Me and my Hula Hoop

The year was 1957, the place Homestead, Florida. I was ten years old and a darn good hula hooper. One day at my Catholic school we had a hula hoop contest in PE class.  At the end of the period me and this other girl, a skinny thing named Joy Gadway – can’t believe I still remember her name – were the only ones still going.

In order to wrap things up, the nuns in charge decided we should have a “dog fight” to determine the winner.  I’d never done one before. You walk toward each other, hoops spinning around your waist, and clash hoops, hoping theirs careens out of orbit and hits the ground before yours.

I’m not a very aggressive person.  We’d been taught by these same nuns to make nice, after all, and I took it seriously. I wasn’t  cut out for dog fighting. Evidently, Joy was.  She came at me, got in a good swipe and my hoop went down, down, down.  She won and I came in second. But without that stupid dog fight I might’ve outlasted her.

Fast forward 59 years. I’m hooping again. All because of a Fifties sock hop I got invited to a few weeks ago, complete with hula hoop contest. I already had a hoop. I saw it at a toy store when my grandsons were little, bought it for old times sake, then after a couple attempts stashed it away for “some day when I have time.”

That “some day” had arrived.  I found the hoop buried in my utility room, hosed it off and tried it out. My hips were a little rusty and I only lasted 50 swivels. Not pretty. It was easier when I was ten!  But I kept practicing and got up to 300. And won the sock hop hula hoop contest!  Granted, the competition among my 60-something rivals wasn’t very steep, and there was no dog fight, but a win is a win.

I’m still hooping. 300 swivels a few times a day just to get the blood moving, and working my way up little by little. Great for the waistline. And if I find a fellow hooper maybe I can even challenge them to a dog fight. I wonder if Joy Gadway’s still around.


About boomergirl47

Retired from the University of South Florida. Love reading, writing, hiking, nature, music, birding, puttering around the house and yard.
This entry was posted in children, emotions, health, human interest, humor, nostalgia, psychology, senior citizens, spirituality, women. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Me and my Hula Hoop

  1. Congratulations, definitely an achievement to proud of. There’s a reason we remember events like that. In primary school, my English teacher made the class write a poem and assessed it. (I would have been 8 or 9.) I was runner-up, my poem read out, but Michael Dransfield was the star, praised lavishly by the teacher. As it happens, unlike Joy Gadfield, 🙂 I know his story after that.

    Dransfield went on to become a famous Australian poet, prolific, his work taught in schools, and I have one of his brilliant anthologies on my shelves. He wrote better poetry than I ever will, and he knew more about life. But I’m using the past tense because he was addicted to heroin and died many years ago: at just 24 years old. No point to the story really, maybe we just do the best we can and enjoy every day we have, so go hula hooper. Think I might try it. 😀


  2. boomergirl47 says:

    Wow, Steve. Quite a story. You’re right. It’s not a good idea to compare ourselves with others – unless it spurs you to greater heights. Your poetry is brilliant and you’re alive to write it. That’s success in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

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