Vintage Photos of Raucous Florida Teens Hanging Out at a Rural Roller Skating Rink

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In the fall of 1972, Bill Yates was wandering a rural area of Hillsborough County called Six Mile Creek, near Tampa. He was studying photography at the University of South Florida at the time and had just completed a workshop with renowned New York City street photographer Garry Winogrand. Yates spotted Sweetheart Roller Skating during his travels, returned that evening to photograph the teenage night life, and eventually shot more than 800 images of Sweetheart regulars — some of which he amassed for a portfolio that helped him get into the grad program at the Rhode Island School of Design.

The photos — which we first learned about on Art F City and the Orlando Weekly — were stored in a box for more than 30 years, but have since been resurrected for an exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink, which documents the tenor of the times, will be on display through January 17. The museum, which is home to the largest collection of Southern art in the world, recently created a Hurricane Digital Memory Bank Project in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

See how ‘70s-era Florida teens spent a raucous Saturday night at the Sweetheart in our gallery.

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL

Bill Yates, courtesy of the Ogden MuseumSweetheart Roller Skating Rink – 1972-1973 – Six Mile Creek, Hillsborough County (Tampa) FL