Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just Skating By

It was just me and three fifth grade girls and a date for the open skating session at the Columbia Ice Rink yesterday. All three are beginners but very determined beginners. I alternated between escorting each one for a lap or two and then taking a lap for myself.

I grew up with ice skating in Columbia. As teenagers we played pick up hockey games on Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi. Back then, CA actually monitored the ice conditions on Lake Kittamaqundi and flew either a yellow (caution) or red (don’t say we didn’t warn ya) flag to warn all skaters. On Wilde Lake we were more or less on our own so we stayed close to the shallow end near Rivulet Row and Catterskill Court. These were the days before the rink was built. We were all excited when that happened in 1971. I was a sophomore in high school.

Today the old ice rink seems as popular as ever, at least it was on this last day of January. With temperatures in the mid thirties outside, the temperature on the ice felt downright comfortable. There were folks of all ages and skill levels. It sure beat staying inside on a cold winter weekend.

For a brief period of time Columbia also had an outdoor ice rink at The Mall. Before the Bank of America bank branch was built there was a seasonal ice rink on that spot next to LL Bean.


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