Natchez girl was born to ‘board

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 30, 2000

The quiet stillness of a Sunday afternoon is broken by the grinding sounds of skateboard wheels on asphalt.

Hunched over on her knees and arms, Tyranesha Swayze glides rapidly across the road. As her skateboard rides up the curb and into a yard at the end of the cul-de-sac she jumps off, turns around, puts the board board on the ground and starts again.

Left foot squarely on the board, she pushes — hard and often — with her right leg, building up speed until she hops on and enjoys the ride … until it stops and she repeats the cycle.

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A few minutes later, she hops offer her board and stops to talk to the visitors.

As she struggles to catch her breath, Tyranesha explains that the skateboard is by far her favorite toy.

Not Barbies? &uot;Nope.&uot;

Or dolls? &uot;Uh-uh.&uot;

Just the skateboard? &uot;Yes.&uot;

Tyranesha was just 7 when she got the skateboard for Christmas last year. She took her first ride on it that day.

Now 8, she’s mastering the sport, as evidenced by her Sunday afternoon workout. &uot;The hardest part is standing up on it,&uot; she admitted.

The Morgantown Elementary second-grader lives with her grandmother, Laura Swayze, on this quiet street — an ideal spot for riding bikes or skateboards.

&uot;When she was about 3 or 4 she was riding bikes, everything,&uot; says Laura Swayze. &uot;She’s always been kind of apt, you know.&uot;

Watching from the doorway of her tan woodframe home, Laura Swayze admits she’s quick to brag about her granddaughter: &uot;She’s an A-1 student … and a lot of help to me.&uot;

But Tyranesha is oblivious to her grandmother’s praise. Cruising across the cul-de-sac, she looks up and flashes a quick smile at her grandmother, hops off the skateboard, turns around, and sets off once again.

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart a map and finds a story where it lands.