I always say that I want to live in the seventies, but I never explain why. There are many reasons, and so I will be sharing a series of pieces on things I love from the seventies. The first of these is the roller rink… Enjoy and please come back soon to see the next installment!
Now, as you know, I was born in 1974, which actually makes me a child of the 80’s. I did most of my roller skating in the 80’s, but wish I could have been around for the roller disco days. I would have loved to be on a roller disco team, skating to hits of the 70’s. I mean, Xanadu was one of my favourite movies as a kid, so you see where this obsession might come from.
When I attended church (way back when) the youth group used to take us to the Rainbow Roller Rink, in Tonawanda, NY, to skate. I had a pair of roller skates that were mine, but they wouldn’t let me use them there so I had to rent with everyone else. A bit like bowling, if only for the shared footwear.
Here were a few key elements of skate night – rolling up to the snack bar to buy french fries with malt vinegar (good thing that writerchaz was not around then, he would have never chatted me up), ladies choice, trying to partner skate but failing miserably, almost making it into a competition but being yanked out by the mini christian coalition that gave us the bus ride to the event, and trying to pee in a bathroom with ceramic tiled floors – what a silly thing to do to the kids with the skates.
If it were the seventies I would have been able to wear awesome skate outfits (covered in rainbows) and skate semi-professionally on a local team. I would have skated to disco hits and won trophies for my efforts. I would have dated a roller disco guy and found secret areas of the roller rink to make out during “all skate” or “ladies choice”. Instead, I had the 80’s, cleancut christian version of roller skating. We could barely hold hands without one of the chaperones skating up and breaking our grasp. The boys were not too good on their feet, so most of the time the girls would skate in groups. It was fun and boring at the same time. The songs were all 80’s hits, since this was after the point at which disco was announced to be dead. I did learn how to skate backwards, so that was cool.
If only I could have been born 10 years earlier, I would have been a roller disco queen.
Peace – Chantale