledged Miles' importance in The City's skating community.
Miles tried to explain the essence of the scene that has come to dominate his everyday
life, and why it has lasted. "It's not exactly just skating, it has a lot to do with
the community of skaters," he said. "There's very few things where all you got
to do is show up and you belong to a group of people that are fun, and just have no weight
on you." "You don't have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain
color, it don't matter," Miles added. "The music is universal, the dancing. It's
just sort of an accident, like most things that are successful."
With his eight-wheeled twirls and spins, Johnson took the time to write a poem for the
"Godfather" in a 25th anniversary photo album present for Miles that was making
the rounds among the die-hard skaters. The last verse read, "And though it's not
enough, thank you is all we can say, as the sun sets down on us, each and every