Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rolling in the Moonlight: 10 Lessons for a Rex-y Body

There is a lot for me to learn about roller skating.  Fortunately, Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA was...


As if the lure of skating wasn't enough, the mellow hum and multi-color glow of the neon-lit
entry to Moonlight Rollerway got my wacky tacky juices going.

Our friend Anna, of Easy Acres Chicken Sitting, rounded up some of the gang to spend an evening at the rink boning up on the finer points of roller rink protocol - staying upright on skates was the least of my worries.  Here are the ten most valuable lessons of life in the rink.

It's not what it looks like; Denise & Anna weren't sitting long enough
to get the bench warm.  We were there to SKATE!

I had absolutely no idea why there was on oversized, sand-filled, ceramic
frog at the front door.

Lesson #1
It was obvious that I was a novice skater.
The first, and most important, rule of the rink is,

Lesson #2
You are at a roller rink - dress accordingly and be ready to participate.
Dress code: Be "Neat & Clean"
"No visiting; everyone must have
 a ticket and must wear skates"

Lesson #3
I look amazing in roller skates.
Actually, I  think the two different laces signify
the increased threat level to more experienced 
skaters of skating anywhere in my general vicinity.

The interior of Moonlight Rollerway taught me Lesson #4.
The slower you roll, the further out you should skate.
The center of the rink is for experienced skaters both in speed and technique.
Interestingly, the same is true when it comes to dancers on a large dance floor.
The center of the rink is even painted with formations should a figure skater choose to practice.

Lesson #5
Tuesday is organ night!
Almost all roller rinks of a certain age were fitted for organ accompaniment - canned music came much later.
By far, the best part of the night was Dominic on the Hammond Organ.
The mirror above his head is for the benefit of skaters; one can watch all the action on the keyboard.

Lesson #6
 Rexing is for lovers.

As is evidenced by this beautifully executed silhouette,
"rexing" is roller dancing.  Apparently, rexing can be
done alone, in pairs, or as a trio. The rexual activity at
Moonlight Rollerway can get pretty intense.

Sexy Rexers.
They were rexing all night long.

Lesson #7
 Roller Disco is not dead.
Don't let the fact that 1979 (the magical year of
Roller Disco-themed classics like "Skatetown, USA"
and "Roller Boogie") was well over 30 years ago fool
you into believing that a "Disco Roller Rink" is a
thing of the past.

"Skatetown, USA" (1979)

"Roller Boogie" (1979)

Lesson #8
A Slush Puppie by the snack bar is the nearest thing to Heaven on Earth.
I haven't had a Slush Puppie since I was 10 years old.
Dang, they're delicious! 

Lesson # 8-A
Ladies love a man with a Slush Puppie!
Side note:  How badly did I want to hang on to
the locker key safety-pinned to my sweater?

Lesson #9
Real roller skaters always carry their pencils in a crocheted pencil cozy.
It occurred to me that carrying a sharpened pencil
whilst skating might prove for some future medical
trauma, but they were selling these in the pro shop,
so I figured it must be safe.

Lesson #10
Skating is over at 10:30.
"Goodnight Couples"

Honestly, roller skating was a huge success.  I hadn't had skates on in many years and it only took a few trips around the rink for all my old moves to return - that is to say, skating forward without falling down.  I'm pretty sure I am ready to shoot the duck!!!  If my "10 Lessons for a Rex-y Body" aren't enough inspiration to strap on the old quads, here's a "Popeye" cartoon that will surely have you heading to the roller rink in no time.

"A Date to Skate" (1938)

Moonlight Rollerway

5110 San Fernando Road
Glendale, CA


Mr. Tiny


  1. I recently rediscovered rollerskating due to a good friend haveing a rollerboogie birthday. I loved it, I think it was the breeze in my hair that got me. (having never been a real runner, I don't experience that very often). We should take our good friend SN some time. :)

    1. Ha ha ha! You are awesome and make me laugh so hard!

    2. Cari - I would love nothing more than to see SN on roller skates! Isn't skating freeing? I think it is as close to flying as I'll ever get!

      Trixie - Look who's talking; you make me laugh with every blog! You're my comedy hero!

  2. Boy, I really need to go to Moonlight on organ night! What fun! I’m always happy to hear that folks are going out to the skating rink for some good old fashioned fun. Long live the skating rinks! The Popeye cartoon is too cute.

    1. Crystal Lee - You must go on organ night! It is both fun and enormously entertaining. You are a real skater, so you would have been seriously embarrassed by my performance (although, I did not fall at all), but I loved it. I need to make sure my visits to the roller rink are not so few and far between!

  3. I used to go here as a kid! I had a thing for rollerskating. I had at least 1 birthday party at Moonlight Rollerway, 4th grade I think? I hope the same carpet is still on the walls!

  4. I would so fall on my butt. I never had the skating gene.

  5. Some one tell me please am I crazy or was scenes from Roller Boogie from the front of Moonlight Roller Rink? A friend first took me there, best times I loved it and still do.

  6. What an Era, use to go to Balboa Park and skate also, back then they would carry large cassette players while they skated. Oh I miss those days, and Moonlight, moved away. Just watched Roller Boogie for the 100th time. Had to do some surfing about it.