A weekend outing to the local roller skating rink with four of our grandchildren opened my eyes as to just how much has changed since I went skating with my friends in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Gone are the organ music, old-style skates, uneven wood floors and disco-ball lighting. Now it’s flashing lights everywhere, loud music, laser tag, arcade games, and play zones. Did you know skating rinks now have this new gizmo called an ‘assistant-rack’ which aids in teaching kids to roller skate? It’s made out of PVC pipe, has wheels on the bottom and looks like a walker for kids. The kids and their ‘assistant’ have a designated spot in the middle of the rink where they practice until they are ready to venture out with the experienced skaters. I felt like I was in the middle of little bumper cars when I was helping my granddaughter. There needs to be a neon sign overhead that says “Accident Zone-Enter at Your Own Risk.”
It was much simpler when I was growing up. Your parents, a relative or friend taught you to skate. Once you thought you were ready you stepped onto the rink, prayed that someone wouldn’t knock you off your feet before you got the chance to get your footing and looked for the closest railing to hang onto when you knew you were headed to the floor. Falling down and bruises were part of the learning experience. Once your brain finally kicked in and your body followed, you could skate with the best of them. Although my skating days are over (broken bones are not on my bucket list), seeing your grandkids enjoy the same thing you did at their age just goes to show that when it comes to having fun not much has changed. Are you ready to take a spin around the rink?