Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ice Skating in Vicksburg

For many years, in my travels, I've always carried my skates with me. Even back in the 1970's and '80's, when I did a fair bit of motorcycle touring, I always had them with me, even given the limited space in a motorcycle saddlebag. Any time I had any time, or could make time, I'd look up the local ice rink and go skate there.

Since the mid-'80's, I've had much less time available for travelling, but I still make every effort to find a rink and skate in every city in which I happen to find myself, with a little time.

The best ice 'pon which I've skated? I think the name was Ice Palace, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1982. The worst ice? A small, undersized rink about a quarter-mile from Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The rink, and the building in which it was housed, made way for yet another resort hotel several years ago.

The very nicest skating experience I've had has been reprised several times. The rink, called the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, in Santa Rosa, California, belongs to the estate of Charles Schultz (Peanuts). It also has the best in-rink restaurant (the Warm Puppy) I've ever experienced. Take note, Ice Scribe! Several times, I've gone up to Santa Rosa with my primary focus 'pon a skate at Redwood Empire.

I've skated at the rink in Paramount, California, in which Frank Zamboni developed his first ice resurfacer. A very nice rink, oversized to accomodate speed skaters.

In 1994, I was sent to study soil permeability and shear strength at the US Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi. I brought my skates. I asked where was the nearest ice rink. Ice rink? What's an Ice rink? Don't you mean an iced drink? I ended up gambling aboard one of the faux river boat casinos on Ol' Muddy.

One thing I hope to do, is visit New York in winter, so I can skate at Rockefeller Center. So far, every trip I've made to New York has been in summer.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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