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Longview High School students working on massive skate project

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:58 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:35 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - When you think of a roller skate you certainly don’t think about sitting in it. Well, Longview High School has one that you can not only sit in, you can also drive it. And an art teacher and a couple students are working to bring it back to its original glory.

It’s one really big skate. It was built on a Volkswagen Bug chassis back in the seventies, and only driven to work and back by the owner of the Longview Rollercade. Longview High School Art Teacher Jeffery Hull is now its caretaker.

“I was lucky enough to live in town; come back to town as a married couple in ‘85 and this skate was actually driving around on the streets. Being an art car guy and an artist and a sculptor, it was terrific to see this,” Hull said.

He says it spent years on a pole as the Rollercade sign. When they went out of business, well Jeff sort of inherited it.

“And I promised the owner that we would restore it to the Rollercade look,” Hull said.

It was red as a sign but is going back to the original blue and white with the help of seniors Harrison Taylor and Chloe Hamilton who are polishing up that old shoe.

“Did you ever think you’d be painting a giant skate?” I asked Chloe.

“I did not. I didn’t know one existed until I came to this class,” Hamilton said.

“I don’t think that anyone could ever say that they expected to be painting a giant shoe,” Taylor said.

But with a great shoe, or skate, comes great responsibility.

“To work on something that means so much to so many people and has a history of its own, it feels like I’m doing something a little bit bigger than myself,” Taylor said.

Well, it is definitely bigger than all three of them, and it sounds bigger too.

Although it’s just a Volkswagen Engine under the..heel. These students are in the LHS Art Club so I had to know:

“Are you going to sneak in a little signature someplace?” I asked Chloe.

“I could. I probably could,” she smiled.

Hull says it’s been running again since 2019, has been in a few parades and there are more to come, during and after restoration inside and out.

Of course, I think the obvious question is: Where’s the other one? It seems one’s always misplaced somehow. Could be behind the couch.

The restoration has been going on several years and will probably take a few more. The LHS Art Club is asking to get access to any old pictures that viewers may have from before it was painted red and placed on a pole as a sign.

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