The Skating Rink
We go through the doors into the Skating Rink
and see a huge room. It is almost 1/2 the full length of the Hall and it
spans the entire building from front to back. On the right side, there is
a counter where you go and rent your skates. After you get your skates you
go over to the benches to the left of the entrance door to put them on.
Most of the big room is the open skating area. There are a few padded
columns down the center of the room. Skaters go in a big counter clockwise
circle around the floor. We head to the skating area after we get our skates
on. Where on the floor you go, depends on how good a skater you are. Slower
beginners go around on the outside so they can hold on to the wall and try
not to fall. Many of the older teenagers and adults were skilled skaters.
They went very fast around the middle of the Rink, sometimes skating forwards
and sometimes backwards.
The Rink was not air conditioned and was usually hot, even in the wintertime.
There are big windows on three sides of the room and these windows were usually
opened all the way for cooling ventilation. Each window was covered with
a heavy wire screen to keep the skaters from falling out or from hitting the
glass on the rare occasions when the windows were closed.
There was almost always loud music playing at the Skating Rink. I don’t
remember if there was a juke box or if it was a PA system. Rock and Roll
was just becoming popular in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s and it was
what was often played at the Rink. The songs were often more risqué
than the songs heard on the local radio stations. Also, since many of the
leaders of the Rock and Roll world were black, many of their songs were played
for the skaters. Music from black musicians and singers, particularly Rock
and Roll, was not often played on the local radio stations.
Going to the Skating Rink was lots of fun. The Rink was a destination
in itself. It was not something you did for a half hour or so. Skating sessions
were usually for several hours. I remember getting many blisters from overdoing
it and skating too long.
The Skating Rink was started sometimes around 1950. I am not sure when
it closed and I do not remeber the last time I went there. Before this big
room became the Skating Rink it was used for awhile as a bowling alley. I’m
not sure how long the bowling alley lasted but I don’t think this venture
was too successful.
This web site has
been started as a public service to share the story
of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about
putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster.
Contact me at:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. My
regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485