Was it skating or dancing?

Thou Shall not dance.
Especially with the opposite sex. Boys and girls were forbidden to dance with each other. At least this was the doctrinaire of our fundamentalist church.
However, the first Monday evening of each month way back when we kids would go with an older couple in their twenties to Pasadena at the Moonlight Roller Drome. Roller skating on a rink is what it was. Round and round the skating oval while an old guy behind a big glass window at one end of the rink played the huge zillion key Wurlitzer organ. Early on after arriving and renting our skates everybody would just roll along the main skateway either with some proficiency or holding on to the outer rails just as I did. It took a while for me to become confident enough to skate out in the mix of things.
Then it would happen. The lights would dim and the reflecting mirror ball over the center of the rink would start to revolve and a million twinkling lights would shower the skating floor. The high pitch voice of the organ player would announce “couples skate only.” So only older teen and young adult couples took the floor holding crossed hand as couple skaters would do. Holding one hand behind the female skater and one hand in front of the couple. The older couple who drove us to the rink had their own skates and skating outfits. He in black tuxedo-looking pants with a wide vertical red stripe down the side with a white long-sleeved party-looking design shirt. And she in her woman’s short mini-skirt skating outfit. So, all skaters danced with varying degrees of performance and proficiency. Some were good skaters whirling and twirling all around the oval skating floor. Dancing and twirling ballroom style as they progressed around the oval. And others just hanging on to each other trying not to fall down.
Then a most dreaded thing happened, the lady who brought we kids to the roller rink asked me to skate with her at the next couples only session. Leaping lizards! Why me. I tried my best to beg her off but she would not relent. So, when the organ guy announced couples skate only, I prayed the power would go off. But it did not and we shakily strolled out on the skateway and she literally had to hold me up while held each other’s hands and arms in couple skate style. It seemed like forever the dance tune played on and on. And as soon as the couple skate session ending. Zip! Off I went to embrace the side hand rail. Never looking back at my couple’s skate partner. What a freaking embarrassment.
Now here is where the rubber meets the road. My dad decided to come with we kid to one of the monthly Monday skating’s. But he came as an observer only. Watching for about an hour or so. And as a prominent member of our church he surmised, “All this is just dancing. Dancing on roller skates. “So, I stood up on my rented skates and rolled into the men’s room. Fade to black.

Published by Okie Beyond borders

I come from a family who migrated from the parched red dirt Plaines of southern rural Oklahoma. Migrating to blue collar working class community of East Los Angeles. There is where I was born. I am Mr. Writermelon. I can only write what my grammar and spell checker allows. I am neither profound nor profane. Boy howdy! Send comment to: Mr.writermelon@gmail.com

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