October 11, 2009

Skating Memories


I heard this song on the radio today, and it took me back a long long time ago to when I was 16 years old. Back in my hometown, the place to be for the teenage set was the local ten pin bowling/roller skating centre. My friends and I lived at this place. Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, Saturday nights and all day Sunday would be the norm.

We didn't go ten pin bowling but rather hung out in the skating centre. It was the place to be. We were also into underage drinking (yes me bad) so many times we would ask the older kids to buy alcohol for us, and we would get pissy and go skating.

There was the couples skate, the backwards speed skate, and the best fun of all was when 10 people held hands and skated and the person on the end was the one who went flying off the end.

The music came from an upstairs booth, and occasionally we were invited "to the booth" to watch over the rink, and if you were up there, you knew you had really made it. We were regulars and proud of it.

I remember this one guy who worked in the front of the centre, hiring out the skates. His nickname was Runner. To this day I don't even know what his real name was. He was older than my friends and I, perhaps around 22, and he always smelled oily - like he had spent the day underneath a car.

My friends and I would stand near his booth and chat to him, in between skating. I could skate really really well. In fact, I rocked! I could backward speedskate, and in itself that even sounds wicked and goofy, but dammit, I could do it.

I had some kind of attraction to Runner. Was it that he was older, or that he was a bad boy, or that he flirted with us? He was called "Runner" because..well..he was so good that he could run on skates. And if he came out of the booth to skate to a song, and he took one of us with him, it was magic. He WAS skating.

I want to go back and remember the giddy feelings, the joy and excitement of being a teenager, before life became so stressful. Before I grew up.

This song takes me back because it was regularly played in the centre, and life was so much easier back then. We had the best time when we were 16. I often wonder what happened to Runner. Is he even still alive? Does he have a family? Does he remember these times? Does he remember me.

Cheers to you mate, for giving me some wonderful memories...

5 comments:

Foursons said...

This is hilarious. Backwards speed skating, the skate rent guy, the booth. You were so c.o.o.l.

We had a skating center when I was a kid that we spent hours upon hours at every week, but it shut down before I was a teenager. I have great memories of that place too.

Love this post- so much fun to get the "inside" of you from when you were a teenager.

SK said...

Nostalgia is funny that way. It's nice to hear something to trigger a happy memory.

rlhkr said...

hahahahahaha M......this is a page out of my book...only his name was Sturt...often wonder about him too ;p

Laurie said...

LOL Skate rink crushes! I liked the skate rental guy named Jason, in my mind he still works at the skate rink -- just like I assume all my old teachers still teach the same grades at the same school. My memory freezes people that way I guess. Runner is a cool name though, at least the teenager in me thinks so!

jeanie said...

lol - you took me to a Cold Case episode when your post would have been set...

I wonder if his kids know how cool he was?