This is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.
Last night, I went on a date to a roller rink in Orange called Holiday Skate Center. It was a blast, and it was like entering a time warp to another time. The era of roller rinks is pretty much over, but Holiday Skate Center was pretty busy.
I got thinking about the roller rinks in Fullerton that I remember. There was a place called American Explorers near my house where kids used to play roller hockey in the early 90s.
There was Stewart's Roller World on Commonwealth, which is now a Goodwill. Local resident Mike Atta, from the early hardcore band The Middle Class tells me that "Stewart's was called Billy Barty's Roller Fantasy in the 80's. Motörhead played there in'83."
"For you young'uns," he continues, "Billy Barty was an actor of small stature in the 50's,60's &70's.......and Motörhead is a band."
I remember Billy Barty from two movies from my childhood in the 80s: UHF (as Noodles Macintosh the cameraman) and Willow (as the wizard).
There used to be a roller rink in west Fullerton on Gilbert called The Galaxy that used to have hard-core punk shows. Members of The Middle Class booked shows there with bands such as Black Flag, Social Distortion, and The Adolescents.
Why are there so few roller rinks around anymore? They are totally awesome. My date and I agreed that, if we won the lottery, we would open a roller rink/bar/music venue/vegan restaurant (she is vegan). It would be totally kick-ass.