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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Remember Skate King in Tacoma?

What’s shaky, slow, tentative, and ridiculously fun?

Me, on roller skates!

Yes, I laced up some awful beat up brown roller skates with orange wheels yesterday at a skating rink in Everett to celebrate my niece’s fifth birthday. I figured that skating would be like riding a bike after not riding for a long time—a little shaky, but quick to remember what to do. And yeah, it’s only been 30 YEARS since I last skated; but I was confident. How hard could it be?

Oh. My. God. It was hard. I was pretty awful but I stayed upright. No falls! I went really slowly near the wall (just in case). The scary part wasn’t about toppling over, but getting smacked down by these little daredevil kids that could out skate me ten times over. At least I made it around the rink without any collisions.

And that rink! Disco ball glittering from the ceiling in the center of the rink, strobe lights, loud music, carpeted benches, and the stench of cheap pizza, stale popcorn, spilled pop, and sweat. It brought me back to my old skating days at Tacoma’s Skate King in James Center back.

I brought my own bright white, orange wheeled skates to Skate King, THE coveted childhood gift from Santa. I remember skating backwards, doing the speed skate, and the infamous slow skate with the lights dimmed, a cheesy love song (think Journey) and skating hand and hand with a boy. We did the “duck” move (inspired by the song “Disco Duck”) and the Hokey Pokey on skates. I remember my wheels getting tangled up in my overly long wide legged jeans. Ah, the memories.

Anyone else wanna share?

Kim, The Skate Queen


Stephanie Frieze said...

Dear Queen Kim,

My hat is off to you. I am so unbalanced that just standing upright on skates was always an impossiblity for me and so I bow to your prowess!

Never the less, I spent many hours at the Lake Hills Roller Rink, but it was on Saturday nights listening to the likes of the Sonics.

Keep rollin' Miss Kim.

Anonymous said...

Good Job Kim!
Wanna go again? Try Auburn Skate connection in Auburn. A little closer than Everett. There is also a rink in Parkland on Pacific Ave, and Tiffany's in Puyallup, and Pattison's in Federal Way. All have beginner skate classes and quick little kids on skates, but lots of fun never the less. If you want organ music, go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. If you want to watch some really fast kids, we are having a speed meet at Auburn Skate Connection January 17-19 starting at 6:00 a.m. Tiny tots are the funnest to watch. Our youngest speed skater is 3 and our oldest is 60. The kids average 13 miles per hour while going in a circle. It is quite a feat to watch these fearless kids go!

Lorraine Hart said...

Well, the last time I tried riding a bike...I didn't remember, so I think I'll stay safely in the bleachers with Stephanie.

Hope you tape that ankle before putting on those very groovy little wheels!

*Lorraine hobbles off on aching knees to put the kettle on*

JosephMcG said...

Fun... fun... fun... I smiled reading your post...
Thank you...

Kim Thompson said...

Hi all!

Thanks for sharing your skating stories, current tips on where to go and what to do, and concern for my bum ankle (it survived and is getting stronger!).

This might sound weird but I think the greatest joys in my laugh are doing the seemingly ridiculous!

Lorraine Hart said...

"...greatest joys in my laugh..."
I LOVE it....soooo coyote!!

Kim Thompson said...

Oops. A beautiful typo!


Patty Cake said...

I LOVED Skate King! Gosh we had so much fun there! I remember eating the long licorice ropes and hoping a boy would skate with me during the couples skate.

Kim Thompson said...

Patty, we may have even been there at the same time. I was the stick figure with baggy jeans, buck teeth, and long shaggy hair racing around the rink! Ha, ha, ha!

Gary said...

How about the “All Night Skate”? Knowing that one person, that someone special for the moment, the latest crush would be there. You walk into the sidelines of the rink slowly…while scanning for that one person. Of course then followed by night of being a nervous wreck wondering if they felt the same way. Catching eye contact and swapping occasional smiles. Ah...the innocence of youth. Thanks for the memories!