Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Ye Olde Skating Rink
A few years ago my nephew had a birthday party at the local roller skating rink. I remember thinking that everything was so close together. It was too bright in the snacking area with the tables, which was too close to the small group of coin-operated arcade games. And the snack counter/skate rental counter were just so small. And the area to put your skates on..too small. And the ground was all hard..all of it...which doesn't really mesh well with gangly kids on skates. Small..small..small...too loud...all wrong.
Not like the skating rink I use to go to when I was young.
It was called 8 Wheels. And it was awesome. First off, the eating area/snack bar was huge. You could buy just about any kind of candy you wanted, popcorn, pickles, sodas. I specifically remember all the popcorn that kids would drop on the floor. The counter to get your skates was separate from the snack area or snack counter. There was also a counter with a display case to purchase wheels, stoppers, laces.
There were maybe three or four arcade games but the rest of that same wall was filled with lockers to put your shoes in. You would put the key, which had an orange top and attached to a bungy cord, around your wrist. Or around your skate..if you were cool. There were several mushroom benches, round..flat benches to change in and out of your skates. Or to socialize on...if you were cool.
The rink itself was big with a oval painted on it so you knew where to turn. And it was also great for the hocey pocey..because you could really put your wholeself into the oval on the floor. There was a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. There was a DJ booth. Whoever those people were that worked the DJ booth...freakin' saints. I can only imagine what they had to put up with between song requests and kids thinking it was cool to talk to the DJ.
They had all kind of races. My favorite was the rope game. Two people held a rope across the floor and you would skate around and duck under it. If you fell or touched the rope you were out. The crowd would get smaller and smaller until it was just a few people. It was amazing what some of those people could do with their bodies..on skates, no less...to get under that rope.
*sigh* It's just a very fond part of my childhood.
I wish I had some pictures to share with y'all from that time. But usually parents would drop the kids off and go. At least, I don't remember my Mom being there much. And we didn't carry cameras around back then..or have cell phones. So, I don't think I have any pictures, not even at my moms.
8 Wheels is closed now..has been for many, many years. The new skating rink is in a different building, a newer building. But it's just not the same. Not sure if it's really so different or I'm just seeing it through tainted eyes.