Monday, December 21, 2009

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Leadville 1879 - Part 3

A skating rink opened between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1879, and this little article describing a "night at the rink" ran in Leadville's Evening Chronicle on December 23:

It was a gala night time at the skating rink last night, and the bravery and beauty of the city paired off on runners and told their loves in innumerable hieroglyphics on frozen water. Occasionally a “brave” would sit down on the ice in contemplation of love’s melancholy, while his fair inamorata slid on into the affections or arms of another. We had no idea that we had so many expert skatorical champions and championnesses among us, and could but wonder at the many seemingly impossible feats performed.

Speaking of pedal extremities, “the biggest thing on ice” was the great feet of a certain newspaper reporter, who executed some of the most startling movements yet seen at the rink—such as throwing both heels over his head and sliding half round the rink on his left ear, picking up a section of snow and gas light with the small of his back, skating on one foot and the tip of his nose, and many other little novelties. . . . We understand that the skating rink is shortly to be supplied with a new appliance in the way of a third skate for new beginners. It is supplied with a rubber cushion, and is fastened to the small of the back.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

Wow! That brings back memories of my childhood at the skating rink about a block from my home. I spent many an hour trying to master a figure eight and never did. I'm afraid most of my attempts were like Leadville's ill fated reporter.

Ann Parker said...

Hi Sharon! I never quite got the knack myself, spending a lot of time "skating on my ankles" when I tried it out oh-so-long-ago.
I love how the reporters don't mind poking a little fun at themselves. This is just one example of many...

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

I can't skate to save my life, but that article is beautiful! It makes skating seem like poetry, not the falling down and grabbing onto small children as they pass that happens when I skate!

Ann Parker said...

Hello Christina!
I'm with you... I love the flow of language here. Add to that, a touch of whimsy. Very unlike the nothing-but-the-facts approach of today (unless you consider columnists).