LIMA — Thousands of people throughout the years spent their time roller skating at Edgewood Skate Arena in Lima.
On Sunday, the rink hosted a reunion skate, where people could relive their teen and pre-teen years with a few laps around the 180-foot-by-75-foot hardwood floor.
Edgewood Skate Arena opened in March of 1978 at the height of the roller disco craze and has hosted hundreds of birthday parties and other special events.
“We used to run capacity almost every Friday and Saturday night when we first opened up,” said Mike Conner, its manager. “That was during the disco days.”
The reunion skate gives the veteran skaters a chance to bring their families and in some cases grandchildren to the rink.
“The old skaters, the ones that have been here for years and years and years, come, and they’re the ones that were skating when I was just a teeny, tiny tot,” Conner said. “It’s good to see them now as they’re getting longer in the tooth. We’re losing more and more people. But then we’re gaining a new generation of skaters.”
The memories of growing up at the rink never leave you.
The last time Rick Davis was here was about four years ago. He’s 67 now and grew up on skates.
“I lived on skates then. We used to come out here, then we grow up, you know,” Davis said.
He even brought his skates but wasn’t promising he would actually skate.
“I’m getting old and fragile,” Davis said. “I don’t skate; I just pretend like it.”
Davis remembers skating at all of Lima’s rinks and is a bit sad there are fewer and fewer veterans of the rink still around.
“Not too many people come anymore,” Davis said.
Steve Grimes, also 67, came out to see as many of his old rink friends as he could.
It’s been three or four years since he’s been on skates.
“I’ve had back surgery and a knee replaced,” Grimes said. “I’m a roofer and I’m worn out, and I’m afraid if I fall, I’m going to break something.”
Like Davis, Grimes was there to socialize Sunday.
“I usually try to come out (to the reunion skate) and see some of the people haven’t seen for a while,” Grimes said.
Conner is hopeful the rink will be around for a while longer, giving a new generation a chance to enjoy what many have known since 1978.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.