Dairy Ashford Roller Rink

Grade school and junior high in the '80s. Days of tube socks, Keds, T-shirt rings and passing crushes. Every Friday night you traded in your sneakers for a pair of brown quads with bright orange wheels and fat rubber toe-stops. If you were really cool, you brought your own skates. In skates, you were taller, another kind of creature who could glide into the stream of moving bodies and circle the floor beneath the disco ball. Maybe you fell sometimes, the pain in your bottom compounded by scores of legs rolling past you, those legs belonging to snickering classmates. Maybe you were one of the kids who could skate backward, who won the races. But none of that mattered as much as this: Who would skate together during the couples skate? These days, till 10:30 p.m. on Friday night, kids still pack the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink, a somewhat stale and rundown but held-together place of elementary school soap operas and birthday parties. Now they whirl on in-line skates to Top 40 songs. Adults are welcome to hit the rink, too.