Monday, February 15, 2010

When a Place is More Than Just a Place

Unless you live under a rock, then you know how the east coast has been pummeled, weather-wise, in the past week. On Sunday, a major part of my history met with an untimely demise because of the snow. The Rostraver Ice Gardens suffered a roof collapse. Luckily no one was injured, but somehow I still found myself choking up as I viewed the footage.


My history with this building goes back to before I even had a history. My mother and father met there during a public skating session. I've heard the story so many times I almost feel like I was there. My mother was skating hand-in-hand with her boyfriend Red when my father skated up to them and threatened to seal her away. (Spoiler: he did.) My maternal grandmother worked at the arena, and I think every single one of my uncles, on both sides of my family, played hockey there at one time or another. Then when I was a kid my mother worked there, behind the snack bar. I used to sneak behind the counter and get my own sodas. I grew up spending my Wednesday nights and weekends there while my little brother played hockey, and he sat on the benches while I took figure skating lessons on Saturday afternoons. I skated hand-in-hand with my first boyfriend there, and I met my oldest and dearest friend there. The memories I have could fill volumes.

I had hoped to take Sam there this year. The plan was to go with cousin Max, who's father's high school hockey number (#3) was retired after he (and his brother) wore it, and teach the boys to skate together. Sadly, that isn't going to happen.

I can only hope, for myself as much as my children, that they are able to rebuild and re-open. My past is linked with my mother's because of this place, and it is an amazingly awesome feeling to know we have that common background. I want that for my children. I want them to have the chance to make their own memories to fill their own volumes.

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1 comment:

Daniel said...

Thanks Ame. I'm with let re-rebuild. for your kids yes. But I want one more lap.