Ice Skating in 1986 and 1961

Out on the ice – James (or is that Kamau?), Jann, Ife, Shashu, Tulani & Ayanna.

This photo was taken in 1986 during the first winter we lived in Idlewild.  We used a variety of shovels to clear the ice – new red plastic snow shovels, ancient metal snow shovels and a coal shovel we found in the garage.  My aunt Gladys and uncle Hugh were in their 60s then and out skated all of us. They had racing skates and glided around with their hands behind their back looking so cool. You can see a photo of them in earlier years here – Skating Champions.

For most of the 20 years we lived there, the ice was frozen solid, 4 or more inches deep by Christmas and remained frozen until early spring. Ice fishermen came from far and wide to drill holes and sit on buckets or in little huts and fish through the ice. Once a car drove across from the far side to our side. This year Idlewild Lake hasn’t frozen at all because of the warm winter.

When I was in High school my sister and I would walk up to Northwestern High School and skate on the rink in a corner of the field. I found several articles in the Illustrated News from December 1961 and January 1962  about the lack of a warming shelter or place to leave your shoes while you skated at this same rink.  I was in the 9th grade that year and I do remember this.  Click on the pages below to enlarge and read the articles.

Part 1 of the story – the problem is raised.


Part two of the story…citizens become involved.



The Illustrated News_Dec_25_1961Part three of the ice skating shelter story – problem solved.


8 thoughts on “Ice Skating in 1986 and 1961

  1. Lake skating was great. I remember I had a great pair of skates I kept with me when I left home, not sure where I ditched them, probably Miami, but I wish I had them now. Rental skates were horrible, hard blue plastic last time I tried to skate with the kids…

    1. I don’t remember where we got all the skates. I think Hugh brought some up and your father got a bunch from somebody. Don’t remember buying any but there seemed to be a size for everybody. Wish you had the ones you saved. We never know what we’re going to regret leaving during moves until it’s too late.

  2. 1986. It wasn’t that long ago, it seems, but of course, it was. I got married that year. I was a young woman then. Now I am not, so yes, it was another life in a way. You capture that.

    1. The worst winter I remember from when we were in Mississippi was right around the time my son James was born on January 13, 1982. There was some snow and more ice. we had to drive 30 or so miles to Jackson where my doctor was. Trucks were jack knifed all along the highway. We made it and by the time I got out of the hospital it was almost hot! It would have been fine if we could have stayed home and the kids could have enjoyed the snow.

    1. It was really cold. We had an assortment of snow pants and long underwear and winter jackets and hats, scarves and mittens.

      I’ve been trying to think if I ever enjoyed the new warming house and if it was actually ever built. I’ll have to ask my sister when we walk today. It says it’s 50F out there right now! Up from below 30F earlier this week!

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