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Roller Derby

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

A few months ago Paul Thomas celebrated his birthday with a roller skating party. Given this venue, you might think Paul is a child. He isn’t, unless you count at heart. The event was marking his 75th birthday.

You see, Paul’s party was at the Rendezvous Roller Rink just outside of Sistersville because that is the business he and his wife Alicia lovingly created and opened in 1973. For the next 30 years they saw children roll in and out of the business’ doors until they finally sold the enterprise in 2003.

So you see, when Paul was marking a milestone, Alicia thought the rink was the perfect setting. She was right.

I attended the event with some of my family members as we have fond memories of skating on that maple floor and playing air hockey until our quarters ran out. That is why I was so pleased when Joellen loved roller skating that day and declared she wanted to have her birthday party at the roller rink.

We talked about the fun we would have, we reserved the rink, we baked and decorated a cake. . . you know, the things most people do when readying for a child’s birthday party. Why I hadn’t planned for was the first aid kit or emergency room visits that would accompany the party.

Sure, there are always falls at a roller skating party. That’s to be expected. What I didn’t expect was my niece to fall on her foot in a very unusual way. The next day an x-ray revealed a fracture.

Before that my husband somehow lost his balance. His feet flew out from under him and his head snapped back on the floor. He was, literally, floored for a while until he finally declared he would be alright. . . even skated another round or two before retreating to a bench. After he looked dazed during the gift opening and cake ceremony we decided we should visit the emergency room. Turns out he got a concussion from the fall.

Someone asked me just what kind of a roller skating party we had. . . roller derby!