Woman Finds Skates After 40 Years in Modern Cinderella Story | Canada

When Renée Forrestall slipped her feet into the worn pair of ratty white roller skates, it was like stepping into the past.

It had been decades since she had last roller skated, but as she approached 60, she thought she was going to do it again, exercise and celebrate her milestone birthday.

Forrestall, a high school art teacher in Halifax, Nova Scotia, bought a more modern pair, but the fit wasn’t quite right, so she put up a Facebook Marketplace notification for him. ping when older skates went on sale.

A few days after her birthday, she received a notification: a man named James Bond was selling a pair of vintage skates for $40. He didn’t know the shoe size – it had been worn out for a long time – but held up a ruler measuring the boot: 10 inches.

Forrestall measured his own foot: 10 inches.

She arrived at Bond’s two days later, sat down on the step and put on the skate. It was strange. The skates fit just like the skates she owned when she was a teenager.

It is because they were his skates.

Forrestall wrote his name in capital letters – R. Forrestall – inside the leather tab of each skate using a Marks-A-Lot permanent marker. Photography: Renée Forrestall

Forty years earlier, she had sold the Excalibur roller skates at a garage sale. Now, sitting on a step outside a stranger’s house, Forestall has pulled the tongue off the skates to see her name still inscribed.

“The guy [Bond] stood there and when I looked at him and peeled my name my eyes filled with tears because I literally had my life in front of my eyes,” Forrestall told the Guardian.

She gave Bond his asking price – $40 – slipped the skates into his car and drove the 30 minutes home in awe of the coincidence.

She remembers her mother buying her the skates when she was 16 or 17, at a time in her life when she was dealing with a significant personal loss.

The ad that brought Forrestall together with his roller skates.
The ad that brought Forrestall together with his roller skates. Photography: Renée Forrestall

At the time, she used the skates to spend time alone. Remembering those times has been bittersweet, she said. “It is very moving.”

Coming from a large family, his father had always insisted that his children write their names on their own things so they wouldn’t fight.

So she wrote her name in all capital letters – R Forrestall – inside the leather tab of each skate using a Marks-A-Lot permanent marker.

When she found them, the old skates were dirty and needed updating. Forrestall cleaned them up and took them to a skate shop in Halifax, where she bought new red wheels and matching laces.

She and her daughter put together a TikTok video featuring them, which has been watched by over a million people.

One commenter wrote, “Oh my god the universe finally worked for once!”

Forrestall is touched by the interest in her reuniting with roller skating, but is very excited to practice her skating this summer with her old pals.

“I’m not trying to get fanciful. Look, if I can move forward and stay upright without hurting myself, that’s all I want,” she said. “I wish I could spend time with them again.”

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