when i was 15 or so, i worked at the skating ring. my title was “floor guard & dj”. floor guard just meant i skated around and blew my whistle when a rule’s broken or there were shenanigans going on. “dj” meant i bolted to the dj booth when the current song was ending and changed the 45 rpm record to another one. perhaps i’d make it a “couples only” slow song and hit the “couples only” button to light up. oh…the power i had.
anyway, skip to sunday nights. or as the owner/employees would call it: “black night”. no white people came on sunday night and none of the employees wanted to work that night either. me? i didn’t give af. it would be packed, a local/popular black radio dj would come and dj for real. i was exposed to some of the best f’n music of my life (i know every word to “white lines” 🙂
black and white skating were very different. white people just skated. nothing wrong with that…they had fun and that’s the point, right? but…the black skaters skated much faster and mostly skating in unison while dancing/grooving to the song playing. i wasn’t as a good a skater so i figured out quickly i was in their way and mostly stayed in the center circle haha. “good times” by chic was my favorite to join in on. slower groove, slower skating…but i got to dance and move along with everyone. as a gay man, i was fortunate to have been given the “got rhythm” gene, so i had some game 🙂
over the months i was there, i worked every sunday night. met so many amazing and hilarious people. but…hated all the other nights i worked, because of the racist pos people i had to work with.
so now…imagine my lily white butt skating and dancing along to “good times” with 70 or so black friends, in the south, in the late 70’s (i think), and loving life…