Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Under the Big Tent



     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.
Kat


Photos courtesy of Microsoft Office Free Clip Art    

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8 comments:

  1. My sisters LOVED the roller rink. I was kind of a chicken shit. You know that kid who hung on to the rail for dear life? Yeah, that was me.

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    1. So sorry you didn't enjoy the skating rink. You don't know what you were missing out on! :D

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  2. My friends and I went to our roller rink almost every week. We skated and we danced there also. Friday nights in the summer they held dances, no skates. Very fun and huge crowds of kids.
    Never had any trouble there that I was aware of and whatever the rules were, we followed them.
    Nice memory...for you and for me. ♥

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    1. Yes, we had dances at ours too. Yes, most of us followed the rules but there was always the occasional fight. For the most part it was quiet though. Good times.

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  3. Nice post, Kat! I'm so sad that a few weeks ago, a very old skating rink was torn down. The short time I've lived here, we've attended birthday skating parties and my daughter has had many good times skating with friends there. It was a nice safe place to hang out and play on a Friday night. :/

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    1. I'm so sorry they tore it down. I think today's kids are missing out on something by now having their skating rinks to hang out in.

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  4. That brought back some wonderful memories for me Kat. I loved my time at the skating rink. For years I think the only shoes I wore (unless I was at school) were my skates. I could walk on them, ride in them, cross grass, carpet or broken sidewalks... they were great times.

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    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I spent my fair share of time in my skates. :D

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