A Gem of a childhood

My sister Jenny loved her childhood so much she likes to pop back to visit it every chance she gets.

For instance, last Saturday on a gorgeous afternoon she convinced us all to go to the Gem Roller Rink, where she and her friend-since-nursery-school Dave whirled around a rink that had not changed much at all since their glory days.

“Remember moonlight skates where you had to negotiate to see who would skate backwards?” Dave asked.

Then, the two of them, tentatively at first and then with admirable confidence, discovered that they both could still skate backwards. No moonlight skate for them, though. They’re far too competitive for that.

In fact, once Jenny discovered she could still skate backwards she spent the rest of her time facing that way (a viewpoint to which she later admitted she stuck because she had no idea how to turn back around.)

Each lap seemed to take her farther and father back in time until you could almost see the tomboy we called Boomer racing around that rink with pink cheeks and an asymmetrical bob.

In a world that’s changing faster than the bandwith that drives it, we loved discovering a place that remains exactly as we left it.

As we yanked off our old school roller skates and prepared to return them to their age-old cubicles, we noticed the rink setting up for a limbo contest and a bunch of girls celebrating a birthday heading over to participate.

“Go get ’em,” I thought. “And, if you’re as lucky as we are, you’ll be able to come back in 30 or 40 years and lace ’em up again.”

I’m pretty sure the rules of Gem Roller Rink have not changed in 40 years.
The rink itself hasn’t changed much either. On the first gorgeous Saturday of spring, we had the run of the place and we had a great time.
Jenny and Dave took themselves right back to junior high, in old school roller skates on a grooved wooden rink.
They both discovered, to their delight, that they could still skate backwards.
While they didn’t approach the rink with quite as much glee as they rest of us, the young pups had some fun too.

5 thoughts on “A Gem of a childhood

  1. Fun!! I haven’t been rollerskating in years. But I did buy a bike for myself for Christmas and I am having a ball riding it. None of this distance, no pain no gain stuff. Just pure fun like when I was a little girl. Pedaling fast, Then holding my feet out, occasionally no hands for a second. Except now, I wear a helmet.

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