When was the last time you went roller skating? I don’t mean sleek rollerblades, I mean four thick wheels, big orange stopper in the front, disco blaring all around you. that’s what happened to me and my friends at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale.
We were originally attracted by the novelty of going to the only rink in
California that had a real organ player, but we found that it was the organist’s
day off, and the rink was actually a time capsule from 1982.
Now in 1983, I was a regular patron of Skate Odyssey on Staten Island
in New York. Moonlight had all the same elements that defined my early adolescent
years — earth-toned rugs, slushees, disco balls, and "Jam On It."
They were even having a birthday party for some kid while we were there,
and he got his own solo skate on the rink.
I would only sound gushy and totally retro if I spent too much time raving
about the fun to be had here for four dollars, so I’ll keep it simple. We
did a disco hokey-pokey on skates. We ate a big soft pretzel. We skated
to "Double Dutch," "YMCA," and even Elvis. I learned
I could still skate backwards, and my friend Monica, a Ph.D. candidate in
religion and philosophy, was so moved that she stripped down to a catsuit
to boogie on the rink. I’m sure all the twelve-year-olds will never be the