The cold weather coming for Christmas reminds me that creeks and ponds will be freezing over and a few people will be ice skating. This column from 1988 proves you don’t really need ice on the ponds for skating.
Put away all thoughts of parking spaces and zoning regulations for a few minutes and let’s talk about real adventure ... I’m talking ice skating.
There are many things I have never done, and until last Sunday one of them was ice skating.
As youngsters growing up in a small western Kentucky town, my friends and I played in the snow day and night when it was available, paddled homemade boats in the backwater, and waded or swam in every available body of water. We had fun in or on every form of water we could find, but I don’t think I ever even saw a pair of ice skates.
Through the miracle of television I have fallen in love with figure skating and ice dancing in the winter Olympics.
So for the last eight years I have been telling myself, “Son, it is time you went ice skating.”
Now, I do have sense enough to know that you don’t just watch someone skate on TV and go out and do the fancy stuff.
If I had thought that, it would not have taken me eight years to put on the skates.
There are plenty of reasons (excuses) for not ice skating, like:
• I never even learned to roller skate, so what chance did I have of being able to stand up on ice skates.
• Skates are too expensive to run out and buy if you don’t think you can really use them.
• There is no place close to rent skates and apparently no one wanted the liability of loaning me equipment.
• I have seen enough Snoopy comic strips to know that even beagles can look very cool, then go topsy-turvey.
• Anyone who can break his toe water skiing, could do some real damage on ice.
• I am too old for this kind of nonsense.
Well, last Sunday the excuses ran out.
Other people from Metropolis have been driving to Cape Girardeau to skate .... and returning in one piece. I thought if they could do it, so could I.
The trip was very nice.
For $5 you can get in, rent skates and skate as long as your ankles and other parts can stand it.
Some of the young whipper-snappers there may have laughed at us old fogies, but we had a good time. So what if they kept passing us by, we were getting around the rink without breaking any bones.
During frequent rest breaks, one could watch the youngsters — some just learning, and some already daredevils.
There was even one blonde-headed teenager who appeared to be practicing for the Olympics. She even had the frilly, little costume. And as every dirty old man knows, the costumes are one of the best things about ice skating on TV.
All-in-all it was a very nice day.
I got to do some additional back seat survey work for my Cape Girardeau to Powers Church highway, spend time with friends, try something completely new, eat a good meal and tour Tamms all in one Sunday afternoon.
Now, let’s see, what else have I never done?