For years, the place where I work was considered the home of figure skating. While the arena was torn down in 1994 and replaced with a new training facility about three miles away, my dream was to some day skate there. Last week, I finally got my wish - sort of. A coach whose famous last name is synonymous with a legacy of ice shows, organized some young skaters to perform for a convention group. No, he didn't get tank ice; he didn't actually get ice. What was installed was synthetic sheets of something that looked like packing material. I was intrigued. In the middle of our convention facility, laid out like Leggos, was a faux rink. Measuring 30' x 40' , this surface appeared to be something appropriate for Ken and Barbie. I watched several young athletes work their way around the rectangle, making it look so easy. Double Axel, camel spin, pairs lifts, Ina Bauer, catch-foot spin. I was in awe.
After everyone left, except for two colleagues who I trusted not to laugh, I sat in my business clothes, laced up my skates and ventured forth to the "Great Unknown." It was my turn to say I had skated at this iconic facility whose glory days of ice were long gone. This was my moment to relive those days in New York, Chicago, Denver and in the mountains. I was on home turf and I was ready.
If you are of a certain age, you remember a movie called The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman, where his character receives advice from a family friend, Mr. McGuire: "There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?"
I thought about it. Enough said.