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Skating rink brings back fond memories
Thank you for the article on Auburn Skate Connection and John Gustafson ("A rink for all seasons, generations", Auburn Reporter, Sept. 13). It's great to hear that he's still operating the rink after 40 years.
If the walls could, in fact, talk they would tell of Auburn kids of the 1970s who spent every Friday and Saturday night at the rink. Admission with skate rental was around one dollar; five cents for licorice ropes; 15 cents for a graveyard soda pop, which was all flavors mixed together; and you could get the coveted free drink coupon if you won one of the nightly girls or boys speed races.
When the "all skate" sign would change to "couples only", the overhead lights would dim and the disco ball with colored spotlights would come on. The boys and girls sat on opposite sides of the rink, and girls would wait for boys to come over and ask, "Wanna skate?" You would hold hands and skate for the duration of a song.
When the sign changed to "trio only", the girls became emboldened and a pair would rush a seemingly unsuspecting boy and drag him around the rink between them. And, of course, there was the "Hokey Pokey".
Many teenage romances blossomed at the rink, some even lasting until the following weekend.
And the music? I still go back in time to the rink whenever I hear Pink Floyd's "Money", Paul McCartney's "Band on the Run", and David Bowie's "Fame", among many others from those days.
Thanks for the generations of memories, John, and keep them coming. Thanks, Auburn Reporter, for the reminiscence.
– Gwen Streeter