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by Rose-Mary Rumbley

You know you're old when you remember the Hula Hoop! You Boomers all had Hula Hoops. We parents tried to "do it" but we couldn't. Grandparents tried too! I remember daughter Jill standing almost still with that Hula Hoop spinning around her. My father was fascinated...HOW DOES SHE DO IT! Daddy asked Jill if he might try. He was an athletic sort, so he thought he could Hula Hoop! He couldn't! I remember his trying over and over. He'd fling the hoop to the left and start moving his right side. The hoop fell to the ground immediately! I also tried over and over. I couldn't get the hoop going! It was a "kid thing."

The Hula Hoop arrived on the scene in 1958. A group of executives from Wham-O Toy Company were traveling in Australia, when they saw a group of kids standing and spinning circular Bamboo Shoots around their waists. One of the executives thought--"What fun? We can make a plastic hoop and American kids will have fun too!" Because the activity looked like one was dancing the Hula, the name Hula Hoop was given to the new toy from Wham-O.

I remember that several articles were written about the hoop. It was called the circle of life--a spiritual thing. Some said, "The longer one could hula, the longer one could live!" Sounds a little "far out," but it sold Hula Hoops!

In 1968, there was a National Hula Hoop Contest! How long could one hula? There was a winner.

But a bigger contest was held later in Chicago in 2019 promoting mental and physical health. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the winner as Jenny Doan, who was able to Hula Hoop for 100 hours. Jenny said she attempted this record to challenge herself physically and mentally.

There was another contest held later. One had to Hula Hoop while roller skating. The list goes on!

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