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BREWER ROLLER RINK, BREWER, MAINE, 1962

Brewer Roller Rink

The sweeping spear, sky high rear window and eye-catching tailfin trim on this two-toned space-age spectacular 1959 Chrysler Saratoga, combined with the gentle curve of a barrel vault roofline, twin gooseneck lights craning toward very sober signage and sort-of checkerboard windows, provide a most unexpected backdrop for this impromptu family portrait.

Like bowling alleys and miniature golf courses, skating rinks are not nearly as plentiful in this old world of ours as they once were. The Holiday Roller Rink in Montclair, where I learned to roller skate in third grade is long, long gone.

Southern California’s most stylized rink was a big red barn called Skate Ranch. It was a western themed extravaganza that sat on the north slide of the Santa Ana Freeway in Orange County. I never went there but it always caught my eye as a kid when we sped by at 65mph.

But don’t despair, now that you are in the mood to go skating, the Rollerama in Bakersfield, Rollerdome in Thousand Oaks, Skateland in Whittier, Skate-o-rama in Downey and the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale are still standing.

For my thirtieth birthday party I rented out the Moonlight. I’ll never forget it. We ate ice cream with wooden spoons, did the Hokey Pokey and sent my friend Fred off to the hospital. He fell and broke his arm.

Here’s to roller rinks and YOU!!