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