Breaking out My Inner Sk8tr Girl

Published 9:39 am Monday, February 14, 2022

As you’ll read today, SkateTowne is undergoing some major renovations, making the rink more kid friendly and a place kids of all ages will want to hang out.

It has been a while since I actually skated, but as a young preteen, there was no other place I could be found on Friday nights beyond the Stardust Skate Center.

My dad was very fond of the skating rink, always reminiscing on couple’s skates and all-night skates when he was a kid, so naturally he taught my sister and I to skate.

We truly loved it; we would always rush to pick up pine-cones on Saturdays, ending the chore as fast as possible, so we could go skate.

Eventually, our love for skating was noticed by Santa Claus, who in turn brought us new skates for Christmas.

These skates were everything at the time. They were jet black with neon laces, so other skaters could see us during the black light skates.

Once I had my skates, no one could tell me anything.

I would go to school on Friday, just knowing that night I was going to the skating rink with one of my friends, even if no plans had formally been made yet.

Around 5:30 p.m., you would get a little message, “can u go 2 the sk8ing rink 2night?”

Usually, the answer was always “yes!”

The skating rink was right around the corner from my house, and if I really needed to, I could’ve ridden my bike there, but my parents always preferred to drive us and watch us go inside.

Our skating rink had off duty officers on Friday night, making sure everyone was safe and no one was only pretending to go to the skating rink, only to really walk to Walmart or Chili’s.

Once inside with your hand-stamp, the night was yours. You could go request songs or play arcade games or skate, of course.

I would normally start my night by buying some candy to stuff in my pocket and chew on throughout the night.

My mom always insisted that was so dangerous, because I could fall with candy in my mouth and choke and die, but what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.

I would then start skating, but when the good songs of the time like “Don’t Cha” or “Pon de Replay” came on, I would start “skate dancing” shaking one of my legs or hips as I flew across the floor.

I would occasionally skate backward, thinking I was really cool.

Then would come the awful part of the night- the couple’s skate.

My friend would always get asked to go couple’s skate and the guy who asked her would almost always have a friend, who was completely uninterested in skating with me.

He would ask her to skate and then say something like my friend wants to skate with your friend too.

As soon as they would skate away, the “friend” would immediately turn to me and say, “no I don’t” and skate at light speed away.

I always used that as my chance to snack at the concession stand.

While the couple’s skate might not have been fun, the skating rink brought me so many fun memories with my friends, my dad, my sister and anyone I met there. I even learned to do the limbo in skates.

I really hope this new SkateTowne renovation will encourage parents to take their kids more often and let them get the full skating experience. I realize the activity may not be as popular as it once was in the 90’s and early 2000’s, but it’s clean fun, which is a rarity these days.

So, break out those skates, lace them up and let’s speed skate.