Every generation of teenagers has their favorite hangout. Even within a generation favorite hangouts may vary according to geological locations. My generation was no different and for many teens of my day our favorite hangout was, without a doubt, the skating rink.
Growing up in a small town we didn't have a lot of options when it came to hangout spots. There was the local restaurants, the movie theater in a nearby town, or the skating rink. In the winter we were forced to go inside to the first two choices but when spring brought warmer weather we could hardly wait till the skating rink was up and ready to go.
We didn't have the luxury and convenience of an indoor skating rink where we could skate year round. Our skating rink was a huge circus size tent that was constructed every spring in a large lot down by the river. From my upstairs bedroom window in the house we lived during my mid to late teenage years, I could actually watch the progress as each board of the wooden floor was laid in place. The anticipation grew as I watched, checking each day in hopes it would be finished. I loved the skating rink and so did nearly every kid between the ages of 5 and 20 within miles. It was the one place you could go alone and yet never feel alone. Better yet, you could go with a date or a group of friends. You could always find a friendly face.
George Tower, the owner, offered skates for rent but most of us had our own skates. The girls skates were usually white and every year we would buy a new pair of fuzzy pom-poms to tie on the toes, each trying to find a new color different from everyone else. The last ones I remember having were a soft baby blue. I loved those pom-poms!
Our skating rink may not have been fancy by any standards, but it was our magical place. It was where we hung out, skated, laughed, cried, made friends, lost friends, found boyfriends, lost boyfriends. It was our place to be kids, to grow up and to learn about life. It was the place that kept many kids out of trouble and where others got into trouble. It was the place to be...it was our place.
Until next time...that's my view.
Photos courtesy of Microsoft Office Free Clip Art