Friday, August 15, 2008

Skating Rink: Part Two

This is a horrible shot of the back of the Old Mill Skating Rink in Gloucester County; the entrance was through that little door. Please don't stare at that glare bouncing off the roof for too long, you might go blind. Now that I've said don't stare at it, do you find yourself glancing at it even more? What is that phenomenon called? In absence of the psychological terminology, I'm going to call it a combination of "unable to follow instructions" plus "You're not the boss of me," with a huge dose of "Chesapeake Bay Woman really should have taken another picture of this when the lighting was better, but she was too lazy."

Below is something my mother wrote about the Old Mill Skating Rink. Before I forget, I wanted to mention that I spoke with a lady the other night who said the first floor of this building was once a bowling alley. I never knew that. You learn something new every day.

I don't remember my first time skating, but it surely was at the Old Mill Skating Rink. It had always been there; my mother, her sisters and her brother all skated there to the rhythm of an upstairs organist, who in my time was replaced by recorded organ music.

Many romances were born there. Sweethearts used a small back porch area for (word deleted by CBW because it gives her the creepy crawlies; CBW will suggest that the reader can imagine what the sweethearts were doing, or just substitute this: "deep discussions about the meaning of life.") I, in my full skirt and rented skates (usually ugly and large) managed to twirl out there as if by accident and see for my pre-pubescent self what romance looked like. Then I'd twirl back out and klutz my way to the nearest hand rail. I became an adequate skater, but no fancy dance on wheels--that was the owner's daughter. She had no fear; but I had enough for everyone.

On those rare occasions when I was tapped by some partnerless fellow for the "couples only" skate, I did my best to stay upright, but the fellow usually carried me like a rag doll at warp speed, and I admit I lost consciousness a couple of times.

That the rink still remains is a miracle, but it has undergone many incarnations since its heyday. Good feelings hang in a pleasant vapor still surrounding the place, and forgotten people in forgotten times can be heard laughing and loving every moment in life.

-Chesapeake Bay Woman's Mother

I think I have another new favorite phrase: Fancy Dance on Wheels. Here's an example of how I'd use it:

Don't tell ME not to look at the glare in that picture....You're not the boss of me. Who do you think you are, some fancy dance on wheels?

-Chesapeake Bay Woman


Mental P Mama said...

Please tell us what those couples were doing. I need to know the word. Please?

Grandma J said...

The skating rink looks awfully small, but then it may be the angle of the shot. Is that window the bathroom or the ticket window.

CBM is a hoot! No wonder your father fell head over heals with her. She had that skirt on, and twirled, and twirled. The rag doll part reminded me of my feeble attempt at ice skating.

BTW, I didn't put that thing up by myself. And my bra strap broke, because the dang harness was twisted, and....

Anonymous said...

When I first read this and read it again, I kept asking myself, " did Mama have sisters and a brother??".......
Little Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

mpm - It really wasn't a bad word, it just made me cringe. When you come visit me after your daughter goes to school nearby, I'll tell you.

GJ - This picture is very deceiving. The other day I posed the view from the front. There are two stories and you are only seeing the entrance to the top level here. It is a massive building. Massive.

Little Sis - Sounds like too many back pain meds to me. Of course my writing is generally confusing, so perhaps it was both. As you know, Chesapeake Bay Mother has no siblings but Chesapeake Bay Nanny had several.

Keeper Of All Things said...

CBW....I'm stuck ....I have no imagination..
Tell ME WTF was going on on the porch?!!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Keeper - They were counting the stars, solving the world's problems and playing a little game we call tonsil hockey.

Bear Naked said...

I am finding it dificult to read or write because I have a large shiny white blob in the center of my monitor.
Thanks a lot CBW you've blinded me for the weekend.

I imagine the word that CBW's Mom used was probably *spoonin* or some other quaint phrase like that.
Am I right, am I right?

Bear((( )))

Big Hair Envy said...

Is it pathetic that I was NEVER invited to the back porch at the Old Mill?

I think it was because my hair was too flat;(

Karen Deborah said...

You are old? You are ten years younger than me and going to jump off the dock with a cinder block? I would need about 6. I'm so bouyant I can't even swim under water. Ok so I enjoyed the last 4 posts. I remember life without helmets and knee pads. Maybe that's why so few kids are outside riding their bikes anymore. I mean really what a lot of crap. I am sure glad I got to feel the wind in my hair. I am so relieved not to be the only one the geeky boys liked. Never had a cute boy chase me, and never went into dark porch corners. Oh well, never mind.
Ilike your dysfunctional family stories, I love your mother, and father sweating like weanies on charcoal spit. Your family is fun.

foolery said...


Anonymous said...

My mom was on the bowling team that bowled downstairs in the bowling ally about the year 1967/68 maybe. They used duck pins I believe. Lots of memories for my mom as a kid, for me and my girls growing up. Only wish it was still open so my grandkids could enjoy. My aunt and uncle owned it.