Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Story of an Unfriendly Skating Mom and a Huge Overstuffed Chair

Last week, I decided to watch my daughter skate in a very cold rink that has a "warm room" where parents can watch.

When I arrived there was a lady sitting in a comfortable overstuffed old "living room like" chair next to an old beat up couch.

When I entered the room, I gave the woman my usual friendly hello, but was only greeted with a cold and unfriendly grunt as the woman continued to watch the skating practice session.  It was obvious that she did not want to be friendly.

There was another huge and old overstuffed empty chair and small office chair that was empty that blocked the view to the ice from the old couch.  In fact, those chairs blocked the view to the ice to anyone who would sit on the couch, so, since they were not being used, I moved the two unoccupied chairs and to the side of the couch and then "settled in" to watch my daughter skate.  I wanted to sit on the couch because it looked more comfortable than the chairs.

I was a bit alarmed when the woman who had been so unfriendly, gave me a very nasty look when I moved the empty chairs.  In response, I smiled back when she glared at me.

It seemed that the woman wanted to tell me that she was angry that I moved the chairs, but instead, both of us continued to watch our children skate.  There was an "icy silence" between us in that "warm" observation room that overlooked the ice sheet.

About 45 minutes later, the woman suddenly arose from her seat, and promptly moved the huge empty overstuffed chair back in front of me (which of course, blocked my view of the ice sheet).

I thought that was very odd and rude, but I decided not to say anything since my daughter's lesson was over, and since the huge overstuffed chair was unoccupied, I could still see what was going on fairly well.

"Well, whatever," I thought.  "This lady must really feel possessive about the way the chairs were originally arranged.  She must feel that I invaded a space that she'd claimed or something."

About 15 minutes after that, the woman's daughter (or maybe it was her grand-daughter?) came into the "warm room" after her skating practice and sat down in the huge overstuffed chair.  The teen seemed to expect that the huge overstuffed chair be waiting for her.  It seemed that she and her mother (or grandmother) "owned that space" or something when they were at that rink.

Now, my view to the ice was completely blocked, but there was only about 15 more minutes of skating left anyway.  I decided to not "push it" and tried my best to see what I could of the rest of my daughter's practice session.

I'm a bit "bugged" by this incident.  I could have said, "Excuse me, you are blocking my view, could you move over a bit?"  ...But...I didn't say anything....

The woman in that "warm room" at that skating rink had made it clear when she first "grunted" at me that I was not welcome in what must have been her space, but that is not what really bothers me.

What bothers me is that skating is supposed to be fun and the people we meet in ice rinks should be friendly and nice to one another.   Moving a huge chair in front of a happy mother who just wants to watch her child skate was just not "nice."

I had to write this out since it bothered me so much and I do hope that those who read this will remember to smile, be nice, and says hello at the rink!

Friday, February 5, 2016

New 2016 digital version of MY SKATING LIFE is available for download

A new 2016 digital version of MY SKATING LIFE is available for download (at the lowest price I could set it - 99 cents) thanks to my friend Philip Corey who is an AMAZING EDITOR.
The edited print version is still "in progress" since the index had to be redone. (Thanks in advance to Ellen Phillips for the amazing index that will go with this newly edited print version of my book!)
(Due to "technical issues," there is no index in the digital version at this time.)
When the updated hardcover and paperback versions for 2016 are ready, I'll announce that here too.
Some of my FB friends who are mentioned in an additional update chapter for the 2015-16 version of MY SKATING LIFE include Christian HendricksDiane AgleJoanne CoyleAnnabelle Schneider-Farris, and Trixi Schuba!
By the way...if you've read my book, or if I gave you a copy, and if you have time, please write a review on Amazon (if you'd like). One reviewer, who didn't have the courage to sign his or her name, said the book was boring. It's MY SKATING LIFE, and I may be biased, but I do not believe my book is boring....
Happy Skating!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Frozen in Fresno 1-27-16

My best friend of almost (gulp) 50 years Marion Ennis Curtis and her husband Bruce and one of Dan's closest and oldest friends in the world, Jim Tucker and his wife Linda, connected with us in Fresno, California yesterday, 1-27-16, to see my son Joel skate and perform in Disney On Ice Frozen! It was a wonderful time together!


  • Private Video Link  - JF Show Fresno 1-27-2016
  • Annabelle Passes Quickstep Ice Dance Test 1-31-16!

    Congrats to Annabelle for passing the Quickstep and thank you Tiffany and Logan! As usual, I'm a proud mom! Annabelle passed the Quickstep today...only 3 more gold dances to go towards the goal of earning a 5th US Figure Skating Gold medal!

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Funny and Precious Memory From US Nationals 1973

    I have to share a memory from when I went to US Figure Skating Championships in Minnesota "way back" in 1973. My brother Billy placed 3rd in Junior Men that year.

    I was very sad that year that I didn't qualify, so my dad took me to watch.

    In those days, there was always a competition party afterwards and I went with my dad.

    Billy of course was "on top of the world" and my dad was being a proud skating parent, but I did not have a good time at the party since I wasn't a competitor, and so, I decided to head back to the hotel alone on the competitor's bus.  The weather was bitter cold.

    I was almost in tears since I felt "so alone" at the competition party, and then something really funny happened as I walked back to my hotel room.

    The Harlem Globtrotters had just moved in the hotel and I found myself walking side by side with one of the players. He saw that I was sad and decided to try to make me laugh. I am only 4'10" tall and he was probably over 7.5 feet tall.

    As we walked, he bent down "real low" and walked down the hall with me!

    I laughed and that memory is the most precious memory of have from 1973 Nationals besides watching Billy medal, and seeing Tai and Randy skate so well, and remembering Janet Lynn's last Nationals!

    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    My Former Boss Alice Bechtel Links Up With My Son Joel at Disney On Ice Frozen In Long Beach, 12-31-15!

    I worked at the Information Desk and the Candy Counter at Long Beach State's University Student Union when I was going to graduate school from 1980 to 1982... Alice Bechtel hired me after a short interview and she was the most fun boss to work for! 

    Anyway, we've kept in touch for all these years and today she and her husband Brent took their grand-kids to Disney On Ice Frozen in Long Beach and they linked up after the show with my son Joel who is in the Ensemble cast! 

    Who would have thought when I met and worked with Alice around 35 years ago, that she would link up with my son today!!?? Alice didn't even know until recently that I was a skater!

    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    More Frozen in Anaheim 12-18-15

    I can now state that I've seen Disney On Ice Frozen live TEN TIMES!

    On Friday, Anaheim, California was special since me and my dad went to see the show with my former ice dance partner Gary Forman and his family. After the show, my son Joel, who is in the Frozen cast linked up with us.

    Double Kilian Position!

    Gary does Joel's taxes!