The Skating Rink

We go through the doors into the Skating Rink and see a huge room. It is almost 1/2 the full length of the Hall and it spans the entire building from front to back. On the right side, there is a counter where you go and rent your skates. After you get your skates you go over to the benches to the left of the entrance door to put them on.

Most of the big room is the open skating area. There are a few padded columns down the center of the room. Skaters go in a big counter clockwise circle around the floor. We head to the skating area after we get our skates on. Where on the floor you go, depends on how good a skater you are. Slower beginners go around on the outside so they can hold on to the wall and try not to fall. Many of the older teenagers and adults were skilled skaters. They went very fast around the middle of the Rink, sometimes skating forwards and sometimes backwards.



The Rink was not air conditioned and was usually hot, even in the wintertime. There are big windows on three sides of the room and these windows were usually opened all the way for cooling ventilation. Each window was covered with a heavy wire screen to keep the skaters from falling out or from hitting the glass on the rare occasions when the windows were closed.

There was almost always loud music playing at the Skating Rink. I don’t remember if there was a juke box or if it was a PA system. Rock and Roll was just becoming popular in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s and it was what was often played at the Rink. The songs were often more risqué than the songs heard on the local radio stations. Also, since many of the leaders of the Rock and Roll world were black, many of their songs were played for the skaters. Music from black musicians and singers, particularly Rock and Roll, was not often played on the local radio stations.

Going to the Skating Rink was lots of fun. The Rink was a destination in itself. It was not something you did for a half hour or so. Skating sessions were usually for several hours. I remember getting many blisters from overdoing it and skating too long.

The Skating Rink was started sometimes around 1950. I am not sure when it closed and I do not remeber the last time I went there. Before this big room became the Skating Rink it was used for awhile as a bowling alley. I’m not sure how long the bowling alley lasted  but I don’t think this venture was too successful.



 
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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster.  Contact me at:
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