Monday, March 12, 2007

Roller Skating Rink

On the CBS Sunday Morning News program they had an article about a skating rink in New Jersey closing. A certain week night, Tuesday – I think, is a night for the elderly to come to the rink and skate. They have been skating there since it opened in 1964. Many of the old men and women with their crutches and walkers turned into graceful swans once they were in their roller-skate shoes and in the rink.

That brought back memories.

Back in high school, on Roswell Road, across from Varner’s Drive-In was a skating rink. We didn’t frequent it much but did a few times. I think maybe one reason we were shy in that area because Marietta High School students were the dominant ones there. It was in the area of Sprayberry High School, so their students probably ruled.

Once one friend of mine saw some cutesy girls, probably Sprayberry students and he tried to skate by them to impress them with his turns… things didn’t work out like that, he could not turn and plowed directly into the rinks railing.

After we had kids a rink not far from us had a skating party for the grade school Rocky attended on a certain afternoon every so often.

The kids had fun and it was enjoyable to watch and the parents mingled with each other in the seats. Of course the seats were in the form of small tables by a small snack bar. It was a win-win situation to allow the parents in.

Rocky and Adam got pretty good. There were also a few fights by the bullies, so we had to keep a hawk’s eye on all the kids mingling and ready to pounce.

A couple of times I skated, which I haven’t skated for many years, I was amazed how easy I could skate and glide along, making the curves, and go around and around, like the little rats in a race in the movie “Stalag 17”.

This was in the mid 80s. The rink played rock and roll from the 60s. I think they played that kind of music because it is has that rhythm to spunk things up and also because the parents probably preferred that kind of music in a place like that and we were the spenders.

I think on any night the skating rink was opened to anyone who wanted to skate but on certain nights they called it a certain school night, for instance Kincaid School Night…. That would insure that you would get plenty of kids from that school, and the next night another school, and so on.

I noticed that every time I was there a man came that looked to be between 25 and 30 years of age. He had a conservative haircut, tall, long and long legged. He was great skating to the rock and roll music. If Chubby Checker was singing “The Twist” this guy would be out skating a twisting, sometimes raising on leg high and twisting that one leg back and forth with the music as he sped by the sitting area. He did other dances while spinning around on his skates. He was a one-man show.

Later, near the concession stand I was getting something to drink and so was he. I believe in complementing people when I feel they did something good so I complemented the innovative skate-dancer. He looked directly through me and went on as if I had not said anything.

Is this another case of being invisible? Or he might be challenged and his mother told him not to talk to strangers. Either way, he did not need my complements.

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4 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

Could he have been hard of hearing?

We had a skating rink in my hometown, and I spent many an hour there. On Fri. nights, they had dances for kids of high-school age. I went nearly every Friday for 2-3 years.

10:06 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Judy,
If he was hard of hearing I doubt if he would be making skating movements with the music.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I really loved roller skating when I was growing up. The rink by my house played 80s music, though, and I really loved Quiet Riot, which makes me crack up when I think about it now. I recently brought a pair of roller skates from my parents' house back with me to NYC, so I look forward to the weather getting warmer and skating in the park. Good times.

12:37 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
I remember your picture on your blog in your skates

2:51 PM  

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