My son had a birthday party at a roller rink yesterday. I didn't know those were still around. We used to skate all the time as kids. We had a rink close by, called Fireside, that, if I remember correctly, was billed as the largest in the US. They had a some kind of plaque or something stating this fact. The only reason it was the largest, if it was true, was because the largest one in Texas burned down. You know, everything is big in Texas, unless it burns down.
Remember how big roller skating was? Everyone had their own skates, mine were the Sears special in true bi-centennial colors, and some people were so into it at the rink. They would be dancing around in their matching closes and multi-color wheeled skates. Imagine Stu from The Simpsons skating around. These people would go into the an inner circle of the rink where you could do tricks, dance or just skate backwards. Yes, we had a rink-within-a-rink. Don't forget, it was the largest!
I'm trying to remember all the different announcements and types of skating at the rink. Obviously there was the All Skate, Couples Only (you actually had to hold hands!), but I don't remember the others. I know there was a big board at the rink which would show which type of skating was currently going on, but those are the ones I can remember. I am getting old you know.
The rink also had an awesome arcade it in. The perfect place to hide out during Couples Only skating. The best was playing the racing games with skates on. You could really jam the gas pedal down on Pole Position with a 15 pound skate on your foot.
Speaking of the skates and the weight, I think that was my biggest fear at the rink, getting smacked in the head with a skate during a huge pile-up. Those happened on occasion when the rookie skaters (old people) got dragged out there.
I think one of my favorite presents as a little kid was the set of skates I got that were the shape of a gym shoe instead of a boot. I think it shave off 7b whole ounces of weight, but they looked much faster. You know what I mean.
Skating was so big there was a CHiPs episode centered around it. Now, I could be wrong, but I believe this was all in the same show. Again, I'm getting old. But I recall an episode where some younger people were going around stealing stuff with shoes that had built in wheels in the bottom. This was long before those wheelies shoes came out. These were like something MacGyver would have made. It was a thrilling episode. Also, I think it was the same episode, there was a big roller party at the end of the show. Maybe for charity or something. All I know is Ponch was boogying around the rink in his shiny silk shirt along with the rest of the crew at the end. You know how all the CHiPs episodes ended with freeze-frames of the whole crew laughing, right? Just imagine that happening with everyone wearing skates and shiny shirts. Even Sgt.Getraer!
After doing some research, I found out there was a two-parter called "Roller Disco." I can't find details on this episode, but it has to be the one I was thinking about. See, a two-parter on roller skating. Of course, this was 1979, there weren't any really cool video games for the home yet. You needed to go out to play Defender.
My point, if i actually have one, is that I am old and all the cool things from when I was a kid are coming back. Maybe. Just don't bring Disco back, okay?