Calskate, a roller rink, that one of the few hardwood floor surfaces, is closing down next week. Scott Budman looks back with some regular customers and does a little skating himself.
If Jimmy Carter-era misanthropes doing death pools decades ago had guessed which would expire first -- the disco era or the roller-skating rinks that helped usher the dancing fools in -- would they have been able to guess that, at least in Milpitas, and at least until Sunday, that laps around a wooden rink long outlasted polyester jumpsuits?
Cal Skate, 1977 - 2011.
One of the Bay Area's last remaining roller rinks, in which skaters did laps on a wooden track surrounded by black shag carpeting reminsicient of Bee Gee singer "Barry Gibbs's chest hair," according to the San Jose Mercury News, closed its doors on Sunday, after dedicated Cal Skate patrons lined up at noon for the final 6 p.m. skate (which lasted past 10 p.m.).
The rink's operators, the St. Germain family, have made the rink profitable over the last 34 years, but are simply tired of running the business. Ergo, the rental skates are sold to another rink in San Ramon, and relics from the rink are being saved to be sold at a public auction on Friday.
The rink was a moneymaker despite being a real throwback in every sense: roller skaters had to adhere to a strict dress code that included no bare shoulders or midriffs, and many a teenager was sent to the car to fetch a hoodie after they were turned away for daring to bare a tank top.
Over the years, the rink allowed couples to meet and even encouraged Natassia Hamor, 20, to shift from a whiny 5-year old who didn't like skating to an inline speed skating world champion.