People that did not grow up in the '80's cannot possibly imagine the importance of the roller skating rink and the impact that it had on my childhood. I grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Not really famous for much except Rex Humbard, but all in all a nice place to live. We were really lucky, we had access to two roller skating rinks. Skate 8, the family friendly small rink on State Route 8 and the infinitely cooler Rocky's which I think was in Akron somewhere. My family frequented Skate 8. Especially on Wednesday nights. Family Night. We would load up the family in the station, rent our skates and roll around for hours. Shoot the duck, backwards skate and everyone's favorite, the Limbo. We would gaze in awe at the girls who had their own skates with the Pom Poms on them. We would take a break to play a video game and watch our parents skate when they turned down the lights for the couple skate. I was in pre-adolescent heaven with my feathered hair and Calvin Kleins with my comb in my back pocket. I got my first bra on a Wednesday. I know this because I was so excited that I got to wear it to skate that night. I just knew some hot boy would ask me to a couple skate that night because of my bra. Didn't happen, but a girl could dream right? After I got my bra and I was so mature Skate 8 just didn't seem as cool. All the cool kids were going to Rocky's. I heard they even had a light up disco floor. I begged to go but mom had heard it could get wild. Mom finally said it was ok to go on a Saturday afternoon. I was so excited. I walked in the door. The music was so loud you could hardly hear yourself think. I am pretty sure that Pac Man Fever was playing. The bottom floor was all video games and when you walked up the stairs the dance floor was to the left. It was much darker at Rocky's and the disco lights were amazing. Everyone's jeans were much tighter than at Skate 8 and were Jordache. No Calvin's here. Couple skates here weren't the holding hands skating slow that I was used to, they were the type that one person skated forward and pushed the other backwards. Some couples even mastered the heavy petting make out session on wheels technique. My virgin eyes. We would practice our dancing during the week so we could show our moves on the dance floor. There was a dance called The Walk that if you didn't know you just were not cool. We heard it was even better on a Friday or Saturday night, but alas I was denied by my (I thought) overprotective parents . Didn't they know I could handle it. I was wearing a bra for God's sake. (Thank you by the way Mom And Dad).
I don't know if skating lost it coolness or if we just outgrew it but it seems like we just quit going. One day we wanted to go every Saturday and then the next we wouldn't be caught dead there. Maybe it was when our hair got so big that we took up to much room on the dance floor. Maybe it was when we quit putting our combs in our back pockets. Like you could run a comb through all that hairspray. Maybe it was when we actually got the boobs to fill those bras and we weren't comfortable moving too much for fear somebody would notice. Whenever it was it was a a rite of passage into the scary world of preteen-ness and our world would never be the same.