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Monday, June 24, 2013

Memories Anyone?

Wholesome Family Fun
Back when I lived in Texas (in a galaxy far, far away).  One of my favorite past times as a nine year old was to roller skate.  My allowance was enough to accommodate the visit to the local movie theater, plus a couple of nights at the Roller Rink.  I usually finished in the top 3 whenever I participated in a dance (on roller-skates) contest.  Over a two week period I was a no show at the rink because of family illness, and when I returned I told the manager that I had stayed away for lack of money (not wanting to talk about the family illness).  The most productive little white lie I ever told.
  • The music would start and off you would go…skating clockwise around the rink.  After a while there would be an announcement over the loudspeaker and everyone would skate in the reverse direction.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A member of staff was responsible for maintaining orderly behavior on the rink.  He would skate slowly backwards between the oncoming skaters and toot his whistle and admonish anyone who stepped out of line and broke the rules.                                                                                                                                                                   Pushing, speeding, skating against the flow and cutting across the rink were major offences.  It was forbidden to cut across the rink as the center was reserved for the more serious skaters to practice forward and backward figures.
  • National Anthem                                                                                                                                                    After a dozen or so circuits the MC would clear the floor and the music would start up again in a lighter, more contemporary, vein (Fats Domino, Johnnie Ray, Ray Charles, Duane Eddy) and it would be time for everyone to return to the rink for a final clockwise session before the National Anthem and home time.
I was offered a job teaching young beginners to skate in exchange for food from the snack bar, and free skating.  There are few other events in my life where my skill actually went to my head.  I really enjoyed showing off my dancing on skates skills in front of the young ladies.  I also played up the fact that I worked for the Roller Rink.
How I miss the days when everything you did was fun, and not much was required of you.  It strikes me that at my tender age of nine my mother allowed me to go all over town and have fun.  I was always given money for Taxi fare, but I seldom used it, unless it was to make sure that I got home on time.  What were your fun times like?  The best is yet to come….

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