Monday, July 21, 2008
Places That I Miss
Living in suburbia when I was a kid was actually a good thing. There was always something to do and somewhere to go. A couple of years ago I was having a discussion with my step father about all of the places we used to go when we were kids that are now gone. A huge part of my childhood was spent roller skating and playing video games at the local arcade. Back in the 80's we had four local roller rinks. Two of those are still around. One is just down the street from where I live now. My daughter goes just about every weekend. In the summer of 1982 I lived at the roller rink. My favorite rink was Roller World. I'd go to back to back sessions. I couldn't get enough of that place. Once in a while I'd hang out at Long Lake Roller Rink. Back then nothing could beat skating, listening to music, and chasing girls at the roller rink. Roller World has been gone for years. The last time I went there was probably 1989. I was drunk as a skunk. A lot of the time after skating my mom would pick me up and take me a couple buildings over to a place called The High Wheeler Ice Cream Parlor. It was a really cool place with old school decor. The place was named after those really tall high wheel bikes. They had a couple of those here. As you may have guessed this place is also gone. My ice cream of choice was bubble gum flavored ice cream with real bits of gum.
Here in the Kalamazoo we also had quite a few arcades. Star World was my favorite. Star World was a huge arcade that always had all of the latest games. It was also the best value. You'd get double the tokens for your money. I'd go with 20 bucks and get 40 bucks worth of tokens and spend hours there. Yep, Star World has also been gone for years. The last time I remember going there was back in 1990. There was also this cool arcade in town called Aladdin's, but that didn't last very long at all. It couldn't compete with Star World. We also had Fun Factory which was on the other side of town by one of our malls. The mall and Fun Factory are both gone now.
Pretty much every place I went when I was a kid has been ripped down or just plain went out of business. I could give many more examples of places that are gone, but it's quite depressing. These days kids sit at home on their fat asses playing video games, surfing the net, or watching tv. Some still do go to the roller rink though. I'm happy to see my daughter enjoying one of the things that I enjoyed as a kid.
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