Fleur de ice, ya’ll!

Looks like us ‘villebillies gonna be gettin’ us a pond.  It’s gonner be one of them there cement ponds … kinda.

The Waterfront Development Corp. announced plans for City Pond, an ice rink planned for Waterfront Park that would be open from mid-November through mid-January starting in 2012. Planners say it will bring 60,000 people downtown during the winter.

I don’t guess I remember if Jethro or Ellie Mae ever went ice skating in Beverly Hills, but this Marshall County girl’s mighty glad that she’s maybe going to get to enjoy some outdoor skating next winter without having to buy an airplane ticket to New York for Rockefeller Center or to Boston to skate on Frog Pond or The Kennedy Rink in Hyannis.

Holly Brockman Johnson

There’s something really great about lacing up my own skates and having to really be aware of the temperature outside and wonder about or check the forecast to see if the sun’s going to shine or if the snow is going to spit in my hair or completely drench it with huge white melting snowflakes.  It’s fun, actually, for a girl to shake off her curls while her skates are swinging off her back.

It’s also kinda cool to feel like the people inside a snow globe.  Or, like one of those village snow scenes that people put up around their house at Christmastime.  Writers, we tend to shy away from the cliché but I love the thought of skating around on a pond in a scarf, mittens and headband I’ve knitted.  There’s something pretty wonderful about pulling that cold air into my lungs and skating until my nose and toes are too cold to take it anymore.

Every great city should have an ice rink for folks to frolic on during the holidays.  I wonder how many young couples will fall in love on our new ice rink and how many marriage proposals will be made.  I wonder how many posts on facebook there will be of Moms and Dads teaching their wee ones to skate.

I got to teach one of mine on Frog Pond and the other at Robert Farmer’s Alpine Ice Rink on Gardiner Lane.  Hell, I taught myself how to skate at Alpine.  I have been comforted in tough times by great silence in the monotonous, meditative trips around the rink.  Some days while my children were in school and I worried about their futures, I’d take to the rink.  Others, when I was feeling great and needed to cross train, that rink was there cinching up my thighs and strengthening my balance.  Mostly, I have enjoyed that rink with my son because unlike my daughter, he doesn’t think he’s going to hurt his budding ballet career and isn’t yet ensured by Lloyds of London!  He skates much faster than I do and with more precision.  I have often wondered why he’s never taken a girl to the ice rink for a date.  I sometimes wonder why it’s been so long since somebody took me to an ice rink for a date!

I have white skates with pink plastic blade covers and all those years I spent skating on Frog Pond with snow in my hair have waned with parental and work responsibilities keeping me closer to home and traveling less.

Now, it looks like I might be able to skate just blocks away from where I work and where I’m responsible for carpool in the center of a great city I love.

3 Comments on "Fleur de ice, ya’ll!"

  1. I learned to skate outdoors on a pond and this article brought back fond memories. Maybe I will bundle up the olo lady and take a couple of laps around the new rink…if my knees will hold out.

    Thank you.

  2. I think outdoor ice skating will be a wonderful re-do for our ‘ville. I only dreamed of skating on the Belvedere back when one could. Thanks for your great posts!

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