I first saw one in the summer of 1958 in Ocean City, New Jersey. Several kids had one and they were spinning and twirling them with only a little success. We soon found out they were Hula Hoops, and everyone had to have one.
The idea was to spin it around your waist and wiggle your hips so the hoop would stay and spin around without hitting the ground. It wasn’t easy. It seemed the faster you wiggled your hips, the quicker the hoop fell. If you wiggled real slow, the hoop would also fall. Eventually you hit your stride and when you shifted your hip at just the right time the hoop would spin centrifugally.
At first the challenge was to spin it the most times without losing it. Then it was how long you could spin it. By August the trick would be where you would spin it…around the hips, at the knees, even around the neck. By September the toy that seemed impossible to master was a cinch for every kid in town. Still the craze held on as parents were amazed at the children’s ability.
Then the parents started to try and they mastered the new toy. It was at that point that children the world over decided to quit the craze and end the fad.
Kind of like Facebook.