Hallie Wilt, 8, zips over concrete waves in the early-morning heat. Yesterday, rain delayed her older sister's softball games. The wet ground has delayed them again this morning, but the sun has dried the concrete of Columbia Skate Park inside Cosmo Park.
Hallie and her younger sister Carlee, 7, are off and running, scooters coasting in lazy figure eights, their father, James, watching from a seat in the shade.
Sisters have to stick together in times of boredom. After hours of braiding hair and playing computer games under a tent, the girls are happy to be out in the sunshine.
Hallie walks to the top of a short ramp and grips her handlebars tight. There's no pushing off, just a slow acceleration as she catches speed on the downhill. Halfway up the opposite ramp, her momentum gives out. She hops off and walks the rest of the way.
"The first time we came to ride, we were scared," Hallie says. "The ramps make you go pretty fast."
"And I fell on the water and skinned my knee," Carlee adds, pointing down to the scratched skin and mud on her left leg.
"But we're better today," Hallie clarifies.
After an hour, the heat has flushed their cheeks and dried the softball fields. Their father calls them in.
They call to each other from opposite sides of the park and come together for one last run down the small ramp, their matching French-braid pigtails trailing behind.
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- Columbia Daily Tribune 2008
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- Our Town