Mt Vernon Ice Arena
National Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
The Walk Back
Pentagon Row Rink
Then Arlington County went rink crazy. The County financed, built and then leased out dual indoor ice rinks, christened the Kettler Capitals Iceplex to promote a real estate developer that paid for the privilege and to recognize the complex's principal tenant. The facility is truly first-class, with full-size competition and practice rinks, professional staff, multiple locker rooms, pro shop, snack bar (with a pizza oven and beer on tap), game and party rooms, workout and training room facilities for the Capitals, as well as a suite of offices for coaches and administrators -- still, no Stanley Cup. Blake hosted her 9th birthday party at the Iceplex. Blake and Blythe had skating lessons. I’d chauffeur the kids to weekend public skating sessions and join the fun wearing my old skates.
Now we moved to Bozeman.
Over the years I kept up with growing childrens' feet by purchasing skates at yard
sales. I paid $2, $5 or $7 a pair
for white figure skates, never more than $10, going up a size or two each year.
But when Blake said she wanted to go skating on New Year’s Day, we
discovered she had outgrown our inventory.
So we popped over to Bob Ward’s Sporting Goods to get her outfitted and there I
saw them – shiny new hockey skates with my name written all over them.
Facade of Kettler Capitals Iceplex
These skates may be new but the Bozeman experience is like the good old days of my youth -- outdoor skating on park rinks, cleared and flooded nightly, frozen courtesy of Mother Nature. Growing up the venues were Harrer Park, Mansfield Park and the our "secret" slough off the North Branch of the Chicago River at the Lincoln Avenue train crossing. In Bozeman the venues are South Side Park, Beall Park and Bogert Park.