Saying Goodbye to a Weekend Landmark

When the Valueland Shift Ends

As a teenager, I spent many of my Friday nights at Ocean Club Roller Skating Rink; it was an institution of teenage roller angst and the place to be on any given weekend night. So when my daughter asked to head there during spring vacation, I didn’t hesitate. I also didn’t plan on skating. When we arrived however, we learned that this was to be the very last weekend for Ocean Club; it was closing for good, and rumor had it that a Dave’s Market was taking its place.

So I rented skates, and feared for my life. I stood upright and wiggled my way along the concrete barrier that separated the smart parents from…well…me. As my previously torn hamstrings groaned in disbelief (a wave took me out at East Beach two summers ago, but that’s another story), I thought “Hey, it’s like riding a bike. And don’t be scared – you rode the Everest ride in Disney. You can do this.” I continued to inch along the carpet, but couldn’t gain enough confidence to skate with the boat-load of kids who moved along the rink like the Indy 500.

I eventually ditched the skates and watched my 11 year-old daughter skate circles around me. And then everything changed: The DJ played Michael Jackson’s Beat It. I put those skates back on and jumped into the rink as the 16 year old who once whizzed around that same rink, not the 40-something who wasn’t sure she’d live to cook dinner. I’m grateful for the many parents who warned their children I was coming, or simply grabbed them out of the way. And the best part? I walked with only a slight limp the next day. Fun times!